How to Screenshot on a MacBook: A Complete Guide

As a MacBook user, you may have come across situations where you needed to take a screenshot, either to share something with friends, save something important, or simply for your own reference. However, it can be confusing to figure out how to take a simple screenshot on a MacBook, let alone explore the many different options available for different types of screenshots. In this article, we’ll cover everything you need to know about taking and editing screenshots on a MacBook, including keyboard shortcuts, third-party tools, and editing options.

Walkthrough Guide

Let’s start with the basics. Taking a simple screenshot on a MacBook can be done in two ways: through a keyboard shortcut or the menu bar option.

To capture the entire screen, press Command + Shift + 3 keys simultaneously. You will hear a camera shutter sound, indicating that a screenshot has been taken. Pressing these keys again will take another screenshot.

If you only want to capture a specific window, press Command + Shift + 4, and then press the Spacebar. The cursor will turn into a camera icon, and you can click on the window you want to capture. Again, the same command can be used to take multiple screenshots in a row.

If you want to capture only a portion of the screen, press Command + Shift + 4, and then drag your cursor to draw a rectangle around the area you want to capture. Release the mouse button, and the screenshot will be taken.

Finally, if you need to take a timed screenshot, press Command + Shift + 5 to bring up the screenshot toolbar. From there, you can select a timer option to delay the screenshot by either 5 or 10 seconds.

Keyboard Shortcuts

Using keyboard shortcuts for taking screenshots can be faster and more convenient than using the menu bar option. Here are the most popular keyboard shortcuts available for taking screenshots on a MacBook.

Shortcut Description
Command + Shift + 3 Capture entire screen
Command + Shift + 4 + Spacebar Capture specific window
Command + Shift + 4 Capture portion of the screen
Command + Shift + 5 Bring up screenshot toolbar

Be aware that some shortcuts, like Command + Shift + 5, may not work for older versions of macOS.

Screenshot Tools

If you find yourself needing more functionality or flexibility than what the built-in screenshot options provide, there are many third-party tools available that can enhance your screenshot-taking experience.

One of the most popular third-party screenshot tools for Mac is called Snagit. It offers many unique features and tools for editing, sharing, and organizing your screenshots. Another popular tool is Monosnap, which offers not only basic screenshot functions but also a video recording feature, making it a versatile tool for both images and videos.

To use Snagit, simply download and install it on your MacBook. Once opened, you can select the area you want to capture using hotkeys or the Snagit toolbar. It provides an extensive toolkit for editing your screenshots, including annotations, shapes, text, and other customizations.

Monosnap works similarly but provides different tools for editing, including a blur tool, crop tool, text tool, and color picking feature.

Editing Screenshots

Once you’ve taken a screenshot, you may want to edit it before sharing or saving it. Fortunately, the built-in Preview app on Mac offers many editing features for images, including rotating, cropping, resizing, adding text, or highlighting specific areas.

To edit a screenshot in Preview, open the app, and then drag and drop your screenshot into the app’s interface. From there, you can use the editing tools available in the toolbar to tweak your screenshot just as you wish.

If Preview does not provide enough editing options for your needs, you can also consider using third-party editing apps like Adobe Photoshop or Pixelmator, which provide advanced editing options such as color correction, layering, and other more advanced tools.

Comparing Screenshot methods

All screenshot-taking methods have their advantages and disadvantages, and it’s important to compare and contrast them based on your specific needs.

For example, if you primarily need to capture entire screens or specific windows quickly, the built-in keyboard shortcuts are likely sufficient. If you need more precise control over a smaller area of the screen, the portion-capturing shortcut is likely more suitable. Finally, if you need more advanced editing or sharing options, third-party tools like Snagit or Monosnap may be a better fit.


Taking screenshots on a MacBook may seem complicated at first, but with a little practice, you’ll quickly become an expert. By exploring the many different options available for screenshot-taking and editing, you can create professional-level screenshots that perfectly reflect your needs.

So, whether you’re a student, a professional, or just someone who enjoys sharing great content with friends, knowing how to capture and customize screenshots on a MacBook is invaluable.

By Riddle Reviewer

Hi, I'm Riddle Reviewer. I curate fascinating insights across fields in this blog, hoping to illuminate and inspire. Join me on this journey of discovery as we explore the wonders of the world together.

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