How to Print Screen on Mac – Take a Screenshot on Mac Using Mac Keyboard Shortcuts

by Niko |Oct 20,2016..

As new Mac users or for people who have recently switched from Windows to Mac OS, you may be unfamiliar with the features and operations. From time to time, you need to capture your Mac screen to share information, conversation records, pictures and etc. with others for business or personal purpose. 

print-screen-on-mac.pngSince they are different operating systems, Windows keyboard shortcuts are not applicable to Mac OS. So, how to print screen on Mac? Some of you may ask: is it possible to get a Windows-like screenshot functionality in Mac system? Or what is the simplest or best screen capturing tool for a Mac?

To help you solve this problem quickly and effectively, we make a conclusion about how to print screen on Mac in different ways. No extra tools or applications are required, you are able to make it just by making use of Mac keyboard shortcuts. 

How to Print Screen on Mac - Entire Screen

  • entire screen: Command + Shift + 3

Unlike Windows system that users can capture the entire screen by simply pressing PrtSc key, as Mac users, you need to use some key combinations to print the entire screen on Mac. Do not worry, it’s easy.

Here, we mean the entire screen to capture. First of all, find the screen you want to print, press Command + Shift + 3, then the entire screen would be printed and saved on Mac desktop automatically, and named of “Screen Shot + Date + Time”. You can use the Mac screenshot directly, or cut it based on your specific needs.

If you want to print the entire screen on Mac, and save it to clipboard, use this keyboard combinations: Command + Control + Shift + 3.

How to Print Screen on Mac - Selected Area of Screen

  • selected area of screen: Command + Shift + 4

This keyboard combination allow you to take screenshot of a rectangular portion of your Mac screen, such as a part of the desktop, application window, dialogue box and others. 

Actually, this method is most widely used, because with it, you can print any area of Mac screen you want, at any size. Here are the most useful shortcuts and horkeys for capturing the selected area of Mac screen.

Take a screenshot of part of your mac screenPress Command + Shift + 4 > mouse cursor becomes a pixel crosshair > hold left mouse button and drag a box cover the area you want to print > release the mouse, the screenshot will be captured and saved on desktop.

Similarly, press Command + Shift + Control + 4, you are able to print selected area of screen Mac and save it on clipboard.

How to Print Screen on Mac - Screen of a Window

  • app window: Command + Shift + 4 +Space bar

This is the best option if you want to print the screen of one window without the desktop background included. 

Open an application or window, press Command + Shift + 4 > press Space bar and change crosshair to a camera pointer > move the camera pointer over the window > click left mouse button to save the screenshot to Mac desktop.


Generally, the three methods of printing screen on Mac can fully satisfy your screen-capture requirements on Mac. By making use of them, you can print the entire screen, selected area of screen as well as screen of a whole window on Mac. 

To know more shortcuts of Mac, please check out our complete guide of iPhone and Mac Keyboard Shortcuts and Tricks

Tag:Mac Tips