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Take a screenshot on your Mac

Learn how to take pictures of your screen (screenshots) on your Mac. These screenshots are saved as files on your desktop.

Capture your entire screen

Press Command (⌘)-Shift-3. The screenshot is added to your desktop.

Capture some of your screen

Press Command (⌘)-Shift-4, and then drag the crosshair pointer to select the area. Hold Shift, Option, or the Space bar while you drag to resize the selection area. To cancel, press Escape (esc) before you release the mouse button.

Capture a specific window

Press Command (⌘)-Shift-4, press the Space bar, move the camera pointer over the window to highlight it, and then click.

This works with open Finder windows and most application windows.

To cancel, press Escape (esc) before you click.

Capture a menu

Click the menu to reveal its contents, then press Command (⌘)-Shift-4 and drag the crosshair pointer over the area.

To take a screenshot of the menu without the title, hover over the menu, press Command (⌘)-Shift-4 and the Space bar.

To cancel, press Escape (esc) before you click.

Additional Information

  • In Mac OS X v10.6 and later, the screenshots are saved as PNG files on the desktop. They're automatically named "Screen shot (date and time).png." You can open these screenshots with Preview or other image editing apps.
  • You can also take screenshots using the Grab app.
  • Some apps, such as DVD Player, may not let you take screenshots of their windows.
  • To capture a partial screen or a window selection to the Clipboard instead of a desktop file, use Command-Shift-Control-4.
Last Modified: Aug 26, 2014
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  • Last Modified: Aug 26, 2014
  • Article: HT5775
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