Screenshots are convenient. You can use them to show your grandparents how to use a new app. You can use them to send a picture of that strange error message to your company’s IT department. You can use them to capture tweets before they fall down the black hole of deletion. Each of the major macOS, Android, and iOS operating systems incorporates one or more ways to create screenshots. Here is a quick and easy guide to creating full screen captures.
Current versions (Mojave and Catalina) of macOS come with a screen capture application, which can be accessed by pressing Shift-Command (⌘) -5.
Screenshots on MAC
You will get a command bar that will give you various options. You can take a screenshot, a window, or a specific option; you can take a video of all or part of your screen. There is an “Options” button that allows you to see where you want to save your image, and you can also set a short delay. When you’re ready, click the “Capture” button on the right side of the command bar. If you haven’t upgraded to Mojave or Catalina, you can still save screenshots to your desktop as PNG files.
- To take a full screen photo, press Shift-Command-3.
- To take a photo of part of the screen, press Shift-Command-4 and then drag the cursor to outline the area you want to capture.
- If you want to capture a specific window, press Shift-Command-4. Press the space bar. The cursor turns into a camera. Hover over the window you want to capture so that it is highlighted, and then click on it.
Tips for Better Screenshots
Try these tips below to fine-tune your screenshots:
- When the diagonals are visible, you can release the keyboard keys.
- When you click the mouse button and have started to drag the cursor, press the space bar and you can move the selected area.
- Hold down the Shift key and you can only move horizontally.
- Press Escape at any time to cancel the graph. No image will be generated or captured.
- If you press Control at the same time, the screenshot will be copied to your keyboard.
Where are Screenshots Saved on Mac?
By default, Mac screenshots will be saved to the desktop. In Mojave or later, you can select several other places where your photo can be saved. However, if you use an app like Grab (available in earlier versions of macOS) to create your screenshots, they may appear elsewhere. Grab will probably save the screenshot in the Documents folder, and renaming the image will save it as Anonymous.
Record a video
Record a video by pressing Shift + Command + 5, then select Full Screen Recording or Select Recording Selection. When everything is ready, click Record to start capturing. Click the Stop icon on the macOS menu bar to end the recording and save the .MOV
Change image format
By default, screenshots on a Mac will be saved as .png files, but these can be quite large, especially if you have a large Retina display monitor. Convert to .jpg format with a small amount of encoding. Go to Launchpad> Other> Terminal and type the following into the new window:
Defaults like com.apple.screencapture jpg
Enter your password if prompted, then restart the computer. Future screenshots should be saved in the format that you specified. You can always change it back by typing the above command with PNG at the end.
Taking a Timed Screenshots
Sometimes it seems impossible to take a photo of what you need to capture because you have to interact with the software at the same time as you have to grab the screen. Fortunately, there is a way to do this.
To take a weather photo (Mojave or later), you need to do the following:
- Hold down Command + Shift + 5.
- Click Options.
- Under Timer, select 5 or 10 seconds.
- Now select the type of screen grain you want to build. Full screen, selected part, selected window.
- You will see a start timer. When it reaches zero, the screenshot will be taken.
- If you have an older version of macOS or Mac OS X, you can use Grab to take a timed photo. Press Command + Space and start typing Grab, or look in the Utilities folder (found in the Applications folder).
Fix Mac screen problems
If you’re having trouble taking screenshots on your Mac, we may have the answer below.
Why are my screenshots blank?
Unfortunately, this is not an uncommon occurrence. If you have carefully followed the instructions above and are sure that the selection, window, or screen you focused on the screen contained graphic elements, but these do not appear in the captured image, there is a possibility that the software you were using specifically selected it for lock screenshots. For example, you may not be able to view photos in the Netflix app.
You should be able to fix the problem by using different software that does the same.
When to do when the Mac screen is not working
If you are taking screenshots and they are not visible on your desktop, you may have accidentally pressed ctrl at the same time, which would copy the screenshot to your keyboard. If it’s not that simple, go to System Preferences> Keyboards> Shortcuts and check that shortcuts are turned on in Screenshots. Another possibility is that the usual shortcuts have been assigned to something else, so check here in System Preferences as well.