A lot of new Mac users aren’t familiar with excellent built-in screenshot capabilities. At one time or another, most of us need to grab a quick screenshot. For instance, I always take screenshots of credit card payments I make online just as a visual proof, in case any problems arise later. If I sound too paranoid then let’s just say, once bitten, perennially shy.
Today, I will teach you three quick and easy keyboard shortcuts that will help you take instant screenshots.
First, let’s take a screenshot of the entire screen? Just press Command + Shift + 3 together and you will hear a camera shutter sound (unless you have muted the sound on your Mac). This sounds means that a screenshot has been taken and has been saved on your desktop.
Trick number 2. How do you take a screenshot of only a part of the screen? Let’s say you have to take the screenshot of a page but want to avoid including the area where personal information is displayed. No worries! Press Command + Shift + 4 together and a crosshair will appear on your screen. Simply drag it around the area you want to capture and you will hear that delightful camera shutter sound again. Meaning, that a screenshot of the selected area has been saved on your desktop.
It should also be noted that you do not need to hold the Command + Shift + 4 keyboard shortcut once the crosshair has appeared on the screen. Simply drag with the mouse or the touchpad and the screenshot will be taken once you let go.
Lastly, how do you take a screenshot of a single app window without including all the other windows that are opened around it? We will use the same, Command + Shift + 4 keyboard shortcut again but once the crosshair appears, this time, we will press the Space Bar instead.
A camera icon will appear on your screen when you do that and the window that is in focus at that moment, will be highlighted in blue. Once you click that window (or any other window for that matter) the camera shutter will sound again and that screenshot will be saved on the desktop.
All of these screenshots are saved in the PNG format and you can easily forward them via email or instant messaging.
But let’s say that you do not want to save a screenshot, instead, you simply want to copy it so you can paste it in a document or in an email compose window.
Simply add the control key to the previously mentioned key command combinations. To copy a screenshot of the whole desktop you will press Command+ Shift + Control + 3. To invoke the crosshair that lets you copy a part of the screen you will use Command + Shift + Control + 4 and so on.
Trust me, once you start using this functionality, you will realize what a wonderful tool it is. And the best part is that it even adds the date and that time when the screenshot was taken in the filename. Brilliant or what?