How to Screenshot on Mac in macOS 14 Sonoma

Screenshots have become an integral part of our digital communication and documentation. Whether you’re capturing a funny moment from a video, saving a conversation for future reference, or illustrating a point in a presentation, knowing how to take screenshots efficiently is essential.

Mac computers offer several methods to capture screenshots, each serving different purposes and preferences. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore various techniques and shortcuts to help you master the art of taking screenshots on your Mac.

Understanding the Basics

Before diving into the different methods, it’s important to understand the basic terminology associated with screenshots on Mac:

Screenshot: A screenshot is a digital image of the contents displayed on your computer screen. It captures everything visible on the screen at the moment it’s taken.

Screen Capture: The process of capturing a screenshot is often referred to as screen capture.

Screenshot Formats: Screenshots on Mac are typically saved in PNG (Portable Network Graphics) format by default, but you can change the format if needed.

Now, let’s explore the various methods to take screenshots on a Mac:

1. Using Keyboard Shortcuts

Mac offers built-in keyboard shortcuts for capturing different types of screenshots. These shortcuts provide a quick and convenient way to capture specific portions of your screen.

1. Press Command (⌘) + Shift + 3 simultaneously. This captures the entire screen and saves it as a PNG file on your desktop by default. b

2. Press Command (⌘) + Shift + 4. Your cursor will change to a crosshair. Click and drag to select the portion of the screen you want to capture. Release the mouse button to capture. The screenshot will be saved as a PNG file on your desktop.

3. Press Command (⌘) + Shift + 4 + Spacebar. Your cursor will change to a camera icon. Move the camera icon over the window you want to capture, then click on it. The screenshot of the selected window will be saved as a PNG file on your desktop.

2. Using the Screenshot App

Mac also has a built-in Screenshot app that provides additional functionalities for capturing screenshots.

1. Launch the Screenshot app by pressing Command (⌘) + Shift + 5.

2. The Screenshot app offers options to capture the entire screen, a selected portion, a specific window, or record the screen.

3. You can also set a timer to capture screenshots after a delay.

4. After capturing, the screenshot preview will appear in the bottom-right corner of your screen. You can click on it to edit or annotate the screenshot before saving it.

3. Using Preview

Preview, the default image and PDF viewer on Mac, can also be used to capture screenshots.

1. Open Preview

2. Go to the “File” menu and select “Take Screenshot.” You’ll have options to capture the entire screen, a selected portion, or a specific window.

3. After capturing, you can annotate or edit the screenshot using Preview’s editing tools before saving it.

4. Using Third-Party Apps

While Mac offers robust built-in tools for capturing screenshots, you can also explore third-party apps for additional features and functionalities.

Snagit: Snagit is a popular third-party screenshot tool that offers advanced editing and annotation features, along with options for capturing scrolling screenshots and video recordings.

LightShot: LightShot is a lightweight screenshot tool that allows quick capturing of selected portions of the screen, with options to annotate and share the screenshots easily.

Skitch: Skitch, developed by Evernote, is another handy screenshot tool that offers annotation and markup features, making it ideal for collaboration and documentation.

Tips for Efficient Screenshot Capture on Mac

Know Your Shortcut: Familiarize yourself with the keyboard shortcuts for taking screenshots on Mac to streamline the process.

Use Annotations: Take advantage of built-in or third-party annotation tools to add notes, highlights, and shapes to your screenshots for clarity and context.

Organize Your Screenshots: Develop a system for organizing your screenshots to avoid clutter on your desktop. Create dedicated folders and use descriptive filenames for easy retrieval.

Experiment with Third-Party Apps: Explore third-party screenshot apps to find additional features that align with your workflow and requirements.

Practice Editing: Practice using editing tools to enhance your screenshots. Learn how to crop, resize, and adjust images to suit your needs.


Taking screenshots on a Mac is a simple yet powerful feature that can greatly enhance your productivity and communication. Whether you prefer keyboard shortcuts, built-in apps, or third-party tools, mastering the art of screenshot capture will allow you to effectively capture, annotate, and share visual information with ease.

Experiment with different methods, explore editing options, and develop efficient workflows to make the most out of this essential tool in your digital arsenal.

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