How to screenshot on mac, change screenshots folder

Taking a screenshot on mac hasn't been easier

In case your workflow requires taking frequent screenshots on Mac, you will need to know three widespread keyboard shortcuts and a fourth if you own a MacBook with a touch bar.

Apple offers you a variety of methods to make, save, delete, and open a screenshot.

Entire screenshot on mac = Command+Shift+3

This keyboard shortcut captures a screenshot of your entire screen.

Partial screenshot on mac = Command+Shift+4

Furthermore, Use this keyboard combo to turn your cursor into a crosshair, which you can drag to select a part of your screen to capture. Release the mouse button or trackpad to take the shot.

You have several other options after hitting Shift-Command-4:

Press and release the space bar: The cursor turns into a little camera icon, which you can move over any open window. Click on your desired window to take a screenshot of it. A screenshot captured by this method features a white border around the window with a bit of a drop shadow.

Press and hold the space bar (after dragging to highlight an area but before releasing the mouse button or trackpad). This locks in the shape and size of the selection area but lets you reposition it on the screen.

It’s convenient if your initial selection area is off by a few pixels. Hold down the space bar to reposition it before releasing the mouse button to snap a screenshot.

Hold down the Shift key: (after dragging to highlight an area but before releasing the mouse button or trackpad). This locks in each side of the selection area made with the crosshairs save the bottom edge, letting you move your mouse up or down to position the bottom edge.

Without releasing the mouse button, release the Shift key and hit it again to reposition the right edge of your selection area. You can toggle between moving the bottom edge and straight edge by keeping the mouse button or touchpad engaged and pressing the Shift key.

Command+Shift+5

command+shift+5
Command+shift+5

This shortcut command was introduced in macOS Mojave (2018). This combination calls up a small panel at the bottom of your display with your screen capture options. Three screenshot buttons let you capture the entire screen, a window, or a selection of your screen.

Likewise, the two video-recording buttons let you record your entire screen or a selection of it. On the left is an X button to close the screenshot panel, but you can also hit the Escape key to exit out.

On the right side is an Options button. It lets you choose where to save your screenshot. Desktop, Documents, Clipboard, Mail, Messages, or Preview. Set a 5- or 10-second delay so you can line up items that might otherwise disappear when you engage your screenshot tool.

By default, the “Show Floating Thumbnail” option is enabled. It puts a little preview thumbnail of your captured screenshot in the lower-right corner of your screen. Unlike your iPhone, you can turn off this preview thumbnail on your Mac. You can choose to show your mouse pointer in a screenshot or video.

If the screenshot panel is in your way, you can grab its left edge and drag it to a new spot on your screen.

Screenshot on macs with Touch Bar = Command+Shift+6

Besides, If you’ve got a MacBook Pro with the Touch Bar, did you know you can take a screenshot of what’s currently showing on the Touch Bar? Just hit Command-Shift-6 to take a very wide and skinny screenshot of your Touch Bar.

Touch Bar Shot
Touch Bar Shot

Quick annotation

If you noticed the Floating Thumbnails, then you’ll gain quick access to Markup tools to annotate your screenshot. You can swipe the Floating Thumbnail away or let it slip away on its own, and it’ll be saved to the spot you last saved a screenshot. Click the Floating Thumbnail, and it’ll open in a Markup View preview window (but not Preview) with all the markup tools you get in Preview.

In addition to editing the screenshot, you can also right-click the Floating Thumbnail to:

  • Save the screenshot to your desktop, Documents folder, or clipboard.
  • Open it in Mail, Messages, Preview, or Photos.
  • Show in Finder
  • Delete
  • Open in the Markup preview window described above.
  • Close (and save)
Right-click the Floating Thumbnail - screenshot of mac
Right-click the Floating Thumbnail

Longtime Mac screenshots may be slow to adopt the new Command-Shift-5 shortcut. Yet, I find myself using it more to annotate screenshots without opening preview and delete screenshots. The 5- and 10-second delay options are also useful and appreciated additions.

Change screenshots folder

For macOS Mojave or later, you can press Command+Shift+5 to entreat the screen capture panel, click on Options and choose “Other Location” to choose a destination.