How To: Take a Screenshot

Mac Desktop Screenshot

It’s Apple 101. Something every user should know, but surprisingly few do.

Whether you’re using a Mac, an iPhone, or an iPad, it’s usually as easy as one or two clicks.

Let’s start with iOS devices, since those are the simplest. To take a screenshot on your iPhone, iPod Touch, or iPad, simply press both the Home button and the Power button simultaneously. The screen will flash white, and a .PNG image file will be saved to your Photo gallery. It’s that simple.

Mac users have more options. If you want a basic shot of your entire screen, just press the Command, Shift, and “3″ buttons. You’ll hear the shutter sound effect, and your .PNG screenshot is saved. OS X saves screenshots to your Desktop.

If you want to save only a portion of your screen, press Command, Shift, and “4.” Your cursor will turn into crosshairs; drag it lasso-style to outline the area you want to capture. Again, it will save the screenshot to your Desktop.

Macs offer one other option. Instead of creating a .PNG file that’s saved to your Desktop, you can copy it to your Clipboard instead by adding the Control button. In other words, you’ll press Command, Control, Shift, and 3 to take a full-screen shot. Same goes for the lasso method.

See, I told you it was easy.

About Robin Parrish

Unathletic, uncoordinated tall man with endless creativity stampeding through his overactive brain. Comes with beard, wife, and two miniature humans. Novelist. General blogger and main Gaming Geek for ForeverGeek. Lead Blogger, Apple Gazette.

Comments

  1. OK, fine. But the real problem is TO CHANGE the name of the file that”s created.
    screancapture+year_month_day_seconds is too long and boring. HOW CAN WE CHANGE THAT ? easily I mean (not with automator). THNAKS

    • Do you want to change the way your computer names the file? Hm. I’m sure there’s a way, but it probably requires some Terminal commands. I’ll look into it and include it in a future Tutorial!

  2. Patrick says:

    The screenshot command I find I use the most is:
    Command – shift – 4, then move the cursor to the window you want a screenshot of, then hit the spacebar, then hit the mouse (or trackpad) button.

    Most of the time I want a screenshot of just one window.

  3. I’ve been looking all over the internet to find a simple way to capture screen shots with true lasso capabilities, not just one that captures in a square or rectangular fashion. I need to capture and save a partial image that can’t be done with a rectangular capture. I know some graphic programs has a lasso option but can’t figure out whether my Mac can do it with what’s built into it or if there’s a simple (and preferably free or cheap) app that will allow me to encircle what I need to capture and save it to new image. Can anyone help on this?

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