How to take and use a screenshot on a Mac

So you’re looking to throw together a quick how-to on some subject for both you and your website-constructing friends to reference. No matter what you’re topic — whether it be effective filter usage in Photoshop or setting up FTP in Dreamweaver — chances are you’re going to want to utilize some screenshots to illustrate a process step by step. If you’re struggling with copy and paste or getting Apple’s Grabber application to function, you should know there’s an easier way.

Just like PCs, Macs have a keyboard shortcut to help you get the job done. The process is as easy as getting your screen ready and pressing three keys.

First, open the window (or windows) that you want to capture as your illustration. This might also involve opening dropdown menus or positioning your cursor over certain items to clearly indicate the action you’re trying to communicate to readers.

Next, press the buttons! The Mac shortcut for a full screenshot is Shift + Command + 3. Hold all three buttons down at the same time, and your computer will take a picture of the current appearance of your screen. [NOTE: If you’re only interested in capturing what’s going on in one window (without recording potentially confusing surrounding material), use the shortcut Shift + Command + 4. Press the spacebar after releasing these keys, and your cursor will turn into a camera. Click on the window you want, and the computer will take a shot of it.]

An example of a Shift + Command + 3 screenshot appears below:
Full screenshot

And here’s an example of a screenshot of a single window:
Screenshot of a single window

Once your shots are taken, they’ll show up as files on your desktop. Save them somewhere safe, load them to your Web space, and they’ll be ready to link to.


~ by cathybutchy on September 27, 2011.

One Response to “How to take and use a screenshot on a Mac”

  1. This post focuses to much on the very basic procedure of literally taking a screen shot. While that is the topic at hand, it’s very easy to do a Google search to find the right keys to hit and then simply press them. The tough part is navigating through saving your screen shot somewhere you’ll be able to find it quickly and then getting it on your website or in your blog post, both of which might require (or at least benefit from) your first reformatting the size of the picture in Photoshop. The post is also very text-heavy toward the top and then ends in two pictures. Ultimately, its focus and execution could both have done with some revision.

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