How to print screen on a Macbook [Starters Guide]

Need help taking a screenshot on your Macbook? If so, then this post is for you. Keep reading for more information.

Visuals play a vital role in creating a more comprehensive and efficient tutorial. This is why many people would prefer referring from tutorials with screenshots than those delivered in pure texts. Most devices do have specific commands to take screenshots or print screen when needed. This post explicates various methods to print screen on your Mac computer. 

Different ways to print screen or take screenshots on a Macbook

Screenshots on a Mac can be captured entirely, per window, or by portion. Keep reading to find out how to take a screenshot on your Mac. You can refer to the step-by-step guide if ever you need help capturing a screenshot on your Macbook Air or Macbook Pro running earlier and later macOS versions.

Print screen on Mac using the Screenshot app

Mac computers running on macOS Mojave or later version already have the Screenshot app to capture all types of screenshots or create video recordings of your screen. 

  • To launch the Screenshot app, just press Shift+Command+5 keys on the keyboard. Alternatively, you can use Spotlight to do a quick search and load up the Screenshot app on your Mac.

Meanwhile, old keyboard shortcuts like the Shift+Command+3 and Shift+Command+4 are still working on all macOS versions.

 

Capturing the entire screen

To capture the entire screen on your Mac, you will need to use two shortcut commands and these are the Shift+Command+5 and Shift+Command+3, depending on the software version your Mac is running on. Read on for more information.

how to screenshot capture entire screen on macbook

To capture the entire screen on a Mac or Macbook running macOS Mojave or later version, simply follow these steps:

  1. Press Shift+Command+5 on the keyboard to launch the quick menu or on-screen capture controls.

  2. From the controls, click the Capture Entire Screen icon. Just hover the mouse cursor to view the icon name. 

  3. When the pointer changes to a Camera icon, click anywhere on any screen to capture the display. Or simply click Capture on the on-screen menu bar.

After capturing the screen, you will see a thumbnail of the screenshot (briefly) in the corner of the display. You can use this thumbnail to edit the screenshot, move it to a different position or take other actions as you desire. The screenshot will also appear on your desktop.

To capture the entire screen on all macOS devices, simply use the Shift+Command+3 shortcut. Then find the screenshot on your desktop to make necessary modifications.

 

Capturing a Window

To capture a Window you will need to use the press Shift+Command+5 or Shift+Command+4 key combinations, depending on the macOS version your computer is running on.

printscreen capture a window on macbook - starters guide

Read on to view the steps.

To capture a window in a Mac running on macOS Mojave or later:

  1. Press Shift+Command+5 to launch the on-screen capture controls.

  2. Click the Capture Selected Window icon.

  3. When the pointer changes to a Camera icon, click a window that you want to capture on your Mac. 

Note: You can also exclude any shadows from the captured window by pressing and holding the Option key while you click on the window to capture.

After taking the screenshot of the window, you will see a thumbnail of it in the corner of the screen. You can use this thumbnail to edit, move or take other actions on the screenshot. 

To capture a window on all macOS versions, follow these steps instead:

  1. Press Shift+Command+4 on the keyboard.

  2. Next, press the Spacebar.

  3. When the pointer changes to a Camera icon, click a window that you want to capture.

The screenshot of the selected window will then show up on your desktop in the form of a thumbnail. Use that thumbnail to make necessary changes to your screenshot.

 

Capturing a portion of the screen

To capture a selected portion of the screen on your Mac, you can use either the Shift+Command+5 or Shift+Command+4 shortcuts, depending on the macOS version your computer is running on.

how to copy a portion of the screen on mac - starters guide

The following steps are used to capture a selected portion of the screen in macOS Mojave or later versions:

  1. Press Shift+Command+5 on your keyboard to launch the on-screen capture controls.

  2. Click on the Capture Selected Portion icon.

  3. Drag to select an area of the screen that you want to capture. You can also drag from within the selection to move the entire selection.

  4. Click Capture when ready.

After capturing the selected portion of the screen, a thumbnail of the screenshot will appear in the corner of the display. You can use this thumbnail to make necessary changes to the screenshot.

To capture a selected portion of the screen on all macOS versions, use these steps instead:

  1. Press Shift+Command+4 on the keyboard to launch the on-screen capture controls.

  2. Drag to the preferred area of the screen. 

  3. While dragging, press and hold the Space bar on the keyboard to move the entire selection.

  4. Release the mouse or trackpad button to take the screenshot.

Afterwards, find the screenshot on your desktop to make necessary changes then save.

 

Capturing a menu

Capturing menu and sub-menus are a great tool for screen navigation. You can use the same command combinations as previous to capture a menu on your Mac. 

how to capture a menu on mac - starters guide

To capture a menu on a Mac running on macOS Mojave or later versions, follow these steps:

  1. Click the menu to view its contents or sub-menu options.

  2. Press Shift+Command+5 on your computer to capture the menu.

  3. To capture the menu like a window, use the same steps to capture a window. 

  4. To capture a portion of the display that includes the menu, follow the same steps to capture a selected portion of the screen.

To capture a menu in all macOS versions, refer to these steps instead:

  1. Click the menu to view its options or sub-menu.

  2. Press Shift+Command+4 on the keyboard.

  3. Then drag to select the area of the menu that you want to capture.

  4. After making the selection, release your mouse or trackpad button to take a screenshot of that area. Alternatively, you can press Space bar on the keyboard to change the pointer to a Camera icon and then click the menu that you want to capture.

When the screenshot is taken, find its thumbnail on your desktop to make necessary changes.

 

Hint: The screenshot thumbnail can also be adjusted in order not to show up on the display. To do so, just click Options in the onscreen controls and then change the option to Show Floating Thumbnail.