Keystroke for Screenshot on Mac: Which Ones Are They?

Knowing the keystroke for screenshot on Mac can help you snapshot the entire screen or a section of the screen effortlessly. Modern Macs allow you to use three keystrokes together to take screenshots.

Keystroke for Screenshot on Mac

This post looks at the screenshot keyboard shortcuts you can use to easily take MacBook screenshots. 

Which Is the Correct Keystroke for Screenshot on Mac?

The correct keystroke for screenshot on Mac is Shift + Command + 3, Shift + Command + 4, and Shift+Command+4+Menu Bar. All these techniques use Shift, Command, and number keys. However, while each of the above Mac keyboard shortcuts snaps the screen, they are used for different purposes.

Take note that all the methods work for the recent Macbook models, so let’s look at how to take screenshot on MacBook air:

– Shift + Command + 3

The keystroke shortcut Shift + Command + 3 captures the entire Macbook screen. To use this technique, you must long-press the Shift + Command + 3 keys simultaneously. 

Shift Command 3

If you have a multiple monitor setup, this technique takes screenshots of all the monitors and saves them in your Mac. Immediately after taking the screenshot, a small thumbnail preview appears at the lower right portion of your Mac’s screen. If you want to edit the screenshot, just click on the thumbnail to begin editing. You can switch this feature ON/OFF within the screenshot menu. 

Shift + Command + 4

You can use the Command + Shift + 4 command to capture a specific section of your Mac’s screen. To take the screenshot, you must simultaneously long-press the Shift, Command, and 4 keys on your keyboard. 

This action causes the mouse crosshair to be a crosshair. Click, hold, drag the crosshair, and mark the screen area you wish to capture. You can move the selection by pressing and holding the Space Bar while dragging. If you wish to cancel the entire process, tap the ESC key. 

But if you want the screenshot of the selected area, free the mouse or trackpad Key. A thumbnail appears on your screen’s corner. Click it to edit your screenshot. Alternatively, you can wait until the screenshot is saved on your screen to edit it. 

This method is unique in the following sense:

  • It captures a specific window, and the screenshots have gray borders. To have these features, press Shift + Command + 4 and tap the crosshair. The crosshair turns into a camera. Hover the cursor camera over a window you need to capture and click on it. 
  • Lock size and shape: Long-press the spacebar after creating a highlighted area (crosshair the crosshair camera). This action locks the size and shape highlighted box — it cannot change. Drag the box to any location on the screen and release the spacebar to take the screenshot. 
  • Adjust height and width: Pressing and holding the shift key after creating a highlighted area lets you adjust the height or width of your box. Use the Shift key to google between height and width. Release the trackpad or mouse to screenshot. 

– Shift + Command + 6

The Shift + Cmd + 6 method works only for Macs with a Touch Bar. Typically, the Shift + Command + 6 keystroke combination captures everything on the Touch Bar of your MacBook.

– Screenshot Application (Shift + Command + 5)

The latest mac OS has a screenshot app with a decent range of features to capture screenshots easily. This is an effective method for capturing a screenshot on MacBook Pro.

Screenshot Application

Here is the procedure:

  • Launch the screenshot app by pressing Shift + Command + 5 simultaneously. Also, this will open a control bar at the bottom alongside a dotted rectangular box for screenshots and recording videos of the screen.
  • Use the three icons on the left to take screenshots of the whole screen, highlighted section, or a specific window. To record a video, use the next two icons. 
  • Set up preferences by selecting the Options button. This will specify where you want to save files, turn on the mic and set the time. 
  • Click Capture to take a screenshot. The first icon on the left screenshots the entire screen, while the second captures a specific window. The dotted icon captures a highlighted section. 

The Options menu has a Show Floating Thumbnail option, which makes a tiny thumbnail appear in the lower-right corner of your screen when you take a screenshot. The thumbnail disappears after a few seconds to allow the screenshot to be saved. 

However, when you click on the thumbnail before it disappears, it opens the screenshot in a new window, allowing you to crop, draw an image, type a statement, or share it through an Apple ID account. 

Do MacBooks Have a Snipping Tool?

No, MacBooks do not have an official snipping tool. However, you can get similar results by using the inbuilt Screenshot app. This is a handy tool that can capture both videos and pictures on your screen. You can capture the entire screen, a part of the screen, or a window. 

To launch this snipping tool for Mac, press and hold Shift + Command + 5. This will open the application with a control bar at the bottom. 

– Cropping a Screenshot on Mac

You can crop the screenshots on Mac by simply dragging the thumbnail at the corner after taking the screenshot.

Cropping a Screenshot on Mac

This is how to crop a screenshot on mac:

  1. Use Shift, Command, and 3, Shift, Command, and 4, or Shift, Command, 4, and spacebar keystroke to print screen
  2. A thumbnail appears in the corner of your screenshot.
  3. Click on the thumbnail and drag to resize or make other changes to the screenshot. 

– Pasting a Screenshot on Macbook

You first need to copy the mac screenshot to clipboard by pressing and holding the Control key as you screen capture the events. Now, go to where you wish to paste the screenshot, position the pointer here, and then paste it. 

Alternatively, you can use the Universal Clipboard to paste the screenshot on another Apple device. To use this method, ensure both devices are signed with the same Apple ID.

Where Does Your Mac Store Screenshots?

Your Mac will store all the screenshots on your Desktop regardless of the method of taking the screenshot. The Mac screenshots are saved as PNG files, each specifying date and time. So, each screenshot will appear as ScreenshottDateTime, e.g., “Screen Shot 2022-01 at 09.58.10.” 

The question “Where do screenshots go on Mac?” may arise when you do not find screenshots on your Desktop. In this case, press Shift+Command+5 and go to the screenshots toolbar. Click Options and go to the Save To section. Locate the checkmark beside the point where screenshots are saved, for instance, Desktop, Preview, or Document. If another option part from the Desktop is checked, check out that location. 


We have described methods of screenshotting Mac and how to paste screenshot on Mac. If you run into an issue, consider these main points:

  • You can use the Shift + Command + 3, Shift + Command + 4, and Shift + Command + 6 keystrokes to screenshot on Mac.
  • The latest models of Mac have a screenshot application, which you can launch using Shift + Command + 5.
  • The app can capture videos and pictures and manipulate other settings.
  • You can install third-party screenshot apps on your Mac. 

The above methods will let you snapshot a Mac screen flawlessly, so start using them today!

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