How to do print screen in Mac OS X

Yesterday, i wanted to do a print screen in Mac OS X but there is not print screen button in Mac keyboard :p This is the first time i use Mac machine. So i ask one of my friend to teach me how to do print screen in Mac OS X.

There are few ways to do print screen in Mac OS X.

Follow the steps below and you will be able to do a print screen in Mac OS X.


  • Switch to the screen that you wan to to do screen capture
  • Hold down Apple key ⌘ + Shift + 3 and release all
  • then use your mouse to click on the screen
  • Done. You will see a picture file in at your desktop. That’s the print screen picture.

To print screen a portion of the Mac screen.

  • Switch to the screen that you wan to to do screen capture
  • Hold down Apple key ⌘ + Shift + 4 and release all key
  • Now, You will see the mouse cursor will change to +
  • You can start to drag your mouse to select the portion you wish to capture.
  • Once finish, you will see a picture file in at your desktop. That’s the print screen of what you have selected!

To do a print screen for a particular application window, follow this:-

  • Switch to the screen that you wan to to do screen capture
  • Hold down Apple key ⌘ + Shift + 4 and release all key
  • Now, You will see the mouse cursor will change to +
  • Press the space bar once
  • You will see the mouse cursor change to a camera
  • Now you can use the camera to select which application window to screen capture
  • Once finish, you will see a picture file in at your desktop. That’s the print screen!

It’s easy to do print screen in Mac OS X right?
No other additional program like Paint to paste and save the print screen 🙂

[tags]screen capture, print screen, mac os x, screen capture mac os x, screen capture in mac, print screen mac, print screen mac os, screenshot mac os, screenshot[/tags]

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293 Responses to “How to do print screen in Mac OS X”

  1. Stan Shaw says:

    WORKS ! !

  2. Zec says:

    oh wow! this is more simple than i thought…you are smart! two thumbs up for you (Y) (Y)

  3. Jon says:

    Thank you very much! This is so handy for my Mac and documentation usage.

  4. Quizzie says:

    It’s not working for me 🙁

  5. Harley says:

    Thanks for the “how to” info re: Print Screen!
    Must feel great to know you’re smarter than the Apple Development Staff who forgot to include this in the “Help Menu”. KUDO’s

  6. Lauren says:

    Thank you so so much !

  7. Reddy Mahesh says:

    Thanks a lot Pal

  8. Adrian says:

    Absolutamente maravilloso!(Absolutely marvelous
    Windows shorcut using a single key is great however most of the time you end up using a third program to get you wanted in the first place.

  9. Megan says:

    Das ist gutenberger

  10. Jasonic says:

    Hi TNX A LOT

  11. Hnsn says:

    lol i’ve been using mac for more than 5 years and this is the first time i knew about this.
    thanks so much.

  12. alex gultom says:

    nice info, since i am a newbie on using macpro 🙂 thanks a lot

  13. Karyna says:

    Finally some useful information. Many thanks

  14. oneinamillion says:

    Hello, please help me. I do all the steps, but it does not work. Why? :(( thank you…

  15. mel says:

    blessed be the ones who spread light through the web!

  16. cca. says:

    Thanks worked. Thank you

  17. echo says:

    thanks.. very helpfull to me..

  18. brad says:

    ah beautiful, my mac is now complete, i thought my PC may of had something my mac didn’t at first, this was all i missed though

  19. Mamertini says:

    Thank you!!! helped a lot !! “)

  20. 831210 says:

    likessss..thank u..

  21. Will says:


  22. jowell says:

    thanks man. ^^

  23. Juandres1 says:

    thanks it was useful

  24. Riccardo says:

    @Jade Margery: Haha you’re hilarious! You’re just playing dumb and angry, right…?

    Or maybe you shouldn’t take on projects you are clearly unqualified for so you wouldn’t have to make an arbitrary and ill-informed rant here… cos there’s really nothing as embarrassing as publicly wallowing in your own stupidity.

    You say you use and know Windows PCs but Mac is new to you…? OK so why the big surprise that there is a learning curve? Maybe you only visit this page on a “bad day”, but having an amazingly intuitive UI does not make Macs Idiot Proof or in any way secure them against people as dumb as you seem to be trying very hard to present yourself.

    Sure, the first time I had to make a screen-shot in Windows XP I couldn’t figure out the key combination either so I asked somebody. What was so weird was that it LOOKS easy – having a labelled button and all – but you have to know which modifier key to use and then *you have to know which PC programme to open*, just to view and save it. Utter madness! Maybe that makes sense you you but to me it is just another weird PC convention that has to be learned and lived with.

    In the end, it doesn’t matter how simple or complex the Mac Screen-shot key combo is – what screams out to me is that you would rather launch a foaming mouthed rant on here before you bother to launch the clearly labelled Help menu at the top of every Mac’s screen. See it there, labelled “Help”? Yes? Try it. Type in Screen Capture. You will learn something.

    But probably not how to avoid making a complete ass of yourself online. In the English sense, obviously.

  25. Tony says:

    Just found Techie Corner and this page, it has been very helpful and thanks to the poster.
    Creative Fireplaces said it doesn’t work with Lion, but I just did the screen print from an App using the 4 key and it worked fine for me after pressing the space bar and a mouse click.

    Just one more question, is there any way to do just one screen print but be able to collect all the data from an application (i.e. where I normally have to do 2 screenshots to collect all the data from the app, some not being visible unless moving it into view on the screen first)? Maybe GIMP as mentioned in another post would do the job, but was hoping something easier is available


  26. AnotherMac-er says:

    Thanks for the instructions – I *knew* it had to be something straightforward.

    For those who don’t have fancy photo-edit software, I’ll add that if you open up your screenshot in Preview, you can actually copy, paste and generally manipulate the image to achieve basic photo-editing effects.

    And yes, Macs rock! 🙂

  27. 11119662 says:

    After years of only ever using a PC I made the big jump back in 2007. Still using the PC at work though will never, ever advise people to seek solice in the PC. MAC is magic! Jobs may be gone but his visions will last our lifetimes and beyond!
    Cheers, PT.

  28. Jim says:

    Thanks you! Great tip and very helpful.

  29. roberto says:

    1 more question (just jumped from 15 years of PC to MAC).

    – indeed to CAPTURE an image is lots easier then with PC starting paint and everything, BUT now I have TWO screenshots and both of them I want to cut+paste a PART from to put together in 1 file. The cutting works in iPhoto, but how do I put in the SECOND screenshot ??

  30. Stephanie says:

    Thanks a lot!!! You make my life easier 🙂

  31. Josh says:

    thanks guys. this was so helpful. i didn’t know what to do and then i read this and knew what to do. im so happy now.

  32. Zakka says:

    Thanks a lot… I am a new Mac-user too and found this very useful 🙂

  33. Ralph says:

    Good tip, thanks. Haven’t used a mac for 12 years, just got a mac book pro, learning curve accepted. Also, keeping my PC. For all the passionate commenters. another tip- just pack your digital camera and snap away screen shots with the simple click of one button. This works across all platforms. Until then, welcome to the world of computers. Learn to adapt to change or risk getting old and cranky. It’s your decision.

  34. Finn says:

    The absence of a key or intuitively would be less of a problem if the procedure was described in the “HELP” function under Print Screen

  35. david tallens says:

    it doesn’t work on my new iMac 🙁

  36. ferrie says:

    I would like to printscreen ( in word or PDf ) a webpage but i can’t get further then printscreen a page step by step( and everytime scrolling down and do another p[rintscreen) instead of the complete page at once.

    Who can help me

  37. Matt says:

    Thanks for the tip, but I do agree with most, it’s a pain in the asse. I was always told and told by loads of Apple users that they are sooooooo intuitive……… yeah right! Then why am I always looking on help forums for simple task answers?? Never had to do it with a PC.

  38. Akash says:

    Hey There… I have tried all of the options and they are really working well…. Thanks for the great help….

  39. Kim says:

    Thanks so much!! I am discovering the joy of Mac and even more so when there are helpful posts on the web that make my stupid little questions disappear. Thanks again for the clear instructions on how to do a print screen on a Mac.. 🙂

  40. James says:

    Handy advice. Thanks!

  41. creativefireplaces says:


    We just got a new Mac for our showroom & finding it hard to work stuff like Print Screen out

    I tried what was suggested above on my new Max using Lion and it doesn’t work 🙁

    My number 4 has the dollar sign ($) and number 3 has the pound sign (£) … even after holding down the apple key it doesn’t work

    With a conventional PC there is the button on the keyboard, but can’t see how to do this on the Mac…

    Can anyone help?

  42. Jade Margery says:

    @Graham–Wouldn’t have bothered coming back here, but it so happens I need print screen again (it’s been over a month since I had to look this up, and I forgot which finger bending combination was needed to execute such a simple function on this terrible piece of crap I am forced to work on). Never implied that keyboards need a short cut for every function, but if you could remove your lips from Jobs’ arse for a moment you might have noticed that BOTH computers do have a keyboard short cut to print screen which require two (or more) keys to be held down. The difference between a PC keyboard and a mac? PCs are clearly labeled.

    And again, if I were using a proper computer that was intelligently designed, I wouldn’t even be looking for this page.

    Thank goodness this job is over in a week.

  43. Alex says:

    thanks for tell how to printe screen on mac 🙂 wish you good luck and success

  44. Ellen says:

    Great simple instruction. Thanks a lot.

  45. Graham says:

    @ Jade Margery. You fool, as Riper said if there was a command for everything the keyboard would be huge. Even with Windows it hardly tells you how to do every little thing like that. Apple has changed my life as a designer and I’m very grateful for people such as the author of this page who give their time to teach others how to use their mac efficiently. Many thanks for your help guys.

  46. Jessica says:

    Thanks so much! Very easy to follow instructions 🙂

  47. riper says:

    Jade Margery: It wasn’t very difficult, was it? Comon, if all functions had a special key on the keyboard the keyboard would get huge!

  48. Jade Margery says:

    “It’s easy to do screen capture in Mac OS X right?”

    Yeah–so easy and intuitive that I had to look it up on the internet–something I’ve never had to do with a new PC.

    What a terrible UI. Why do people use this junk?

  49. Ash says:

    Thanks so much! This was so helpful!

  50. Barbara says:

    Thanks! I never knew there was an option besides the Grab application, but this allowed me to capture live shots of my software programs.

  51. Morgan says:

    Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!!

  52. Leo says:

    Thanks a lot, saved my day!

  53. Dj says:

    @Jordi PC SUX BIG TIME! the screen capture on mac is awesome! thanks for the tip 🙂

  54. Anya R says:

    thanks a lot, saved my day! 🙂

  55. Jordi says:

    Easy to do screencapture? Wtf. It’s easy to press a PRINTSCREEN button. Mac sucks.

  56. some guy says:

    chuz bru this helped

  57. Abhijeet says:

    thanx a lot for these tips dude. u’ve been a major help

  58. Aouse says:

    Thanks alot for this easy and comfortable explanation

  59. Simon says:

    Great tip, thanks!

  60. great says:

    that was really great … very impressive … thanks computer genius …

  61. Jason says:

    Really helpful saved me $50.00 from having to purchase snag it for Mac!!!!

  62. Shin says:

    Thanks a lot. Learned something new.

  63. Sal says:

    Thank you. Very helpful.

  64. Roland says:

    Fantastic learning something new every day on my mac

  65. Misèl says:

    THANKS A LOT !!!!!!

  66. appleuser says:

    Thankyou, just what i needed

  67. Dean says:

    Seriously. Great info! If you feel like telling us where we can learn other quick tricks, I’m game.

  68. ahmed says:

    thnx bro.. this was really helpful..

  69. dean says:


    that was really helpful!

  70. me says:

    thanks….very very awesome

  71. Leonard says:

    Not the most important feature in the world. But its good to know that its there.
    Really like the extra options with the ⌘ + Shift + 4

  72. mooo says:

    i found this extremely un helpful u piece of shit

  73. TT says:


  74. Robert says:

    Thanks, mate!!! Awesome!! 🙂

  75. nya says:

    thanks sooooo much! perfect info for me 🙂

  76. Plastilina_Ve says:

    Thank you! Very, very helpful!

  77. Gerben says:

    We’ll try these options out.. sound good.

  78. Danny says:

    Thanks for this

  79. MAn says:


  80. chip says:

    thank you so much! how obscure haha why would apple make this so odd to do?

  81. FGHJKLKJHG says:

    my screen shots wont appear i did it quite a few times but it dodesnt show in the desktop what do i do??

  82. :) says:

    Was really really useful! Thanks 🙂

  83. vasitellapahki says:

    I completely agree with blah and Danae.
    Mac os makes simple tasks difficult.
    I really don’t like os to decide for me when I want to save my screen capture and where to save it.
    In Mac world that happens all too often.

    Mac is absolutely no better than Windows.
    Simple to use? No.
    Stable? Well, no. Software for Mac isn’t any better. Maybe os itself is stable but so are Windows and (especially) Linux.
    Good looking design? Yes.
    Good design? No.

    Apple is all hype.

  84. Justin Mountford says:

    New to mac, thanks heaps for posting….

  85. nishad says:

    its g8.. thx for the tips

  86. mahs says:

    Thanks. This Helped me on time

  87. Pitros says:

    Thank you very very very very much!!!!!!!!!!!

  88. Tessa says:

    Thanks! I was looking for this! You saved my day! 🙂

  89. Muhammad says:

    Thanks – this info was easy to follow and helped me out.

  90. Sneydimo says:

    Urgh, sometimes I think Apple just make this awkward on purpose.

  91. Danae says:


    Thank goodness someone else is sane.


    You spelt “Mac” wrong.

  92. Danae says:

    Urgh. Macs. I have to use one at work. Whoever says “Macs are perfect for designing” – something must be wrong with them, or they have never designed on a mac. I prefer NOT to have to do a google search every time I want to do some menial task.

    Oh, if you have one of the small keyboard things, this doesn’t seem to work. Your move, Steve Jobs.

  93. Jerzy says:

    Thanks a lot! I’m a new to Mac as well and you helped me a lot! Many thanks

  94. Richard says:

    Is there a way to capture an entire website I am viewing? I am not looking to only capture the portion that is displayed without scrolling down, but rather, the entire webpage. Similarly, with regard to say an application whose data or screen output being longer than just the height of the display?

    if there is a method to accomplish these tasks, that would be awesome!!!

  95. tpfoo says:

    Thank you very much, very helpful indeed and much better than doors….I mean windows

  96. Ran says:

    hahaha thank you so much!

  97. macshome says:

    All of this is also in the Help system! Click the Help menu and just type screenshot.

    If you want more options you can use the included Grab utility as well.

  98. Choudhary X says:

    i have got both mac laptop and computer, i thought it was easy to use but i didnt figure out how to print screen 😛 this really helped thanks.

  99. Calluna says:

    Oh my gosh. I love you. You totally saved my homework.

  100. daniel says:

    thanks, i was just thinking that mac wasn´t that good… shame on me!!!! this is so good

  101. Macozier says:

    to Blah:
    If you dont like make, please dont comment on it, stay with your stone aged windows

  102. Connor says:

    Thank you SOOO!!! Much
    You helped a lot!!

  103. Dave says:

    Very good, so much easier than windows…no opening extra things, just all done in one instant…..macs kick ass on windows!!!!!!

  104. blah says:

    No, no it’s not more helpful. Again Mac forces its users to perform extra acts for something that should really be quite simple.
    Under windows, whatever you’ve got on your screen (apart from your cursor) is captured when you press print screen. Useful. Functional. You can copy and paste whatever has then been put into the clipboard (into say word, excel, paint..).

    Simple example of where it’s bad: if you want to capture for example dropped down menu items – in windows you click on the menu and press ‘print screen’. If you make a mistake and realise it’s the wrong menu, simple – move your mouse and do it again. In mac, you press on the menu, then ‘cmd-shift-4’ and then realise it wasn’t that menu. Press escape and do it all over again. And it’s saved to a file (according to your non-techie analysis – you’ve then got to clean up an image you didn’t want).
    Also like the missing middle mouse button. In solaris, it works. Out of the box, SImple, easy. But it’s too hard in the dinky trackpad (which is actually pretty nice).
    A-la-la the delete key – what is so bad about having a backspace key out of the box? Why have separate vowel keys (a,e,i,o,u) – why not have one key marked vowel that you press (for example) cmd,shift,1 through 5 for? Because it’s easier to have 5 keys that’s why. The box is nice – mac osx is painful.

  105. Jeff says:

    Thank you! I use screen capture on PCs frequently but being a Mac newbie, this was hard to figure out. The 3 different methods are much better than the simple one-click method on PCs! I like Method #2 the best so I can just select a portion of the screen to copy rather than having to crop that out separately on PC program 🙂

  106. Taylor says:

    Thanks for posting. This has actually bothered me for awhile. For the lemmings that love macs for the sake of marketing, this is a great rebuttal for why macs aren’t always as “easy” as everybody claims they are. Haha.

  107. Alanah says:

    thanks so much for this info, really need it =)

  108. pm chen says:

    thank you for your sharing… very helpful

  109. Daniela says:

    Thank you! It really helped!

  110. The Mouse says:

    Thank You Very Much for this. I needed this info.

  111. Mari says:

    Thanks ! This certainly cleared my headache and got my day to a good start!
    And most importantly, I learned something new !
    Best wishes 🙂

  112. CH HamaRubi says:

    Thank you very much! Your post saved me a lot of trouble.

  113. alan says:

    nice one
    the cmd/shift/4 works perfectly

  114. Abdullah says:

    Thank u so much …
    u r a genius 🙂

  115. Thanks for the info! Just got the mac setup on the weekend and I’ve been scratching my head on this one. Why there’s no key on the keyboard for it is beyond me.

    Something I do for ease of messing with the screenshot is simply open Picasa (picture viewer downloadable for mac and pc for free) , do the screenshot, then it automatically slips into it’s own folder to crop, etc. I did this with the pc system too. It’s nice to actually see what you’ve shot right away.


  116. beberoo says:

    HOW TO DO A “PRINT WINDOW” IN OS X (as you could in OS 9)

    If all you want to do is print a directory list of files/folders residing in a folder, drag that folder onto your printer icon in your dock.

    It’s not pretty, but if all you want is a list of files/folders, this is the easiest way. You won’t get all the desktop stuff and have to crop it out. It will show some hidden files as well (_dsstore).

  117. boby says:

    thanks for the help

  118. Aalinal Alaguraja says:

    alt + f14
    and then paste in mspaint

  119. chua says:

    hmmm havent figure out about this yet.
    anyone know?

  120. seal555 says:

    Thanks for your help, I’m newbie to Mac OS

  121. adelle says:

    brilliant, thanx a lot dude… but do u know how to disable capture sound?!

  122. kyti says:

    thanks a lot!! 😀

  123. R2 says:

    SWEET! I’ll try this whenever I use a Mac next time!

  124. Khulthum Russell says:

    This is one of the best pieces of information I’ve come across in a looong time. I’ve just printed several “pieces” of web pages (part of a screen) using this technique. The Mac screen capture is awesome! Whatever you select to take a picture of, OSX automatically scales it to fit the paper size. Actually, for me, it was even EASIER than the instructions! After pressing command-shift-4, I highlighted the area I wanted to print, and mmediately after releasing the mouse button, the computer makes a sound like a camera shot, and the picture is displayed on my desktop, ready to print. I’m sorry people, it’s IMPOSSIBLE to get any easier than this! 🙂 I love it!

  125. Shaughn says:

    So I have been reading many of these comments and what has come apparent to me is that people aren’t thinking “mac.” Macs are different, if you dont like how its different then use WINDOWS. Actually windows has NOTHING to do with the print screen button; I NEVER knew how to do this on windows, i never had a “print screen” button on my keyboard. i find the mac keyboard shortcuts every easy once i know them and i would rather have a screen cap right away instead of having to paste it, infact the “extra keys” i shorter then having to paste it some where. I love my mac and if you miss windows GO BACK or use bootcamp and have windows on your mac

  126. Addie :) says:


  127. Anne says:

    Awesome! Thank you!!!

  128. Alimul Razi says:

    I got mu MAC 1 week ago. I am totally new on mac. I had not internet for 2-3 days and i was almost mad for screen shot. Thank you for an usefull article.

  129. luke says:

    what if the app window i want to capture and print is long and u can scroll down for several pages?.. how can i print it all as one document?

  130. nixie says:

    cool! Thanks alot for the info!really helped 😀
    would love to buy you a drink but got no cash on me.. LOL

  131. Sophie says:

    I ♥ 
    Thats what you can do with a mac!!!!!!
    So buy it today!!!!

    By the way THX FOR THE HELP!!!!

  132. joel delima says:

    cool post man i love you

  133. Elena Gilbert says:

    OMG! this saved my life. thank you!

  134. Leigha says:

    Hellooo PERFECT THANKS 😀 xxxxx

  135. rachel says:

    thanks so much. it worked great and i love it. although it would be twenty times better if it saved the image as JPEG and not PNG. i just spent an hour resaving them all as JPEG so i could open it in photoshop

  136. cobugi says:


  137. rachel says:

    Thank you so much! This allowed me to copy my pictures from the adobe flash player program to my computer! i hate it when i cant get a copy of my proofs! 🙂 THANK YOU!

  138. Chris says:

    Thanks for the help, and so easy to do. I especially like the capturing of a portion of the screen.

  139. Simplicity says:

    Honestly it’s much easier on Window.

    *Screen shot of the screen :

    Just press print screen and paste it.

    *Screen shot of the active screen :

    Just press Alt+print screen.

    => very easy and fast while editing a document in word for example or if u want to edit the screen shot, screen shot name before saving on your computer.

    Want to save your screen shot without editing, just open paint and past it, u even get to choose in which format u want it to be saved.

  140. jack says:


  141. LouLou says:

    Thank you so much!
    I was so frustrated in the beginning because I thought print screen was not possible on Mac. But now everything is much more easier. Thanks (:

  142. Alice says:

    How do you *PRINT* (not capture, not save, not store)… just *PRINT* 1 window on Max OS X?

    (Hopefully, less than 5 steps.)

  143. Den says:

    excellent! very helpful! thanks!!

  144. Not easy at all says:

    Not easy at all. On a pc, you hit ctrl + print screen then paste wherever you want.

  145. Rahman says:

    thank you very much for the info..

    it was a good help…

  146. George says:

    On Windows 7, search for the “Snipping Tool” that does much the same job, so stop the fanboy wars

  147. Cos says:

    Thanks, very good post. Really help me. It is very easy!!!!

  148. Chuck says:

    Or you can just hit the Print Screen key in Ubuntu Linux and save/name the file however you want.

    Simple, easy, done.

  149. chua says:

    hi Sheri, you can try to modify the location of default save location. read the post below:-

  150. Sheri says:

    i can “hear” the picture being taken but it is not saving to my desktop as it states it should. where should i be looking for this?

  151. mufty says:

    thanks a lot! i found this at the rite time!

  152. lorna says:

    The screen-cap function doesn’t work on my Macbook (2 GHZ Intel Core 2 Duo). It didn’t work under Leopard and it isn’t working under Snow Leopard. When I do shift/command/3 I get “Your screen shot can’t be saved. Unable to create type string.” When I do shift/command/4, I get the cross-hairs, but when I draw what I want to copy and release, I get the same bad type string error message.


  153. victoria says:

    thank you!!! been wantign to know this for a few weeks now!

  154. KL says:

    Thanks, that was simple and extremely helpful!

  155. Mark says:

    Wow, does every single Mac based thread turn into a Mac Vs. PC debate? It’s tired people. They are different machines that both excel in different areas, get over it already.

  156. chua says:

    Catherine, this is tricky.
    may be you can try to use the On Screen keyboard in Windows. Go to Start -> Program -> Accessories -> Accessibility -> On Screen keyboard

  157. Srini says:

    Awesome!!. This is big time saver for me. Thanks a lot for sharing!!

  158. Catherine says:

    i’m using mac but my operating system is windows, so how do you do print screen on that?

  159. salice311 says:

    wow, it’s great and easy! thanks a lot

  160. Hesh says:

    Thanks man… very easy and very useful… Didn’t knw I cud print screen on mac…
    Thanks heaps…. 😀

  161. Jeffrey says:

    I think PCs and Macs are just different. There is no point arguing which is better. In this case, PC users may argue that you need only 1 keystroke on Windows while on Mac OS you need 3 keys, but the functions are actually different. While Windows’ functions are easier to access, Windows fails to provide users with the ability to select the portion on the screen to capture.

    Windows does not create a file for the captured image but instead puts the image on the clipboard. If you think this is not how you want it, then Mac would suit you better, but there are also many situations where you would not want your image in a file on your desktop but instead on the clipboard. I’m trying to say that the convenience for not having to open Paint might not be the point here because you need to manually remove the files from your desktop afterward. And if you happen to need the image on the clipboard, you will need to open the file first.

    My point here is that it does not make sense to argue which is better because they offer different functions. What is best for us would be to have all of them available.

  162. Renissa says:

    Thank you very much 😀 very handy its already on desktop 😉

  163. john says:

    henry….. easier than windows? windows you just press one button not 3

  164. Julia says:

    wow, I love you forever, man! I’ve been trying to figure this out for so long! thanks!!

  165. bellababee says:

    thankyou so much! never new this was possible

  166. bellizima says:

    gtops, lakra, and chua, an answer on screen shot via Remote Desktop

    On my Macbook Pro, I RDC to my work computer (XP Machine) and I just found today that in the preferences of RDC, under Keyboard it says “Print Screen Key” is Opt+F4, but that didn’t work so I added the function key (on my Macbook) and so Fn+Opt+F4 gets you print screen on a Macbook!!

    Keep in mind Option is also called “Alt” key.

  167. Jnanesh says:

    Thaanks. You gave me exact information brother.

  168. calvinator says:

    Thanks for the GREAT help. It’s outrageous that this info is hidden… i.e., NOT MADE READILY AVAILABLE BY ANY APPLE SOURCE. It’s no wonder their address is “One Infinite Loop Road” (true).
    Thanks agian.

  169. Rosie says:

    I’ve been wondering this for ages! lol

  170. gary says:

    Anyone know an easy way to print screen on a MacBook Pro running Windows in Bootcamp… Please no comments about why am I running windows on a MAC…Just an answer to my question would be appreciated.

  171. John says:

    Print Screen

    If you don’t like the keyboard Shortcut you can change it. Under Keyboard settings But if your new to mac I suggest you give it some time to get used to the differences.

    Don’t like the default file format you can change that too. Install (Secrets) a free utility adds lots of options or copy and past this into terminal

    defaults write type jpg

  172. Thanks for the blog post buddy. This is my first mac and I don’t know half of what it can do…

  173. chua says:

    If the path is different then u can follow this tutorial to change the save path to your desktop

  174. Teri Harrison says:

    The picture captures are not showing up on my desk top. I am using a Mac. PLEASE HELP!

  175. chua says:

    hmmm , i havent have any solution for remote desktop yet.
    anyone tried?

  176. Now all I want is to be able to specify a folder rather than the desktop where images go to. I hate cluttering up the desktop

  177. Lakra says:

    hello dude
    ok we know how to capture screenshots with keys
    what if you are using rdm+ remote desktop how will you take a screenshot
    rather than grab ?
    if you have the answer please send it to me thanks

  178. Melissa says:

    i like how the short cut “key” is actually a twister game event for the fingers combination of 18 buttons. wtf macs are stupid.

  179. Iskou says:

    Why does every Mac related website I look at have to become Mac vs. Windows, simple question, 110 posts. I’m 27 been on a DOS/Windows since 1990, switched to Mac in 2007, still very rusty at Unix, any way Mac OSX takes time to get used to, if you have issues(non-technical) start a blog, tell your friends, or ask constructive questions. Don’t flame here, apple software engineers most likely do not attend this website, there is little point. As said before by somebody else you can change the shortcut. >System Preferences>Keyboard & Mouse>Keyboard Shortcuts>

  180. kosseh nanat says:

    what if i wanna prnt scrn immediatly
    why? i want to capture a second of fast playing flash animation.
    i could do that on a pc

  181. chua says:

    hi prr, u can print screen to your clipboard and paste it to your application that you are working on.
    The shortcut key for print screen to clipboard is as below:

    Command + CTRL + Shift + 4

  182. prr says:

    NOT EASY!!!

    after pressing 3 buttons and then hearing the little camera shutter sound it puts the freakin’ screen cap into a file that sits on my desktop. I then have to open an email and attatch the screen cap file into it. this is a HUGE hassle.

    Why can’t you just command v it into whatever doc/email i’m working with.

    And on a PC I’ve never ever had to open Paint in order to do any kind of screen print. On a PC you hit the print screen button and then control v it anywhere you want!

  183. dpr says:

    So…if you just want to capture a part of your screen on a PC you just use the print screen button, open Paint, paste the entire screen into Paint, then select the Select option and select the portion that you want to copy, then use the Ctrl+C keys and your done.

    Compared to the Mac way of Shift+Command+4 (your cursor turns into a crosshair) Hold down control (to copy to the clipboard rather than to a file) and select the portion of the screen you want to copy…and you done.

    I use a PC at work and a Mac at home. Trust me, once you learn the key strokes (come on, it’s only 3 keys, 4 if you copy) it’s much easier on a Mac.

  184. Zach says:

    Thanks, I purchased a mac a couple of days ago, never really used one before but it sure beats the PC. A screen capture is saved as an image, ready to send!

  185. BillyFatsack says:

    Thanks for taking the time out to explaining this in the most simplest form.

    Great Post,

  186. Michelle says:

    GREAT!!!!!! thanks!!!

  187. PixiePassion86 says:

    This is so awesome!!!!!!!! I love my MacBook ^_^ I love Apply! I have to use a PC for work and was amazed at the Print Screen button…lol. I knew Mac had to have a way to do it…I just didn’t know how. Now I do! And more! Choosing what application window to take a shot of is sweet!

  188. Pedro says:

    This is great. When I first saw that it had no print screen on my keyboard I was going to freak out, I use it all the time as a web editor, especially when I need logos that can only be seen on flash files. But after reading this help tutorial I am delighted, not only is it easy (“3 whole keys? really?” talk about lazy) but i don’t have to make any edits (cropping mostly) in Photoshop. I am liking my Mac more and more.

    Thanks for the useful tips!

  189. Sahil says:

    Thanks mate….it is really simple in MAC….

  190. Alex says:

    Excellent !!! Thanks a lot!!!

  191. @Digimancer says:

    Are u an idiot ?? 3 button is way faster than printscreen paint than paste …. AND MAC DO HV RIGHT CLICK STUPID

  192. K says:


  193. robby says:

    it really works mac is the best computer ever 🙂

  194. timelord says:

    thank you very much ; )

  195. Marcos says:

    Doesn’t work for me. What now?

  196. ritianne says:

    Thank you for this post! my friend is a new user for mac and she was telling me how to do it, and immediately searched the net and came up with this post! great! 🙂 thanks once again

  197. Krystal says:

    Um, If you have to google this every month, Gaz, then why don’t you just screen capture it and save it to your desktop. Problem solved.

  198. gtops says:

    I have a mac and when working from home I log into our server via a remote desktop connection. When I log in, I am logging into a windows based program. My issue is that I can’t screen print when I am in the RDC. Any suggestions? *I have already purchased a pc keyboard with the print screen key, but that is unresponsive as well.

  199. pepe says:

    there’s a lot of posts but i just gotta thank u… awesome dude!

  200. Yogi says:

    Fantastic! Thanks for the great help

  201. chua says:

    do you mean the Apple Command key?

  202. Dias says:

    Go to
    “System Preferences”, select “View” -> “International”, select “Input Menu”, press “Keyboard Shortcuts”, locate “Screen Shots” under which select necessary option.

    Oh, and it’s, of course, configurable )

  203. augusta says:

    Thanx this info has really helpt me! x) lol

  204. Gillian says:

    to Henry, how is pressing ONE button on windows, harder than 3 buttons and a mouse click on a mac?!
    at least it’s obvious on windows, you, along with myself and everyone else here, have had to search the web to find out how to do it on a mac…

    long live windows!!!!
    # Henry Says:
    July 24th, 2008 at 12:03 pm
    DUDE!, I have been wondering how to do print screen with my mac, this method is easier than Windows — thanx a lot for the knowledge!

  205. Shall Not Be Named says:

    What is the square button?

  206. Sarah says:

    To Gordy:

    Actually Gordy, I understand quite a bit about both PCs and Macs. You see I own a company that develops software for both PCs and Macs . I own both, I use both and I program on both. I’m not a PC or a Mac cheerleader, but when something is simpler on one than the other I’m going to point that out. The Mac has its good points and its bad points just like the PC. I work and program using both. Don’t get upset because I said something about the Mac Gordy! Now YOU stop being a MAC cheerleader.

  207. Joel Teply says:

    My cat figured it out but i couldn’t. Apparently apple designs these things for walking on keyboards. He’s discovered so many features I never knew existed and was barely capable of returning from. Thanks Apple!!!

  208. De Koning says:

    This is absolutely fabolous…
    Thanks for the info!!!

  209. Helen says:

    Thanks! this is really helpful and I am a new swicher to Mac, love this machine!

  210. cam says:

    yes, much easier because no need to open up Paint! 🙂

  211. Cocknocker says:

    Wow!! That shit is da’ bomb, yo! I loves that shizzle!

  212. Andy says:

    Thanks, but still not so easy. It doesn’t seem to always work and the keys you have to hold down puts your hand in an awkward position. Much easier on Windows. (typing this on my Mac).

  213. Tony says:

    It works great but i got my file as .png format, is anyone know how to change from PNG format to JPG for the screen capture?

  214. Bambo says:

    It was brilliant. Good Job. Print screen works like a champ…PC users have no clue what they missing out……

  215. Kayla says:

    all these methods dont work

  216. Gordy says:

    To Sarah,
    I am a professional typesetter who has worked on both Macs (since the 80’s) and presently work on a PC. Have you ever typed special characters on a PC? Try it, then try it on a Mac. This may help you understand why most publishing houses use Macs. Do you understand why Macs use 72 dpi on their monitors? Hint… Do you understand Picas? Both are computers and both suck, but thats life. Quit being a cheerleader for PC’s, they both have their problems.

  217. amie says:

    its the apple key + c,z etc.

  218. James says:

    thanks guys, this was right on time. there are peple out there selling software to do the exact same thing.

  219. Gerard says:

    Great! Thanx, man.

  220. Mike says:

    thanks! I love it how i have to google EVERYTHING for how to do…..on a MAC. and it has random ass key combinations… so ppl, how do you copy and paste on a mac? meaning like ctrl+c.z for a pc

  221. Cannur says:

    Thank it’s working 🙂 Picture 1 – Picture 2 its going like that..

  222. mike says:

    hwy, thanks for this information

  223. Spock says:

    Thanks a lot! This was just what I needed.

  224. sumanth says:

    thanx a lot…helped a lot

  225. boozd says:

    how about combining both? i happen to use a pc keyboard on my mac, so i set the key labeled PrtScrn to “save the picture of screen as a file.” so by pressing a single key now i get a screenshot saved to desktop. voila!

    in a mac, to change any keyboard shortcut to any key you please, find the simple instructions in the mac Help menu.

  226. azumi says:

    Switch to the screen that you wan to to do screen capture
    Hold down Apple key ⌘ + Shift + 3 and release all
    then use your mouse to click on the screen
    Done. You will see a picture file in at your desktop. That’s the screen capture picture.

  227. Jessica says:

    I just recently got my new MacBook Pro (used to be a PC/windows user). and I’ve wanted to learn how to print screen on my new laptop. THIS REALLY WORKS! and it’s convenient and so cool. Thanks whole bunches!!! I am happier than ever haha. 🙂

  228. Ngok says:

    Thanks! That’s what I wanted to know a long time ago.

  229. mac newb says:

    easier than windows?
    so to print window to clipboard


    at the same time!!

    then space

    then click

    I love macs, but this is pisss poor

  230. mary taitt says:

    HEY, this is great–is it possible, though, to just PRINT it without saving it.

    (I am very happy to have this info and use it a lot, but would sometimes like to bypass saving and deleting it.

  231. Sarah says:

    I know this post is old, but I just had to add a few things. First of all many of you are wrong, it is much easier on a PC. On a PC you just press the Prt Sc (Print Screen) button and then you can paste (Ctrl V) anywhere you want – into an email, into Paint, into anything. If you only want to capture the current screen on a PC, you just press the Alt button and the print screen button – Prt Sc. The great thing is that you can screen scrape anything and paste it anywhere – even into Photoshop – and alter it.

    I hate when people say something is easier on a PC or MAC without fully knowing how to do whatever they need to do on both systems. On a Mac you have to press multiple keys to do something that takes one key on a PC.

  232. huggie says:

    When I do screenshot on PC, I usually intent to paste straight into Powerpoint. This actually requires me to open the file up again to copy and paste. On the rare circumstances where I do need to save into file, I use IrfanView, which is more complicated than the Mac screenshot but duh..about four more clicks.

  233. Thomas says:

    Thank you so much. This is so much easier on the Mac than on the PC.

  234. Geneviève says:

    By the way, Mac computers are THE BEST!!!

  235. Geneviève says:

    Thank you soooo much, helps a lot!! 🙂

  236. Allison says:

    This helped! thanks

  237. beans says:

    thank you soo much
    being a new mac user this was the simplest step to follow and the quickest to locate on the search engine

  238. POP says:

    Thanks a lot…

    Thanks you also for Alex… for more hint of using the +ctrl

    This really works!!!

  239. marye says:

    HI thank for the tip but how can i do printscreen without saving the picture ? If that’s posible on a Mac ? Like for mac ; cmd + C and cmd + v = for windows ctrl + c + ctrl v ?

    I’m sorry for my bad english, but I’m from Holland and only 13 years old,
    hope someone can help me out ?


  240. CJ says:

    I’ve been using PCs FOREVER. A few weeks ago, I switched to a Mac. I’m in love, and really appreciate you taking the time to document how to do this. 🙂

  241. Rob says:

    Hi, this doesn’t work exactly as the article describes for me. I have a 2009 iMac with osx 10.5.7. By pushing the key combo the cursor changes, and after selecting a region the camera sound plays, but there’s no file saved on the desktop?? Where are my capture files being saved? Argh!!!!

  242. sam says:

    thanks so much for these tips, your instructions were uber-clear. you’re an angel sent to bless my essay! (:

  243. Khai says:

    Really helpful tips! Thanks a bunch!

  244. ari_78641 says:

    YOU made me sooo happy!

  245. Digimancer says:

    Hahaha you have no right click or print screen button? Thats sooo sad. I guess holding 3 buttons down at once and clicking is way better! haha that was sarcasm btw… I know u Mac users are a lil’ slow.

  246. Eftychia says:

    So we can prin screen in mac! And we have more options. Really helpful cause I had no idea . Thanks! :)))

  247. tiff says:

    OMG thanks for the info! haha now i know how to print screen on my macbook :]

  248. kumar says:

    Hey thanks for information…… doubt is cleared……..

  249. alex says:

    ohhhhhhhhhhhh is that how you do it. thanks.

    i was trying to look for a key named “iPrintscreen”. Silly me…

  250. Gabe says:

    Thanks man, that works great. I am new to mac too, but so far this is the best thing I have ever used.

  251. Rob says:

    Hey, Thanks for the help – it works great. 🙂

  252. chua says:

    Chrisco: If you are using Firefox, you may want to try Screengrab add-on –

  253. chrisco says:

    How to capture an entire window that takes up more than one screen, such as a web page where you have to scroll or arrow or page down? The screen capture utility should handle that use case no problem… but how? Or does it not do it? If not, which program do you recommend for that? Preferably free! Thanks 🙂

  254. chua says:

    Breanna Adams: For Windows, you can print screen using the Print Screen key on your keyboard. just press once and goto Start -> Programs -> Accessories -> Paint. once Paint started, press CTRL + V. you will see the print screen image in the Paint application. from there you can save it as file.

  255. Breanna Adams says:

    This is beyond helpful for my Mac OSX partition, however I also have windows running on my computer. I am an engineering student and our programs are mostly only PC compatible, unfortunately. How might I do it on that part of my computer?

  256. Alex says:

    Searching some of the documentation on Apple’s site will give you these options. They’ve been standard on Macs since about System 7, I think.

    Holding ctrl during any of the screen shot variations will send it to the clipboard.

    Ctrl-Cmd-Shift-3 = entire screen to clipboard
    Ctrl-Cmd-Shift-4 = selected area to clipboard

    There used to be a built in pref for changing the file format. It was PDF but now is PNG which, for a screen shot, I don’t think is huge. You can use some Terminal tricks or any number of free apps (TinkerTool, Onyx, MacHelpMate) to accomplish this via a GUI.

  257. Ellen says:

    This is helpful, but not easy. What a pain. Thanks for posting the answer because I could not find it in the MAC help which is useless.

  258. Chris Allen says:

    you CAN do a one window screenshot in windows…. its ALT and PRINTSREEN whilst on the correct window

  259. Cath says:

    After being advised print screen wasn’t possible on a Mac, was happy to learn otherwise. Have even printed this screen to pass on to my tutor. Thanx!

  260. Don Smith says:

    This is way more help than I was expecting to find. Excellent! Muchos Gracias.

  261. rc says:

    surprised no one is complaining about the file … PNG?… those file types are HUGE.

    is there a way to change out of PNG to JPEG… fucking christ!

  262. ross says:

    I’m trying to love my Mac but it’s difficult at times. Many of the things I take for granted on my PC are just not very intuitive on the Mac, case in point, I had to search the web to figure out how to take a simple screen shot. Other previously intuitive functions are a nightmare on the Mac, setting up network printing, trying to configure my wireless connection because my Mac cannot seem to hold an IP and the only fix I’ve got is to restart. Simple things made hard!

  263. Tbert says:

    So we can do it with a mac. Thanks for the pointer on using the space bar, thats a new one for me that i have added to my shortcut glossary (whiteboard on wall) However, I can still get things done a lot faster on the PC…
    prt scrn, open email, paste. no editor needed. I love my mac, but there are just some things that are so much easier to do on the pc. Also, here is the odd thing. My Mac crashes at least 1 time a week. The PC maybe once a month…

  264. Cheers, this is awesome. =]. So much better than the “windows” way ;).

  265. chua says:

    Christian: you are not selecting the area correctly. ALT + Shift + 4 will allow you to select the area you want to capture. if you wan to capture window then you may wan to try ALT + SHIFT + 4 and release then follow by Space bar and select the window to capture. You may also wan to try ALT + SHIFT + 3 to capture the whole screen.

  266. Christian says:

    Hi I tried and it is saving a file.
    But it was not capturing the screen correctly.
    The saved file shows like random lines! =(

    I’m very new to mac (just got my macbook pro 15″ the other day)
    My resolution is 1440×900. Does this matter?

    Thanks in advance!


  267. Allison says:

    Friggin’ awesome! Thanks!

  268. Mark says:

    Just got my mac and this is the niftiest thing I have seen so far.. Thanks for the tip.. 1000000x better and easier than windows!

  269. Magda says:

    Thanks a lot for the info. It couldn’t be easier 😉

  270. charlee says:

    I wanted to capture the (phenomenal) results map for the Presidential election but couldn’t drag it, save a html page or pdf! Thanks for the tip!

  271. Delta says:

    Thanks. Grab kept making my document too small but this tip worked excellent.
    Thanks again

  272. Aji says:

    Thanks a lot.
    A sunflower for you then 🙂 Once again, thank you so much.

    Need it for my task..

  273. Sami says:

    One question came to my mind. How to specify to which folder the screenshots are saved? I would love to have a keyboard shortcut to control the folder.

  274. Amanda says:

    Thanks! It helped a lot! 🙂

  275. Andy says:

    Gaz, use Help in Finder instead of Googling.

    If you want to put the screen shot in the Clipboard, rather than create a file, hold down the Control key when you press the other keys. You can then paste the picture into a document.

  276. chiaoju says:

    cool! 🙂 Thanks for the tip! I love Mac. Hehehe

  277. coogan says:

    Yeah this is great. Just used it in a game rather than needing Fraps or something like you do in windows.

    I dont mind the extra keys, still only one hand and the bonus is you dont have to open a dedicated program to paste the capture. Its already on the desktop !

  278. Vina says:

    thanks a lot! this advice really saved me.. I’m a new Mac user and the more I know stuff about Mac the more I love it! Thanks again!

  279. Annaouneimeus says:

    @Jon – you can do the same and more on a Mac – w/o special software 😀
    @Chris – it can work with dual-monitors as well… wonder why it’s not working for ya :/ hmm….

    — thank you for the post! —

  280. Chris says:

    What I need is a way to capture both monitors of my OS X setup. This method, and grab, and skitch, and all the other capture apps I’ve tried can only take a shot of one monitor at a time. Unlike print screen. Or every other windows screenshot app I’ve used.

  281. sogua says:

    Catherine-Grace: if you still not able to do the print screen, you can check your key settings at “System Preferences” => “Keyboard & Mouse” => “Keyboard Shortcuts” tab => look for “screen shot” and their related key.

    Hope this help.

  282. Catherine-Grace says:

    Arghhhh it’s not working! I keep getting a chirping sound like it’s not a real combination of keys. I checked under keyboard shortcuts and it should work, but it’s not! FRUSTRATING!!

  283. Jon says:

    If you cant to make this a PC vs. Mac thing then let it be known that you can take a screen shot of individual programs, apps, full windows, and if you are using dual monitors you can screen shot both screens or just one of the screens… All using a PC

  284. Gaz says:

    The fact I have to google this every month or so I need it says its not so easy. And I actually want it in the clipboard, so I ‘ll have to google further…

  285. JDP says:

    Hy thanks for this, you’re a life saver. Grape, I think.

  286. Ci says:

    but on a pc, you dont have as many options as you do with the mac: screen shot of entire window, a certain area or a certain app window.

    and c’mon… holding down three keys and letting go is not difficult at all. pc users should know (ctrl, alt, delete).

    besides.. after you do that.. you don’t need to paste and save.. it saves it for you automatically. duh!

  287. Anon says:

    “It’s easy to do screen capture in Mac OS X right?
    No need to open any program like Paint to paste the copy from clipboard ”

    No it’s not – compared to pressing one printscreen button and then being to paste it wherever you like. 3 key presses and a click – whats the point.

  288. Henry says:

    DUDE!, I have been wondering how to do print screen with my mac, this method is easier than Windows — thanx a lot for the knowledge!

  289. Luci Savu says:

    thanks for the help

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