Three Easy Ways to Make a Screenshot on Mac

There are a few different ways to record a screenshot on your Mac. They all caputure either part or all of your screen, for times when you want to share a Google Map to your house, part of a great website, or to show tech support the troubles you’re having with your  Mac. The following are the best ways to record a Mac screenshot.

It’s not very widely known, but it is possible to record a screenshot on your Mac with no additonal software needed. If you do “Command + Shift + 3“, it will take a screenshot of your entire screen and save it to your desktop. “Command + Shift + 4” gives you crosshairs to use to select a certain area for a screenshot; following it with a space and a selection of a window allows you to take a screenshot of a window. If you do a Command Control in any of these combinations, it saves the selection to the clipboard, otherwise it saves it to the desktop as a .PNG.


The Mac OS also ships with an application that does screencaps. Grab is stored in the Utilities folder of your Applications. You can either access it there, or from the File menu while in the Preview application. While in Grab, in the Capture menu, you can select to either save the entire screen, a window, or a screen. The benefit here is that you can also choose to have it save a timed screen.  Once you start the timer, it waits ten seconds before snapping the screencap of the entire screen.

If you need more than just a basic screenshot, you can’t do better than Jing. It can be downloaded for free right from the website, with an option of going with a paid Pro version. It has the additional option of recording screencasts with voice as well as screencaps.


The first time you open Jing, it gives you a quick tutorial showing you just how easy it is to use. It then puts a small sun in the right-hand corner of your screen. Once you hover over the sun, it gives you three options, one of which is crosshairs. Clicking on the crosshairs allows you to drag your selection. After your selection you have options of adding annotations to the screen. On the shot above, I added the annotation in the red box as well as the arrow, and also added the yellow highlighting.

The biggest advantage is in the way you share your image. While you can save it as a .PNG file as I did for the purposes of this article, you can also have it place a web address on your clipboard. You can then go to your Facebook, Twitter, or email and paste in the link to share it with your friends or coworkers. That way you’re not adding unnecessary files to your hard drive. It would be easy to also send it to your cell phone via email to then have it for your usage there or to text it to a friend.


The advantages of the pro version lie mostly with the video options, such as the ability to post the video directly to YouTube or Facebook, incorporate a webcam, and quicker uploads. The one advantage Pro provides for taking screenshots is it eliminates the ads. Embedded in the links that you share with your friends and coworkers are ads for Jing, and you can eliminate those with the Pro version.

There are other applications out there available from both the web as well as the App Store. However, they either don’t have free versions, or only save files to your hard drive, which is no different than the Mac OS option or Grab. If you’re looking for a quick screenshot and don’t use the option often, one of those two will definitely do. But if you want more options and want to be able to be able to share via a web address to Facebook or Twitter, you can’t do better than Jing.

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