Most Windows keyboards for laptops and desktops offer a print-screen key. You can see the key name as PrintScreen, PrtSc or something like that. Simply pressing this key will capture the content on full screen and keep it in clipboard. Later you can paste the copied image in any apps like Microsoft Word. This is a super easy way to capture the screen for quick reference. Though Mac keyboard does not have print-screen key, you have a Screenshot app in Mac for this purpose. In this article, we will explain various keyboard shortcuts to print-screen in Mac.
Screenshot App in Mac
Screenshot is a default app that comes as part of macOS. However, you can use the following keyboard shortcuts to print-screen in various modes.
Command + Shift + 3
This is the exact shortcut keys for print-screen in Mac. This will capture your full screen and save it to desktop by default. If you did not change any setup, Mac will show a floating preview of the captured screen on lower right corner. You can click on the preview to open and edit the captured screen image.
Command + Shift + 4
Use this shortcut to capture the portion of the screen. Pressing these keys will change the cursor pointer to a crosshair with coordinates. You can click and drag the portion that you want to print-screen.
Command + Shift + 4 + Space
This will change the cursor to a camera icon. You can hover over any open window and capture only that app window.
Copy Print-Screen to Clipboard
As mentioned, the screen captures will be available on your “Desktop” folder by default. However, you can also change the location to clipboard for keeping your file on temporary clipboard. The advantage here is that the captured screen will not be saved anywhere thus saving storage stage. Disadvantage is that only last capture will be available in clipboard and you will lose all previous captures as Mac does not offer clipboard history like Windows OS.
There are two methods available to keep the captured print-screen in clipboard:
- Press “Command + Shift + 5” keys to open Screenshot app.
- Click on “Options” and select “Clipboard” as “Save to” option.
- You can also change the location for saving the image or directly attach in Mail or Messages.
Alternatively, press “Control + Command + Shift” and then press 3 or 4 key to print-screen the full screen or portion and save it in clipboard.
Physically Printing Captured Screen
If you want to take a physical printout of the screen, first make sure to save the file on your Mac. Open the captured image and press “Command + P” to open print window. The image by default will open in Preview app. You can print the image now or convert it to a PDF document. To save the image as PDF, click on the “PDF” dropdown and select “Save as PDF” option. select the location on your Mac to save the file.
By default, Mac saves the print-screen image in PNG format. You can use Terminal command to permanently change the format to JPG, GIF, PDF or TIFF.