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Screenshots can be really handy. You can use them to show your grandparent how to use a new app. You can use them to send a shot of that strange error message to your company’s IT department. You can use them to capture tweets before they disappear down the deletion black hole. So in case you need to capture a screenshot or two, here’s a quick and simple guide to taking screenshots on your Mac.

Recent versions (Mojave and Catalina) of macOS come with an app that saves your screenshots as .PNG files. Press Shift-Command (⌘)-5 to get a command bar at the bottom of the screen.

  • The first three buttons from the left let you take a screenshot of the entire screen, a specific window, or an outlined selection of the screen
  • The next two buttons let you start a video capture of all or part of your screen
  • The “Options” button lets you choose where you want to save your screenshot, set a 5- or 10-second delay, and show or hide your cursor
  • When you’re ready, click on the “Capture” button on the right end of the command bar

If you’re in a hurry and don’t want to deal with the command bar — or if you haven’t upgraded to Mojave or Catalina — you can still save screenshots to your desktop.

  • To take a screenshot of the entire screen, press Shift-Command-3
  • To take a screenshot of part of the screen, press Shift-Command-4 and then drag the cursor to outline the area you want to capture
  • If you want to capture a specific window, press Shift-Command-4. Hit the spacebar. The cursor will turn into a camera. Hover the cursor over the window you want to capture until it highlights, and then click on it.