How to take a screenshot on a Mac OS X without software

What you usually do if you have to take a screenshot of your desktop. You simply hit on the “Print Screen” button on your keyboard and you get a screenshot.

If you own a Mac then you might be wondering how’s that possible because there is no “Print Screen” button on your Mac keyboard, but that’s doesn’t mean at all, that you can’t take a screenshot, screen- capture, screen-grab on your Mac.

Using keyboard shortcuts you can take a screenshot or capture a part of the screen from entire screen. There are a variety of keyboard shortcuts on your Mac for performing various functions. The Screenshot you take is automatically saved as .PNG files on your desktop.

By going through these keyboard shortcuts you’ll able to take a Screenshot on your Mac.

Take a screenshot of entire screen on Mac

• Press Command + shift and then, press 3 i.e [command+shift+3]

• When you did with this, then the screenshot you have is automatically saved as a .PNG file to your desktop.

If you want to save your screenshot to the clipboard, instead of the desktop then you should go for these keyboard shortcut.

• Hold command+shift+control and then, press 3[command+shift+control+3]

• The screenshot you take is saved same as .PNG files, but this time to your clipboard.

Through these keyboard shortcuts, you’ll able to take a screenshot of the entire Mac desktop which leads you to see whatever comes on your screen.

Take a screenshot of desired part of your screen on Mac Press the keys [Command + Shift + Control + 4].

When you did that, then you see your cursor change into a cross-hair pointer. Place this cross-hair pointer on the screen where you want to start a screenshot. Click and drag the pointer where you want, a desire screenshot and if you want to change your dragging area, then you can hold the shift bar, control key and option key while dragging.

Once you select the area of your choice, then simply release the mouse and if you want to cancel then hit (esc) key before you release the mouse. Finally, you get the screenshot of your desired area and the numbers mentioned while dragging showing the pixels.

Take a screenshot of a window

• First, you have to apply initial shortcut keys [command+shift+control+4] cursor change into a crosshair pointer.

• Hit the space bar key, then your pointer changes into the camera pointer.

• Place your camera pointer over the window and then click onto mouse to take a screenshot of the window.

• If you want to cancel the screenshot, then hit on (esc) key before you click onto the mouse.

• Finally, your screenshot saves as a .png file on your desktop.

Note: when you placed your icon over the window, then the color of window turns to blue.

Take screenshots of a menu with or without the titles.

With titles:

• First, Click on the menu to open up its contents.

• Press command+shift+control and then hit on 4 and your cursor change into a cross-hair pointer.

• Now drag to select the menu (reveals its titles) and then click on the mouse to take a screen with titles.

Without titles:

• When you apply the initial short key command+shift+control+4.

• Then apply space bar, then your cross-hair pointer changes into the camera.

• Position your camera over the menu to focus on it and click on your mouse.

• In both cases, if you want to cancel mean you not ready to take a screenshot, then press Escape (Esc) key before you clicked on the mouse.

• Finally, your screenshot saved the .png file on your desktop.

Taking a screenshot with GRAB (pre-installed program)

If you find any difficulty or you will not be able to memorize above-mentioned shortcut keys all the time. Then you don’t have to panic at all because Mac, bless with a pre-installed program called GRAB.

To open this, firstly, click on applications folder, then go to utility folder which leads you to Grab folder.

Through that tool, you can take the screenshot of an individual window or a desired section of a screen from entire screen. What is most interesting about GRAB?? It has a unique feature called “Time Screen” which gives you time delay of 10 seconds before you take your screenshot. (pic2)


To launch this, click on to capture this is on top of the menu. You see the option there named as (selection, window, and screen) and at last, there is an option named as “Time-Screen”. This option gives you the freedom to grab whatever comes on a screen within 10 seconds. (pic3)


Replace the screenshot file name with your desired custom file name.

When you take a screenshot of Mac OS X then it automatically saved it on your desktop with the proper date and time with a name “Screenshot”. It’s very difficult to find a particular Screenshot, especially when you have to take a screenshot of a book and then you have to find a screenshot chapter wise.

At that time you need to assign a different file name for each screenshot. So that you can easily access those screenshot. You can’t change the date and time, but you can change “File Name”.

You can do that by applying these commands and then press return.

Defaults write capture name [File Name]

For ex: In case of book

Defaults write capture name [chapter A]

Assuming date and time “chapter A 2016-11-10 at 2:28 pm.

Change the screenshot image type (PNG to other).

You can change capture file format to others. As we all know that the screenshot images shows in PNG format. This is the best format because when we make changes to it means when we edit any image then, it never loses its originality.

Still, it is not suitable for all users. Then, at that, we have to convert it another format. By applying the following command we can convert it to the particular command.

Defaults write capture type [format]

Let us suppose, you want to convert it to JPEG format then, simply you have to type the format name. In this way, you can convert them in following formats. Jpg, pdf, jp2, bmp, etc.


Here we mentioned the different shortcut keys ways to take a screenshot on your Mac OSX. You can change the file format and name them so that you can find it with an ease when you need them.

Hope, through this article you make right moves and save your time as well to get a perfect screenshot.

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