How to take screenshots on a Mac and iPhone 7 ways to take screenshots on a mac and iphone

Being a Mac guy and working in the online web design, development and marketing business, I frequently need to take screenshots for blog posts, to share issues with clients and developers or use in proposals.

Here are the 7 ways I take screenshots on my 27" Mac and iPhone. There are other techniques out there, but these work for me.

The first option to take a screenshot on a Mac is using the Shift + Command + 4 combination on your keyword.

Press Shift + Command + 4 combination on your keyboard.
A small cross hair icon will appear. Click and drag to make your capture selection. Release your mouse to finish your selection.
The captured image will appear as a .png image on your desktop.

Use Shift + CTRL + Command + 3

The second way to capture a screenshot is to select Shift and CTRL and Command and 3 from your keyboard.

This method will capture your entire screen and then you can paste the screenshot into an image editing device such as Photoshop or Snagit or Adobe Spark.

Use the Mac Grab utility to take screenshots

The third way to take screenshots on a Mac is to use the built in Grab utility that comes free of charge when you buy a Mac. But this utility is not located in an obvious place.

Select the LaunchPad icon from your dock.
Type "Grab" into the search box at the top of your screen and click the Grab icon.
Grab will then appear as an icon on your dock.
Select the Grab icon, and look in the top left corner for the Grab menu items. Selecting capture will reveal three screen capture options.

These 4 screen capture options with Grab are fairly self explanatory.

  1. Selection will take a screenshot of a selected area of your Mac window.
  2. Window option will capture your current window.
  3. Screen option will capture the whole visible screen.
  4. And the timed screen option will capture the screen 10 seconds after you start the timer.
From the menu bar, select Capture and one option; in this example, I chose Selection to capture one area of my screen.
Then a dialogue box will appear telling you to drag over the portion of the screen you want to capture. So drag your mouse over your intended capture area.
A red line will appear around the selection. When you are happy with your selection, release your finger from your mouse.
Your screen capture will appear in a new window, now you need to save your selection. Choose File and Save from the Grab menu bar and give the file a name followed by .png and save in a folder or location of your choice.

Take screenshots with Snagit

My personal favourite tool for capturing screenshots is a product called Snagit from a company called TechSmith.

This is a paid for product that costs between $49 and $59 depending on state taxes; the UK price for Snagit is around £38 plus vat; £46.

Once you order, you get a link to download the software and a serial number.

When you have installed Snagit, there’s a menu bar that will appear on the right corner of your Mac screen.

When you are viewing an active browser window, hover over the menu, press the big red button and you get cross hairs.
You have 3 options to capture a screenshot with Snagit; full window, a selection and the full scrolled page.

You have 3 capture options with Snagit

  1. Click to capture the visible active window.
  2. Press the scroll icon in the bottom of the screen to capture the full width and length of the active window.
  3. Use the cross hairs to make a screen capture selection.

To capture a region of the screen

  • Move the cross hairs with your mouse to the top left of the area you wish to capture.
  • Click your mouse to start the selection.
  • Drag and draw the selection you want to capture.
  • Then release your finger from the mouse to end the selection.

To capture the full width and depth of a web page, select the scrolling button at the foot of the window.

Select the scroll icon to capture the full width and depth of your page.

To capture the visible window, just click your mouse.

In each instance, your screenshot will appear in the Snagit icon on your dockbar; or where ever you have chosen your dock bar to appear.

The Snagit Editor screen.

Now inside Snagit you have lots of options where you can edit or manipulate the screenshot.

  • Resize.
  • Save.
  • Email.
  • Add effects such as lines, borders, arrows, text.
  • And you can publish your screenshot to the web with a free account.

Alternatively, you can use keyword shortcuts to take screenshots with Snagit.

Use keyword shortcuts to take screenshots with Snagit.
  • You can choose or create your own keyword shortcuts.
  • For example, my shortcut is Shift + CTRL + C to activate Snagit.
  • Once activated, I have the same 3 options;
  • Click to capture the visible active window.
  • Press the scroll icon to capture the full width and length of the active window.
  • Use the cross hairs to make a screen capture selection.

Jing is another screen capture software from Techsmith

Jing is another piece of screen capture software tool from Techsmith.

Jing is free of charge but you do need to register or login to a account to use Jing.

Select the Mac download option and install it.
In the bottom left corner of a Chrome browser, you will find the download link. See the screenshot above for Safari and Firefox download link locations.

Click File Open to open up Jing and agree to the terms and policies.

You may receive a security alert. Select Open.
Select System Preferences from the Apple icon menu in the top left corner of your Mac.
Inside the System Preferences menu, select the Security & Privacy option.
Select Firewall and then click the lock to make changes.
The username and password box will appear; enter your password.
Select the Anywhere option and press "Allow From Anywhere".
A dialogue box will appear; drag the yellow Jing icon into the Applications folder. Then a large Jing logo will appear and Jing will be added to the top right corner of your screen.
If you don't see Jing, select Launchpad from your dock bar.
Then type Jing into the search box and select the Jing logo.
You will get an introduction screen with a video tutorial or click get started now in the bottom right of the screen.
You should also reset your privacy options in System Preferences - Security & Privacy; just select Max App store and identified developers option.
You will be asked to log in or register a Screencast account to save and upload any screen captures you make. offer a place to save and upload images and screen grabs you make. It's a very good version; lots of free storage space.

Jing is located in the top right corner of your Mac; it's a light yellow icon. Hover over it and select the cross hairs option that protrudes.
With a window open, move your mouse into the window and yellow bars and a cross hair bar will appear; very similar to Snagit.
Simply click and drag your mouse around an area you wish to capture.
Release your mouse and a small menu will appear under the captured area.
Click the first icon to capture the image.
Then type a filename into the name box.
You have other options; you can add arrows, text, squares and draw on the capture if you wish. Additionally you can upload the image to or edit the image if you own Snagit.
If you press the save button, a dialogue box appears; name the file and save in a folder of your choice and press save.
The capture saved dialogue will appear on your screen

Full page Screen capture (Google Chrome Store)

The 5th way to capture a screenshot on a Mac is to use Full Page Screen Capture; a Chrome browser extension tool.

You need to use the Google Chrome web browser.

Visit the Chrome Store and search Full page screen capture.
Click Add To Chrome.
The Full Page Screen Capture appears in your browser bar.

Here's a short video showing a page capture. A little Pac-man will appear in a drop down menu showing the status of the screen capture and your capture will open in a new browser tab.

The capture opens in a new browser tab. Visit the new tab then press the down arrow icon to save and download the image to your download file location.

Take screenshots on an iPhone

Taking a screenshot on an iPhone is simple. Press the Home button (the circle at the bottom of your iPhone) and press the button on the top right hand side.
The captured image will appear in your camera roll.

Use Skitch to take screenshots on an iPhone

A second way to capture iPhone screenshot is to download and install a free app from the Apple App Store.

Search for Skitch on the App Store and install the app.
Go to a web page Press the icon with square box and up arrow (the share button)
On the bottom row of arrow, scroll right to the end and look for More …
Now press More ...
This dialogue box appears; move the Skitch option so the green part shows then press done.
You will be returned to the menu and see Skitch. Press Skitch to capture the screen.
You'll see this blank screen, then the image will appear. Please snap and the image is added to Skitch.

This tutorial was created by Fraser McCulloch of Platonik; we're a digital marketing agencies from Scotland and an Adobe Business Catalyst partner. Our speciality is a keyword research driven approach to building online businesses and websites.


7 ways to take screenshots on a Mac or an iPhone. All images courtesy of Fraser McCulloch of Platonik.

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