How to Screen Capture on Mac

How to Screen Capture on Mac

Macs have a built-in screenshot tool, but — let’s face it — it’s pretty basic.

It’s hard to precisely select the area you want to capture, and once you take your screenshot, your options for adding annotations and notes are limited.

Thankfully, there’s a better way! We’ll walk you through the steps needed to screen capture on macOS, add any annotations and effects, and easily share your screenshots.

Plus, we’ll show you the fastest and most efficient way to store and organize your screen captures.

Simple Mac Screen Capture with Snagit

Download a free trial of Snagit today to easily create and share screen captures.

Download Your Free Trial

How to take a screenshot on a Mac

Our screen capture software for Mac is TechSmith Snagit. You can download a free trial here to start taking great screenshots!

Step 1: Select what type of image you want to capture

First, open Snagit and click the red Capture button. You can also do this from the Snagit icon in your toolbar.

Snagit icon in Mac toolbar

From there, to capture your screen, click either All-In-One or Image. All-In-One will give you the option to choose image, video, or panoramic capture after you select your capture area. This is great if you’re unsure of exactly what type of capture you need.

Snagit capture options

The Image setting will display your options for a still screenshot, including panoramic, window, full screen, and more. For a video breakdown of Snagit capture options, check out the video below.

For even faster access to Snagit, you can also set up keyboard shortcuts or hotkeys to expedite the capture process.

For this tutorial, let’s use the All-in-One capture setting.

Step 2: Use the crosshairs

Snagit’s crosshairs feature makes it easy to select only the area you want to capture, right down to the pixel. Hover over windows or regions to auto-select the area, or click and drag across a region to make a custom selection.

Use the crosshairs to select a capture area

Step 3: Preview your selected region

Release the crosshairs to preview your selection. If needed, use the handles at the edges to make adjustments.

Then, when you’re ready, click the camera icon in the toolbar to capture your screen.

When you're ready to capture your screen, click the camera icon in the Snagit toolbar

How to record your screen on a Mac

Interested in recording your screen instead of capturing a still image? Snagit can function as screen recording software, too! Snagit lets you record system audio, microphone, and video at the same time.

Instead of selecting All-In-One or Image in the capture options, select Video. Then, follow the same steps as you would for taking a screenshot.

TechSmith also makes Camtasia, a more advanced screen recording tool and video editor. With Camtasia, you get the ability to record and produce more professional-looking screen recordings.

This is great for quick video tutorials, live streaming, and recording webinars.

You can compare TechSmith screen recorders for mac here.

How to add annotations and effects to screen captures on a Mac

After you take your screenshot, your capture will automatically open in the Snagit editor. From there, you have the option to add various annotations and effects, such as text callouts, symbols, blur, and more.

Snagit offers many effects and editing tools

Snagit also makes it easy to crop and change the size of your screenshot.

You can find more in-depth tutorials on editing and adding effects to Snagit screen captures here.

How to share screen captures on a Mac

Snagit makes it easy to share screen captures to any platform, or even copy and paste into an email or chat tool.

To save or share a screenshot to your computer, a network drive, or a hosting platform, simply click the Share button in the top right corner. Then, select from one of the pre-loaded options or add your own.

Snagit sharing destinations

To copy and paste your screen capture, right click over your finished image and select copy. From there, you can paste your screenshot wherever you want!

You can even drag and drop your screenshot into many other applications, including Google Docs, Microsoft Word, Microsoft PowerPoint, email applications, and more.

How to store and organize your screen captures

With Snagit, there’s no need to clutter your desktop with screen captures or create a bunch of folders. Instead, your captures and recordings are automatically saved to the Snagit library!

Snagit library

Screenshots can be organized by capture type, date, applications, windows, and more. You can also create custom tags to organize your screen captures.

Just like that, you’re a Mac screen capture pro! Others will be so impressed by how clear and easy-to-follow your screenshots are. Now, you have the power to clearly communicate information anytime, anywhere!

For a great video walkthrough of the instructions in this post, check out this video:

Ready to get started with screen capture? Download a free trial of Snagit!

Simple Mac Screen Capture with Snagit

Download a free trial of Snagit today to easily create and share screen captures.

Download Your Free Trial

Frequently asked questions:

Can you record audio and video at the same time on Mac?

Yes, you can! Snagit and Camtasia both allow you to record your screen and your audio at the same time.

How can I capture my entire screen on Mac?

Using Snagit, adjust the settings to select Full Screen, or simply drag the crosshairs to select the area you’d like to capture.

How can I capture a scrolling screen on Mac?

Using Snagit, select Panoramic capture to scroll and capture the desired area.

Can I crop a screenshot on Mac?

Absolutely! Simply take your screenshot with Snagit, which will open the editor, and click and drag the borders of your image to crop it.

Subscribe to TechSmith’s Newsletter

Join over 200,000 people who get actionable tips and expert advice every month in the TechSmith Newsletter.

Subscribe