To do a “print screen” in Windows is easy as there is one set method for doing it. Unless, of course, you are using Windows 8 (in which case you a few more options). On a Mac you’ll notice that there isn’t a Print Screen button on the keyboard. There are several reasons for this, but I guess the main reason would be that with a Mac you don’t just get the option to copy an image of the screen to the clipboard like you do with Windows – you use different key combinations depending on exactly what you want to do with your print screen.

Print Screen To The Clipboard

  • Command+Control+Shift+3: This shortcut will take a screenshot of the entire screen and copy it to the clipboard so that you can paste it into a different applications.
  • Command+Control+Shift+4, then select an area: Similar to the above shortcut, this one will copy an area of the screen that you select to the clipboard – useful for if you don’t want to include things like the dock in your print screen.
  • Command+Control+Shift+4, then space, then click a window: This shortcut will take a print screen of the window that you click and will save it to the clipboard to be pasted into another application.

Print Screen To A Desktop File

  • Command+Shift+3: Use this shortcut to do a print screen of the full screen and save it as a file on the desktop.
  • Command+Shift+4: This shortcut will bring up a selection box so you can choose the area of the screen that you want to take a screenshot of. This will then be saved as a file on the desktop.
  • Command+Shift+4, then spacebar, then click a window: This will take a print screen of the window that you click and it will save the screenshot as a file on the desktop.

Image Credit: Piero Fissore