There are many times and reasons for wanting to take a snapshot – called a screenshot – of something on your computer screen. Maybe you want to show a pulldown menu during a training. Maybe you want to show your full desktop to someone as an e-mail attachment. Maybe you want a photo to insert into your blog. The Mac offers several options for doing this.

The most basic is pressing Command-Shift-4. Your cursor will turn into crosshairs and you can select the portion of your screen you want for your screenshot. When you release the mouse, the graphic is captured.

You can refine that process by adding one additional keyboard touch. Dragging is a fine way to do things…but not always as precise as you might like. By pressing Command-Shift-4 and then hitting the space bar, your cursor will turn into a camera. Now you’ll see areas of your screen highlighted as you move your cursor. You can take photos of menus, windows, or the entire screen. And it will be precise, no worries about trying to drag to capture just what you want.

menu

And if you want even more control, go to your Utilities folder and open up Grab. Grab will give you the options for capturing a window, the entire screen, or a selection of your choosing. It also gives you the option of a timed capture….so you can manipulate things with your mouse for the screenshot.

There are a lot of other programs out there for screenshots…with more options…for a small fee. But with these free options, you can probably meet almost all of your needs.

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