Who often needs to switch between operating systems like macOS and Windows will very soon get used to some specific keyboard shortcuts. When using Windows, the "Windows"-key paired with "S" and entering "snip" is my way to start the Snipping Tool. When using my Mac, different shortcuts are also part of my daily usage.

What do I want, what do I need?

On Windows, you can combine the "Prt"-Key together with "ALT" to gain nice screenshots without additional tools at all. While the "Prt"-key is missing on Mac, there are plenty of useful keyboard shortcuts to create screenshots targeting different needs. In fact, you can even do a screenshot of the Touch Bar's contents on newer MacBook Pro-models!

Keyboard Shortcuts

Here you will find an overview on the single keyboard shortcuts and combinations you may use in macOS:

Keyboard Shortcuts Action
Cmd + Shift + 3 Saves the whole screen as a file
Cmd + Ctrl + Shift + 3 Saves the whole screen into the clipboard
Cmd + Shift + 4 Saves a specific area as a file
Cmd + Ctrl + Shift + 4 Copies a specific area straight into the clipboard
Cmd + Shift + 4, Space afterwards Saves a chosen element / window as a file
Cmd + Ctrl + Shift + 4, Space afterwards Saves a chosen element / window into the clipboard
Cmd + Shift + 6 Saves a screenshot of the TouchBar as a file
Cmd + Ctrl + Shift + 6 Saves a screenshot of the TouchBar to the clipboard

Apart from those there are still some funny tricks how to optimize your own way of creating screenshots - just trying to suit your needs!

Different File Type

By default, macOS saves all screenshots as .PNG-files. If you prefer classic .JPG-files instead, one single command entered in the Terminal makes you reach this goal:

defaults write com.apple.ScreenCapture type JPG; killAll SystemUIServer

Screenshot's Location

The desktop is often the temporary store for stuff of all kind - not the ideal way of saving files but always in the focus. By default, macOS saves new screenshots straight onto the desktop. Yet another simple command manages to drop those files in a folder of your choice instead:

defaults write com.apple.Screencapture location /Users/username/Screenshots; killAll SystemUIServer

In the example above we use the folder "Screenshots" (located in the User's home directory) as place to drop our screenshots into.

Disable Shadows

Last but not least we are also able to disable the shadows underlining the different screenshot-files. Additionally, the same effect can be reached for app- and folder-windows.

defaults write com.apple.Screencapture disable-shadow -bool TRUE; killAll SystemUIServer

When Standard tools are not enough

Users who are not satisfied with the standard tools and possibilities that come with the OS may also get happy with secondary software: A nice app which usually comes straight out of the Windows-world and has finally been reached the AppStore is Greenshot. While the Windows-version is free, the Mac-app is being priced with 2,29 EUR - money that finally supports the development of both branches. While I prefer to use this on Windows, the standard tools macOS comes along with are all I need on my Mac. But that's up to you - just in case you need a little bit more, be sure to check this app out! And - of course - have fun in creating your screenshots!