A staggering 1.2 trillion — that’s the estimated number of digital photos taken worldwide in 2017. Images taken with smartphones account for almost nine in 10 of all those stills.
Most of these are no doubt photos of majestic landscapes, fluffy doggos, and funny cattos. These aren’t the only types of digital pictures though. Screenshots are also digitized images that have become so common today.
Mac computers, however, take screenshots to a whole new level. With the snipping tool on Mac, you can take “selective” screen captures or even video clips!
Ready to learn all about this feature that makes it a lot easier to capture the content of your Mac’s screen? Then let’s dive right into it!
A Quick Background on Screenshots
A screenshot is also known as screen capture, screen grab, or SS for short. It’s an image — one that could be quite powerful — showing the contents of a computer (or a smartphone) screen. These stills allow you to “memorialize” exactly what you’re seeing on your screen.
It’s likely because of this that apps like Snapchat now monitor screenshots.
More than that though, these images now serve as photographic proof. You can use them as proof of a bank transfer or payment, or even as evidence that someone said what they said online. For remote employees, who now account for at least 70% of people, screenshots are proof of work.
That’s why some believe that, of all the things on the Internet, the screenshot is the most important.
What Is the Snipping Tool on Mac?
The snipping tool isn’t only for Windows devices — Mac also has its own version. On Macs, you can use this tool to take full-screen screenshots or screengrab only a portion of your screen.
In fact, there are three ways to take a screenshot on Mac, four if you’re a proud owner of a Touch Bar-equipped Mac.
The first method on how to screenshot on Mac is the “Command + Shift + 3” keyboard shortcut. This lets you capture your entire screen.
There’s also the “Command + Shift + 4” keyboard shortcut. This transforms your cursor into a crosshair-like pointer. With this, you can specify an area of your screen that you want to take a screenshot of.
On Macs with a Touch Bar, the shortcut “Command + Shift + 6” lets you take a wide yet skinny screen grab of the Touch Bar. The image will show whatever is currently running on your device’s Touch Bar.
The most robust screenshot “tool” on Mac, however, is the “Command + Shift + 5” keyboard shortcut. This is the snipping tool that now comes built-in with macOS, first appearing in macOS Mojave.
Image-Based Screenshots You Can Take With Mac’s Snipping Tool
Try pressing the keyboard shortcut for the snipping tool. This should make a small panel appear at the bottom of your display screen. Within that tiny display are eight buttons, including the “x” for cancel.
The second option is for taking a screenshot of your entire screen. If you click on it, your cursor will turn into a tiny camera. Click one more time and you should get an image that captures everything on your screen.
The third icon there enables you to take a screenshot of a specific window. Just mouse over the window you want a screengrab of before clicking your mouse or touchpad once.
The fourth option is the selective screenshot mode. You can adjust the size of the selected area or move the selection tool around. Once you’re done with the adjustments, simply hit the “Capture” option at the very right of the display tab.
Capturing Videos of Your Mac’s Entire Screen
According to experts, the human brain can process images 60,000 times faster than plain text. That’s great and all, but in many cases, it’s much better and quicker to share information via videos.
Let’s say that you want to teach a friend or a colleague how to take a video “screenshot” on a Mac. Wouldn’t it be way easier for them if you sent them a clip depicting what they should do on their own Macs? Definitely, especially if you include audio instructions to your how-to video.
Mac’s snipping tool lets you do all that, and yes, even the audio part!
To start, go back to the snipping tool window. Click “Options”, which will make a list show up on your screen. Make sure that there’s a checkmark on the “MacBook Air Microphone” option.
Next, mouse over to the “Record Entire Screen” function, which is the fifth option on the tool display. Once you click on this, your laptop will start recording a video of your entire screen. It’ll also capture audio, so be sure to speak clearly.
When you’re done, hit the “stop” button (a circle with a square inside). You should see this at the very top of your screen, toward the right side.
By default, video screenshots taken on a Mac get saved on the desktop. You can change this by going to the snipping tool’s “Options” tab again and selecting the save location.
Taking Selective Video Screenshots
Don’t want to record the entire screen of your Mac? If so, you should choose the “Record Selected Portion” function. It’s pretty much like the selective image screenshot mode, except your Mac will take a video. This can come in handy for YouTube!
Make the Most out of Your Mac’s Snipping Tool
There you have it, the only guide you’ll ever need when it comes to using the snipping tool on Mac. Now that you know how to bring it up on your screen, you’ll be able to take screenshots whenever you need to. Most of all, you can record videos, including video calls made over your Mac.
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