How To Screenshot & Screen Record on Mac

Screenshot on Mac Computer

  1. Press Shift-Command (⌘)-3.
  2. Find the screenshot as a .png file on your desktop.
Capture screen
Capture screen

Screenshot of a Selected Portion of Your Screen

  1. Press Shift-Command-4. The pointer changes to a crosshair.
  2. Move the crosshair to where you want to start the screenshot, then drag to select an area.
    While dragging, you can hold Shift, Option, or Space bar to change the way the selection moves.
  3. When you’ve selected the area you want, release your mouse or trackpad button. To cancel, press the Esc (Escape) key before you release the button.
  4. Find the screenshot as a .png file on your desktop.

Take a screenshot of a window

  1. Press Shift-Command-4. The pointer changes to a crosshair.
  2. Press the Space bar. The pointer changes to a camera.
  3. Move the camera over a window to highlight it.
  4. Click your mouse or trackpad. To cancel, press the Esc (Escape) key before you click.
  5. Find the screenshot as a .png file on your desktop.

This works with windows in the Finder and most apps.

Take a Screenshot of a Menu

  1. Click the menu to reveal its contents.
  2. Press Shift-Command-4. The pointer changes to a crosshair.
  3. Drag to select the menu.
  4. Release your mouse or trackpad button. To cancel, press the Escape (esc) key before you release the button.
  5. Find the screenshot as a .png file on your desktop.

These steps capture the contents of a menu, but not its title:

  1. Click the menu to reveal its contents.
  2. Press Shift-Command-4. The pointer changes to a crosshair.
  3. Press the Space bar. The pointer changes to a camera.
  4. Move the camera over the menu to highlight it.
  5. Click your mouse or trackpad. To cancel, press the Esc (Escape) key before you click.
  6. Find the screenshot as a .png file on your desktop.

Screen Recorder on Mac

QuickTime Player (free)

For a quick, cost-free solution, Apple’s default media application QuickTime is ready and waiting for screen recordings. After launching the application, select File > New Screen Recording. When the recording window appears, suse the drop-down menu to select the microphone you want to use, or select None if you don’t need audio recording.

Note: You can also record video beyond the desktop using the Mac’s iSight camera or an external video camera by choosing File > New Movie Recording.

QuickTime_recordingAfter you click the red recording button, you’ll get instructions for fullscreen recording or for a selected part of your screen.

 

For the best recording, you’ll probably want to record a window or part of the screen instead of the entire screen to capture a higher fidelity recording. Click the Start Recording button when you’re ready.

 

You can stop the recording by clicking the QuickTime icon in the menu bar, or clicking on the icon in the dock and selecting Stop Screen Recording.

The latest version of QuickTime also includes some basic editing features in the timeline. You can trim a recording from both ends, split the clip into parts, and insert another recording at the end of a screen video, or just after where your cursor is placed in the timeline.

QuickTime_trim

Editing a QuickTime video recording is not easy as the other solutions I tried. The timeline is small, and you can’t add annotations. Recordings can however be quickly shared to Mail, Messages, YouTube and other other websites and applications.

If you want to get more out of QuickTime, check out Mark’s handy tips for the application.

ScreenFlow ($99)

For more control over the recording and editing of desktop videos, the widely used ScreenFlow allows you to record everything on the desktop, and then parts of the screen recording can be cropped, zoomed, and panned for a professional looking production. We reviewed an earlier version of ScreenFlow over a year ago, and here’s a demo clip from that article.

With ScreenFlow, you can add annotations, callouts, and display one or more video clips on top of the main video. The latest version of ScreenFlow (5.0) includes in-app access to the iTunes and iPhoto libraries, the ability to delete unused raw footage, action templates for applying your favorite video actions to clippings in the timeline, and a long list of features you’d expect from a hundred dollar screen recording app.

ScreenFlow has a significant learning curve, but it’s so much more advanced than QuickTime — it’s up to you to decide if you need such a powerful tool.

 

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