How do I take a screenshot on my PC or Mac?

Bryan Gibson

Last Update a year ago

When submitting support tickets to the IT Service Desk, it is always a good idea to include a screenshot whenever possible. Being able to see errors and other issues in context makes troubleshooting much easier.


To attach a screenshot to an existing ticket, send an email to [email protected] with a Subject line of  "Ticket #####" where ##### is your ticket number without the quotes.


There are several ways to accomplish taking a screenshot


PC Screenshots

There are several methods for taking screenshots on the PC. This article will primarily focus on those methods available in Windows 10.


1. The snipping tool


  • The snipping tool is a nice little utility application for taking and marking up screenshots. There are several modes available including free-form, rectangular, window, and full screen, and you can also set a delay from 0-5 seconds.


2. Print Screen or ALT+Print Screen


  • This is the method that most people who have been around computers for a long time are familiar with but it requires that you paste the copied screenshot to another application.  Most commonly the application is Paint, but you can also paste them directly into emails, MS Word, Photoshop, or any other graphics editing software.
  • Using the Print Screen button by itself produces a full-screen screenshot, and ALT+Print Screen produces a screenshot of the current active window only.


3. Windows+SHIFT+S


  • This method is a keyboard shortcut for using the new Snip & Sketch application that is replacing the Snipping Tool. 
  • Pressing this key combination will invoke a small toolbar that shows different tools representing the screenshot modes available: rectangular, free-form, window, and full-screen.
  • After capturing the screen, the image will open up in the Snip & Sketch app.  


Mac Screenshots

You can take full-screen or select-area screenshots with a Mac computer.  You can also capture an application window or menu using another method.


1. SHIFT-CMD-3


  • Holding down the Shift + Command + 3 keys will result in a full-screen screenshot.  
  • If you see a thumbnail in the corner of your screen, click it to edit the screenshot. Or wait for the screenshot to save to your desktop.


2. SHIFT-CMD-4


  • Holding down the Shift + Command + 4 keys will allow you to screenshot a selected portion of your screen.
  • Drag the crosshair to select the area of the screen to capture. To move the selection, press and hold the Space bar while dragging. To cancel taking the screenshot, press the Esc (Escape) key.
  • To take the screenshot, release your mouse or trackpad button.
  • If you see a thumbnail in the corner of your screen, click it to edit the screenshot. Or wait for the screenshot to save to your desktop.

3. SHIFT-SMD-4-SPACE


  • Open the window or menu that you want to capture.
  • Press and hold these keys together: Shift, Command, 4, and Space bar. The pointer changes to a camera icon. To cancel taking the screenshot, press the Esc (Escape) key.
  • Click the window or menu to capture it. To exclude the window's shadow from the screenshot, press and hold the Option key while you click.
  • If you see a thumbnail in the corner of your screen, click it to edit the screenshot. Or wait for the screenshot to save to your desktop.

Where to find screenshots in MacOS


By default, screenshots save to your desktop with the name ”Screen Shot [date] at [time].png.”  In macOS Mojave or later, you can change the default location of saved screenshots from the Options menu in the Screenshot app. You can also drag the thumbnail to a folder or document.

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