How to Take a Screenshot of Your Desktop on a Mac or PC

Taking a screenshot of your PC desktop is easy – look for the “print screen” key on your keyboard. On PC keyboards it will usually have PrtScn, PRTSC or PRTSCN on it. Often, you will have to press it in combination with the SHIFT key. Doing this will place an image of the entire desktop in the clipboard – a quick paste of the clipboard contents (CTRL+V) gives you an image of your entire desktop.

Adding an ALT to the mix (e.g., SHIFT+ALT+PRTSC) will place an image of the active window (not the entire desktop) into the clipboard.
On a Mac, there are actually four easy ways to get screenshots of all or part of your desktop – but they aren’t as obvious as the ways to do it on a PC.

To take a screenshot of your entire desktop, press SHIFT+COMMAND+3 and an image of the screenshot will automatically appear in a file on your Mac’s desktop.

To copy an image of the entire desktop to your Mac’s clipboard, press CONTROL+SHIFT+ COMMAND+3. Then press the paste command (COMMAND+V) to paste an image of the desktop into a document.

You can also take a screenshot of just a portion of your Mac’s desktop by pressing SHIFT+COMMAND+4. This turns the pointer into a target. Next, click and hold, then drag the target pointer to create a box on your desktop. When you release, the area within your box will appear in an image file on your desktop.

Using CONTROL+SHIFT+COMMAND+4 works in a similar fashion, and pastes the selected area into the Mac’s clipboard. You can then paste the screenshot into a document by pressing the paste command.

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