Screen Capture Keyboard Shortcuts for Windows and macOS

Providing print-screens or screen captures is probably one of the easiest ways to discuss, understand and deliver any information over the Internet. Operating systems like Windows and macOS comes with default keyboard shortcuts to perform screen capturing, but are you using them to the fullest?

Windows Keyboard Shortcuts

By default, there isn’t too much option in doing screen capture but enough to get the basic job done. Here are the keyboard shortcuts to do screen capture (printscreen) in Windows.

  • PrtScn – The Print Screen button will save the entire screen in clipboard. You will then need to further edit it in some image editing programs or Microsoft Words.
  • Alt + PrnScn – By holding Alt key while pressing PrtScn button, it captures only the active window. That means the window screen currently in view.

macOS Keyboard Shortcuts

macOS covers more different ways to do screen capturing. It allows you to print screen active/non-active windows, full screen and selective area.

The following screen capture shortcuts print and output images on desktop in the format of .PNG (Portable Network Graphics)

  • Command + Shift + 3 – Prints the entire screen, everything inside your monitor screen.
  • Command + Shift + 4 – Prints the screen according to user selection. By using the following shortcut, your cursor will turned into a cross-hair and allows you to select the area you want to capture.
  • Command + Shift + 4 then Space – By holding down Command + Shift + 4, your cursor will turn to cross-hair. Then hit the space bar once it will turned to a camera icon. This allows you to capture any opened windows, regardless of active or hiding behind.

If you want your screen capture to be kept in clipboard so you can paste them in image editing tools (eg. Photoshop) instead of output as .PNG, just include Control while using the shortcut.

  • Control + Command + Shift + 3 – Captures entire screen, hold image in clipboard.
  • Control + Command + Shift + 4 – Captures screen according to user selection, hold image in clipboard.

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