How to Take a Screenshot on a Mac (Incl. Cursor)

How to Take a Screenshot on a Mac (Including the Mouse Cursor)

Wish to move things and cursors and windows in place before you take a screenshot? Looking to include the mouse cursor? Find out here how to take any kind of screenshot on a Mac (including options such as a countdown timer).

First, at Least Soak Your Fingers’ Tips

Nails are easier to clip, cut and curtail, of course, when they are not hard, dry and brittle (as may be their usual wont). Just after a bath and shower is the most gentle time to shorten them.

You need not soak your whole body, though, just to wet and soften your nails. You can also dunk your fingertips in warm water for a few minutes.

So far, so obvious. While I now contemplate (or should I experiment?) whether a bath in chamomile infusion or one of peppermint might work better, though, let’s turn to our screens: for one need not make a screenshot of the whole display’s contents to capture just the cut and clip one desires:

How to Take a Screenshot on a Mac (Including the Mouse Cursor)

In the Screenshots App (Using a Countdown Timer, including the Mouse Cursor, etc.)

Time needed: 2 minutes

To take a screenshot with additional options on a Mac using macOS:

  1. Open the Screenshot app.

    Here’s how: You can use Spotlight searching for screenshot, for example, or employ Launchpad, of course.
    Mac keyboard shortcut: You can also press Command Shift 5 to open Screenshot.
    Just the screenshot, please: macOS, of course, als lets you take a screenshots directly with a Mac keyboard shortcut.
    From the command line: As an alternative to the Screenshots app, you can take screenshots directly from Mac Terminal using the command line application screencapture.

  2. Choose what area of the screen you want to snap.

    Your choices: The choices from left to right are Capture Entire Screen, Capture Selected Window and Capture Selected Portion for a rectangle freely chosen.
    Whats a window: A window for a screenshot is anything that is a window in the operating system’s sense; menus and dialogs are individual windows and do not belong to their parent for screenshots.
    Selected portion: Do use the selection handles to pick the are you want to snap.

  3. Include the mouse cursor if you like.

    Here’s how: Select Options | Show Mouse Pointer to have Screenshot capture the mouse cursor.
    Entire screen. It makes most sense to capture either the whole screen or a selection with a timer to include the mouse cursor; if you take a screenshot of a window, the mouse cursor and dragging action will typically not be part of that window and will not appear in the screenshot.

  4. Employ a countdown timer if you please.

    Here’s how: Select Options in Screenshot and pick the countdown timer you would like to use under Timer.

  5. Take the screenshot with the desired options.

    Here’s how: To capture a window, click it; to capture the screen or a selection, click Capture.
    With a timer: Move (the cursor) in position while the timer counts down.
    Make a screenshot on a Mac using a countdown timer

Make it pretty, make it useful: How to Draw Boxes and Highlight with Straight Lines on a Mac Screenshot

Using a Keyboard Shortcut

macOS offers a host of keyboard shortcuts for taking screenshots (of the whole screen, a selection or a window).

How to Take a Screenshot on a Mac: FAQ

Will snapping a window capture items in front of the window?

No.

macOS will capture the window as if it was the frontmost item on screen. It will not snap anything that displays in front of it: not other overlapping windows and usually not interface elements such as menus that do belong to the window you are capturing.

How can I take a screenshot of a window including a menu or dialog that belongs to it?

Two methods chiefly let you capture a windows including all its elements—even those that extend beyond the window itself.

The typically easier way is to capture the whole screen or a portion of the screen that includes everything (with a suitable background), then cut as needed.

To create a screenshot of a window including anything to it with proper shadowing and background:

  1. Take.a screenshot of the window itself.
  2. Create individual screenshots of all elements you want to add to it.
    Example: Open a pop-up menu, for instance, then take a screenshot of the menu “window”.
  3. Open all screenshots in Mac Preview.
  4. Copy and paste each element onto the main window in succession.
    Here’s how: Press Command A followed by Command C in the element’s window, then use Command V in the main image’s window.
    Not everything: Do crop individual elements’ screenshots where required, of course.
    Outside window: For elements.that extend (far) beyond the original window’s borders, either expand the main window’s dimensions (without resizing the original image) in an external tool or paste it onto a big, empty canvas first.
  5. Save or export the composition.

Will Screenshot add the mouse cursor I see?

Yes.

If you turn on capturing the mouse cursor it will display in the screenshot as you see it—e.g., the cursor showing a + sign when you drag to copy.

How can I cancel a screenshot timer that is running?

To cancel the countdown timer to a screenshot on a Mac:

  1. Move the mouse cursor over the countdown timer.
  2. Click Cancel as it appears.

Can I take a screenshot of Screenshot?

Yes.

You can capture the whole screen (including Screenshot), for instance, while you use it with the corresponding Mac screenshot keyboard shortcut.

(How to take a screenshot on a Mac tested with macOS Sonoma 14.2 and Ventura 13.4; first published December 2023, last updated May 2024)

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