Screenshot on MacBook Air: A Step-by-Step Guide for Beginners

Taking a screenshot on a MacBook Air is a handy skill that can help you capture what’s on your screen. Whether you’re trying to save a web page for later or share an image with a friend, knowing how to take a screenshot is essential. The process is simple and can be done in just a few steps.

Step by Step Tutorial: Screenshot on MacBook Air

Before we dive into the steps, let’s quickly understand what we’re about to do. Taking a screenshot on your MacBook Air allows you to capture the entire screen, a portion of the screen, or a specific window. You can then save, edit, or share this screenshot as needed.

Step 1: Decide what you want to capture

Decide whether you want to capture the whole screen, a portion of it, or just a specific window. Your choice will determine which commands to use.

If you need to capture the entire screen, it’s best to close any private or sensitive information that you don’t want to be included in the screenshot.

Step 2: Use keyboard shortcuts

Press the appropriate key combination on your keyboard to take the screenshot.

For the entire screen, press Command + Shift + 3.
For a portion of the screen, press Command + Shift + 4, then select the area you want to capture.
For a specific window, press Command + Shift + 4, then press the Spacebar and click on the window you want to capture.

Each shortcut triggers a different screenshot function. The first captures everything on your screen, the second turns your cursor into a crosshair for selection, and the third helps you pick a particular window to capture.

Step 3: Find your screenshot

Locate the screenshot saved on your desktop or in the location you have set for screen captures.

By default, screenshots are saved to your desktop with the name “Screen Shot [date] at [time].png”.

After taking a screenshot on your MacBook Air, you will find the file saved on your desktop named with the format “Screen Shot [date] at [time].png”. You can easily locate, view, and share this file as needed.

Tips: Taking Screenshots on MacBook Air

  • To change the default save location for your screenshots, use the Screenshot app in your Applications folder.
  • If you want to copy the screenshot to your clipboard instead of saving it, add Control to your key combination.
  • To cancel a screenshot while in the process of taking it, press Escape.
  • You can edit your screenshot immediately after taking it by clicking on the thumbnail that appears in the corner of your screen.
  • Remember that the Touch Bar can also be captured by pressing Command + Shift + 6.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I take a screenshot on a MacBook Air running an older version of macOS?

Yes, the keyboard shortcuts for taking screenshots have been consistent across various macOS versions.

How can I take a timed screenshot?

You can use the Screenshot app to take a timed screenshot, which will give you a delay before it captures the screen.

What if the keyboard shortcuts are not working?

Ensure that the keys are functioning properly and check if the shortcuts have been modified in your system preferences.

Can I save screenshots in formats other than PNG?

Yes, you can change the default format by using Terminal commands or third-party apps.

How can I quickly share my screenshot?

After taking the screenshot, click on the thumbnail that appears, then use the sharing options provided in the editing window.


  1. Decide what part of the screen you want to capture.
  2. Use the appropriate keyboard shortcuts for your selection.
  3. Find your screenshot on the desktop or your chosen save location.


Taking a screenshot on a MacBook Air is a breeze once you know the simple keyboard shortcuts. Whether you need to capture your entire screen, a specific section, or an individual window, the process is straightforward and quick. Afterward, you’ll find your screenshot conveniently saved on your desktop, ready to be used in whatever way you see fit. With the added tips and answers to common questions, you should have no trouble mastering the art of screen capture on your MacBook Air. And remember, practice makes perfect, so don’t hesitate to use this feature whenever you need it. Happy screenshotting!

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