How to Crop a Screenshot on MacBook

Capturing and cropping a mac screenshot on your MacBook is a breeze once you know a few simple tricks.

Whether you’re creating tutorials, sharing snippets of an article, or saving a funny meme to send to your friends, cropping your screenshots can help you highlight the important parts of the image.

In this post, I’ll walk you through the various methods to crop screenshots on macOS, so you can create pixel-perfect clips in seconds.

Using the Native Screenshot Menu

One of the easiest ways to crop a screenshot on your MacBook is by using the built-in screenshot menu. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Press Shift + Command + 5 to open the screenshot menu

  2. Select the cropping tool (it looks like a square with dashed lines)

  3. Click and drag your cursor to draw a box around the area you want to screenshot

You can also capture the entire screen using the same menu.

  1. Release your mouse button, and the cropped screenshot will be saved to your desktop

That’s it! Using the native screenshot menu, you can easily capture a specific part of your screen without having to take a full screenshot and crop it later.

Using the Cropping Tool in Preview

If you’ve already taken a screenshot and want to crop the screenshot image after the fact, you can use the Preview app that comes pre-installed on every Mac. Here’s how:

  1. Double-click the screenshot to open it in Preview

  2. Click the Show Markup Toolbar button (it looks like a toolbox), then click on the crop button

  3. Select the rectangular selection tool from the toolbar

  4. Click and drag to draw a box around the area you want to keep

  5. Choose Crop from the Tools menu, or press Command + K

  6. Save your cropped image by clicking File > Save

Using Preview to crop screenshots gives you more control and allows you to fine-tune your selection before cropping. Plus, you can use Preview’s other markup tools to annotate or highlight parts of the screenshot if needed.

Using Third-Party Apps for Screenshots

While the native screenshot tool and Preview offer basic cropping functionality, sometimes you may need more advanced editing options. These apps allow you to edit screenshots in various ways.

In that case, you can turn to third-party apps like Skitch, Lightshot, or Snagit. These apps offer additional features like text overlay, blur effects, and more robust cropping tools.

One of my favorite screenshot apps is CleanShot X). It offers an intuitive interface for capturing, cropping, and editing screenshots, and even lets you record GIFs or videos of your screen.

The app’s scrolling capture feature is especially handy for screenshotting long web pages or documents, making it perfect for capturing cropped screenshots.

Tips for Better Screenshots

Now that you know how to crop screenshots on your MacBook, here are a few tips to take your screenshots to the next level:

  1. Use the timer function in the screenshot menu to give yourself a few seconds to prepare the screen before the capture

  2. Press the Option key while selecting an area to screenshot to lock the aspect ratio of your crop

  3. Customize the default screenshot location in System Preferences > Screenshots > Change save location

  4. Use the built-in Shortcuts app to create custom screenshot workflows and automatically crop, resize, or share your captures

  5. Use the built-in Photos app for additional editing options like advanced editing, color adjustment, resizing, and filters

  6. Avoid capturing the menu bar by carefully selecting the area you want to screenshot or cropping it out later using the built-in Photos app

With these tips and the cropping methods outlined above, you’ll be a screenshot pro in no time!


Cropping a screenshot on Mac is a simple yet essential skill for anyone who frequently captures and shares images from their computer.

By using the native screenshot tool, Preview app, or third-party programs like CleanShot X, Capto, and Xnapper, you can easily create polished, professional-looking screenshots that focus on the content that matters most.

So the next time you need to capture a specific part of your screen, give one of these methods a try. And don’t forget to have fun with it – after all, there’s a reason they say a picture is worth a thousand words.



Full-time writer, Apple fanboy and macOS supremacist. Currently running: 16" Macbook Pro w/ 64GB RAM & M1 Max. Already wants to upgrade to the M3 😫😭

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