How to Snip Like a Pro on Your MacBook

If you’ve ever needed to quickly capture a screenshot or snip a specific part of your screen, you know how handy this feature can be.

But did you know there are several ways to level up your snipping game on a MacBook? In this post, we’ll cover all the tips and tricks you need to know to snip on your device.

The Basics: Taking a Full-Screen Screenshot

First, let’s start with the fundamentals. To take a screenshot of your entire screen, simply press Shift-Command-3. You’ll hear a satisfying camera shutter sound, and the screenshot will be saved to your desktop. Easy peasy, right?

But what if you only want to capture a specific window or menu? No problem! Just press Shift-Command-4, and your cursor will turn into a crosshair. Press the Spacebar, and the crosshair turns into a little camera icon. Hover over the window or menu you want to capture, and click. Boom, screenshot perfected.

Snipping a Custom Area

Want more control over your snips? You’re in luck. Press Shift-Command-4, but this time, don’t press the Spacebar. Instead, click and drag the crosshair to select the area you want to capture.

As you drag, you’ll see the pixel dimensions of your selection. When you’ve got the perfect snip lined up, release your mouse or trackpad button.

Pro Tip: Fine-Tuning Your Snip Selection

If you need to make precise adjustments to your snip selection, hold down the Shift key while dragging the crosshair.

This will lock the selection to a perfectly straight horizontal, vertical, or 45-degree diagonal line. You can also hold down Option after you start dragging to resize the selection from its center.

Delayed Snips: Capturing Tricky Menus and Hover States

Sometimes you need to screenshot a menu or hover state that disappears as soon as you press the snip hotkey. For these tricky situations, you can set a delay on your screenshot.

Here’s how:

  • Press Shift-Command-5 to open the screenshot toolbar
  • Click Options
  • Under “Timer,” choose 5 or 10 seconds

Now set up your screen the way you want it and press Capture. You’ll have a few seconds to open your menu or trigger that hover state before the screenshot is taken.

Annotating and Sharing Your Snips

Once you’ve got the perfect snip, you might want to annotate it before sharing. Just double-click the screenshot thumbnail that appears in the corner of your screen after snipping (or find the image file on your desktop).

This will open the screenshot in Preview, where you can add text, shapes, or highlight important bits.

When your snip masterpiece is ready, click the Share button in Preview to send it via Mail, Messages, AirDrop, or your favorite app.

If you’re not ready to share it yet, you can also drag the thumbnail directly into a folder or document to save it for later.


With these tips in your arsenal, you’re ready to snip like a true MacBook pro. Whether you’re capturing an error message to troubleshoot, saving an inspiring quote, or sharing a funny meme, snipping on a MacBook is a breeze.

Now go forth and snip to your heart’s content – and don’t forget to share this guide with your fellow MacBook enthusiasts.



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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