How to Snip on a Mac

Alicia Santos

Mac, Tutorials

Snipping on a Mac is a convenient way to capture screenshots and save them for later use. Whether you want to capture a specific part of your screen or the entire screen, the snipping tool on Mac makes it quick and easy. In this tutorial, we will explore how to snip on a Mac using built-in tools and some useful keyboard shortcuts.

Using the Grab Application

If you are looking for a simple way to snip on your Mac, the Grab application is a great option. Here’s how you can use it:

Step 1: Launching Grab

To launch Grab, go to your Applications folder and then open the Utilities folder. Look for the Grab application and click on it.

Step 2: Selecting Snip Type

Once Grab is open, select the type of snip you want to take from the menu bar. You can choose from Capture > Selection, Capture > Window, or Capture > Screen.

  • Capture > Selection: This option allows you to select a specific area of your screen to snip.
  • Capture > Window: This option allows you to snip an entire window or dialog box.
  • Capture > Screen: This option allows you to snip the entire screen.

Step 3: Snipping

After selecting the desired snip type, position your cursor over the area you want to capture and click and drag to create a selection rectangle. Release the mouse button once you have captured what you need.

Step 4: Saving Your Snip

Once you have captured your snip, go to the menu bar and click on File > Save. Choose a location on your Mac where you want to save the snip, give it a name, and click Save.

Step 5: Snipping Using Keyboard Shortcuts

If you prefer using keyboard shortcuts, here are some handy options:

  • Command + Shift + 3: This captures the entire screen and saves it as a file on your desktop.
  • Command + Shift + 4: This turns your cursor into a crosshair. Click and drag to select an area for snipping.

    Release the mouse button to capture the selected area.

  • Command + Shift + 4 + Space: This allows you to capture a specific window or dialog box. After pressing the shortcut, move your cursor over the window or dialog box and click to capture it.

These keyboard shortcuts offer quick and efficient ways to snip on your Mac without having to open any applications.

Capturing Snippets with Preview

In addition to Grab, you can also use Preview, another built-in application on Mac, to snip specific parts of your screen. Here’s how:

Step 1: Opening Preview

To open Preview, go to your Applications folder and then open the Preview application.

Step 2: Selecting Snip Type

In Preview, click on File in the menu bar and then select Take Screenshot from the dropdown menu. You will see options for selecting different snip types similar to those in Grab.

Step 3: Snipping

Select the snip type you want and follow the same steps as mentioned earlier to capture your snip.

Step 4: Saving Your Snip

After capturing your snip, go to File > Save or simply press Command + S. Choose a location on your Mac to save the snip and click Save.


Snipping on a Mac is a useful feature that allows you to capture screenshots with ease. Whether you prefer using Grab or Preview, both applications offer efficient ways to snip specific parts of your screen or capture the entire screen.

Additionally, keyboard shortcuts provide quick access for capturing snips without opening any applications. So go ahead and start snipping on your Mac!

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