Take and Annotate Screenshots in macOS

Taking a screenshot in macOS is a breeze. And annotating them afterwards - ie providing comments, arrows and other nice things - can also be done very quickly and efficiently.

Although the standard keyboard for Macs does not have a PrintScreen button, it is still easy to take screenshots. To take a screenshot of the entire screen, press the key combination Command-Shift-3. To capture a selection of the screen in an image, press Command-Shift-4. You can then use the mouse to draw a selection around the part you want to capture. In both cases, the screenshot is saved in a PNG file on the desktop. To provide such a screenshot with an explanation, double click on it. By default, the file then opens in Preview. If you have linked the .png format to another viewer or photo editor, it is still possible to open in Preview. Then click with the right mouse button on the screenshot image. In the opened context menu under Open with for the program Preview. In the toolbar of this program, click on the 'mark button' in the form of a pen with a circle around it.


Annotating or adding notes, arrows and more is a matter of using the appropriate buttons. We summarize the most important ones for you. First, there is the drawing pen (1) . With this you can draw free shapes. The nice thing is that as soon as you draw a 'closed' shape - think of, for example, a circle, square or triangle - you automatically make a nice-looking copy of it. Under button (2) you will find a selection of standard shapes, including arrows. The effect is self-explanatory: choose a shape and adapt it to your needs. Also worth mentioning here is the magnifying glass that allows you to magnify part of the image. The strength of the magnifying glass can be adjusted with the green ball; you can adjust the dimensions of the magnifying glass with the blue ball. With button (3) you insert a text box that can be dragged to the desired size and position. You can adjust the font and text color via button number 4. The buttons immediately to the left of (4) are intended for adjusting the line thickness, line color and fill color of a shape. The other buttons may be less useful when annotating. Color adjustment and the like (the button with the prism) are more interesting for photos. You won't put much signatures on a screenshot either. Finally, the 'magic selection' (magic wand button) is also more suitable for photos and the like.


Once your screenshot has been decorated with the necessary finery, click in the menu bar below Archive on Keep and you now have a - hopefully - clarifying screenshot. Export to PDF format is also possible. Click in the menu bar below Archive on Export as PDF. With this universal file format you can quickly lend a helping hand to someone to clarify something efficiently.

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