Tech Tip: The Key to Getting Shadow-Free Mac Screenshots

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Q. How do you take a screenshot of just a single window on the Mac, and is there a way to get rid of that fake shadow around it?

A. While the keyboard shortcut of the Command, Shift and 3 keys pressed together takes a picture of the Mac’s entire screen, pressing the Command, Shift and 4 keys allows you to select a specific area of the screen to capture. If you press the Command, Shift and 4 keys and then press the space bar immediately, you can click the highlighted window to take a cropped screenshot of just that window.

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If you prefer your screenshots without the 3-D shadow effect, hold down the Option key when you click to capture the image.

Credit
The New York Times

The Mac’s operating system automatically adds the shadow around the edges of the window to the screenshot, but if you prefer a flat, shadow-free image of the window, you just have to hold down another key. Press the Command, Shift and 4 keys, tap the space bar and hold down the Option key as you click to snap an image of the selected window. The resulting file is saved to the Mac’s desktop or a new location you previously chose.

Windows 10 users have several ways to take screenshots of all or part of their desktops. Pressing the Windows key and the PrtScn key snaps the full desktop, while pressing the Alt and PrtScn keys usually captures the active window; key combinations may vary based on the computer hardware. The screenshots can then be pasted into documents or new files in the Microsoft Paint program — or found in the Screenshots folder in the Windows Pictures library. The built-in Snipping Tool, which can be summoned from the Start menu search bar, provides four ways to capture screen images.

Third-party screen-capture apps for both platforms are also available.

Personal Tech invites questions about computer-based technology to techtip@nytimes.com. This column will answer questions of general interest, but letters cannot be answered individually.


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