Alternative to Windows Snipping Tool for Mac OSX

Alternative to Windows Snipping Tool for Mac OSX

If you are looking for a software to take a snapshot or print screen in a MAC OSX, something like the Windows Snipping Tool, here some tips on how to solve this issue.

It’s built into Mac OS.

  • ++3 captures the whole screen
  • ++4 captures a custom rectangle (click and drag over the screen region you want to capture)
  • ++4 then space captures a specific window (move the mouse cursor over the desired window, then click)

Press esc to cancel.

Screenshots are saved onto your Desktop and timestamped.

By default the image format is png. However, you can change the format by typing in the Terminal:

defaults write type image_format
killall SystemUIServer

Where image_format is one of jpg, tiff, pdf, png, bmp or pict (among others). If you omit the second line, you will need to log out and in again for the change to take effect.

The settings for the shortcuts in the system preferences are located at:
System Preferences → Keyboard → Keyboard Shortcuts → Screen Shots

Screenshot-tool for MAC snipping-tool

System Preferences → Keyboard → Keyboard Shortcuts → Screen Shots

The MacOS X application that enables screenshots is called Grab. It is located at /Applications/Utilities/


If you want to make annotations on images you’ve taken, you then use screenshot tools that feature the same function as Snipping Tool. Here are just some of them.

Grab – A built-in screenshot tool on Mac that enables you to capture anything you see on screen. Navigate to: /Applications/Utilities/

Skitch – From Evernote is an easy tool that captures, annotates and shares screenshots / images.

Jing – An effective screen capturing program that works for recording screen and taking screenshot.


  • Rogerio da Silva

    Rogerio da Silva is a Brazilian who lives in the UK for a little over two decades. He is the owner of a test consulting and outsources services for software development. He likes to blog, write and create content that teaches others how to live a better life.  He loves reading biographies of successful authors and dream builders because they inspire him to keep creating!
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