Snipping Tool for Mac

Ben Jacklin Edited by Ben Jacklin

With Movavi Screen Recorder, you can:

  • Easily take screenshots

  • Add annotations

  • Export to Google Drive, WhatsApp, or share via direct link

Need a snipping tool for Mac? Look no further! In this article, we’ll discuss the different options available to you. Some of the tools we’ll be describing also serve as Mac screen recorders.

Tool

Best for

Download

Quick screenshots with basic editing options

Taking and annotating screenshots; also serves as a screen recorder

Text capture and recognition

View all tools

Movavi Screen Recorder lets you quickly take a snapshot of your screen using a hotkey. You can adjust the capture frame to snip the exact part of the screen that you need. The app also lets you edit your screenshot – add text and shapes, use a highlighter, draw lines and arrows. In addition to snipping, the program also has a screen-recording feature.

Mac snipping tool

Does Mac have a snipping tool? Luckily for Apple users, yes! It’s completely free and it’s already installed on your iMac, MacBook Pro/Air, or any other desktop device running OS X.

So obviously, the easiest way to take a screenshot on a Mac is to use the snipping tool shortcuts. This snipping Mac tool doesn't have a lot of features, but it is still an excellent option for users who just want to take a quick screenshot and don’t feel like installing extra software. Here’s how to use the snipping tool on a Mac.

Capture everything on your screen (⌘ + Shift + 3)

Use this combination to take a screenshot of your entire screen. Click the image in the right lower corner of your screen to edit the screenshot you just took. You can also wait for the screenshot to save to the desktop and then edit it in Preview or any other app of your choice.

Capture a portion of your screen (⌘ + Shift + 4)

Use this combination and select a snippet of your screen with the cursor. Release the button of your mouse to take the shot. While using this combination, you can also do the following:

  • Press and release the spacebar, then use the camera cursor to click on the window you want to take a screenshot of.

  • Press and hold the spacebar before releasing the mouse button to reposition the selected area on the screen.

Call up the screen capture panel (⌘ + Shift + 5)

This combination of keys calls up a panel with options for screen capture. Three options are available:

  • Capture everything on your screen

  • Capture a clipping of your screen

  • Capture a window

The Options menu allows you to change location for storing screenshots and screencasts.

Now you know how to get a shot of your screen in three ways using the pre-installed iMac/MacBook snipping tool. But is there an equivalent with more options? Read on to discover more apps that allow you to snip on your Mac.

Best Mac snipping tools

If the built-in app is not enough, you can download a snipping tool for Mac. Below is our selection of apps, in no particular order, with prices, features, pros, and cons. We’ll also provide links to reviews on trustworthy platforms.

At Movavi, we’re committed to providing you with verified information only. Here’s what we do to ensure this:

  • When selecting products to include in our reviews, we research both demand and popularity.

  • All products mentioned in this article have been tested by Movavi Content Team.

  • When testing, we aim to highlight the best features of a product and what it’s best suited for.

  • We study user reviews from popular review platforms and make use of this information when writing our product reviews.

  • We collect feedback from our users and analyze their opinions of Movavi software as well as products from other companies.

Best for: Taking and annotating screenshots

G2 rating: 4.5/5 stars, 49 reviews

Price: free 7-day trial period; $42.95 for the 1-year license; $57.95 for the lifetime license.

Being a screen recorder, the Movavi app can also serve as a Mac snipping tool. Creating a screenshot is easy with Movavi Screen Recorder. First, select the area you’d like to capture (or select the entire screen). Then add annotations if needed and export the result using one of the suggested options.

Features:

  • Also offers screen-recording options

  • High-precision frame adjustment

Pros:

  • Can capture a portion of your screen or your entire screen

  • Allows you to add annotations (text, frames, highlights, arrows, etc.)

  • Has keyboard shortcuts

  • Can export screenshots to clipboard, email, Google Drive, WhatsApp, or via direct link

Cons:

  • The free trial period only lasts 7 days

Best for: Text capture and recognition

App Store rating: 4.7/5 stars, 93 reviews

Price: $11.99

TextSniper is more than just a basic scissor tool for a Mac. It uses the optical character recognition technology and can transform text in pictures into simple text you can then edit and work with. Moreover, TextSniper can turn the recognized text into speech in no time.

Features:

  • OCR technology (no Internet connection needed!)

  • Highly accurate recognition

Pros:

  • Can process JPG, PNG, TIFF, GIF, and other formats

  • Text-to-speech option

  • Can read links, QR codes, barcodes, etc.

  • Can extract text from ebooks and PDFs

Cons:

  • There is no free trial

Download TextSniper

Best for: Fast and easy screen capture

G2 rating: 4.7/5 stars, 104 reviews

Price: Free

LightShot is a free and very straightforward snip tool for Mac that allows you to take a quick screenshot, edit it and share it on Facebook and Twitter, all in a single window. Creating your own account on prntscr.com offers you the possibility to store screenshots and access them at any time.

Features:

  • Similar image search

  • Also offers a Firefox add-on and a Google Chrome extension

Pros:

  • Annotations (frames, text, arrows, etc.)

  • Sharing via direct link to LightShot servers

  • Easy sharing on Facebook and Twitter

Cons:

  • You need to have an account in order to access the gallery of your previously taken screenshots

Download LightShot

Best for: Taking screenshots on your Mac, iPhone, and iPad

App Store rating: 4.4/5 stars, 294 reviews

Price: $26.99

Capto allows you to create screenshots and screencasts with annotations, which makes it a perfect tool for making tutorials, vlogs, and educational captures. It is a very Apple-friendly tool as it is available on almost all devices within the platform. Its folder-based file manager will help you retrieve any of your screenshots in no time.

Features:

  • Is also a powerful screen recorder

  • Has a file manager for quick video/image search

Pros:

  • Instant export and sharing

  • Wide range of editing tools

  • Easy sharing on social networks

Cons:

  • Doesn’t offer a free trial version

Download Capto

Best for: Taking and editing screenshots with extensive annotation tools and overlays

Product Hunt rating: 4.5/5 stars, 16 reviews

Price: $29 (one-time payment for the app itself and for Cloud Basic offering 1 GB of storage); $8 per user/month (billed annually for the app and Cloud Pro); also has a 30-day money-back guarantee.

CleanShot X is an extremely versatile toolkit that can also serve as a snipping Mac tool. The app is packed with an enormous amount of features – every need has been taken into account. The process doesn’t end at simply taking a screenshot: you can crop it, edit it with annotation tools, pixelate a portion of it to protect sensitive data, draw on it, highlight the important things, write on it in seven different styles. Combining multiple screenshots into one is one feature that you won’t find anywhere else. Scrolling capture is another option that is rarely provided by developers of this kind of software.

Features:

  • Versatile tool for taking and editing screenshots

  • Quick single-window actions

  • Scrolling capture option

Pros:

  • Wide range of sharing options

  • Can cut screenshots and add annotations

  • Can pixelate a selection of your screenshot for better protection of personal data

  • Allows you to draw on screenshots

  • Has seven text styles for annotations

  • Allows you to combine several screenshots into one

Cons:

  • Doesn’t have a free trial version

Download CleanShot X

Best for: Effortless visual communication

Capterra rating: 4.6/5 stars, 167 reviews

Price: Free (up to 50 captures); $9.95 (Individual plan); $8 per user (Team plan for more than 3 users); Enterprise plan is also available, contact the developer for more information. You can also enjoy the Pro plan for free during the trial period.

The CloudApp developers position their tool as a productivity enhancer and means of visual communication. It offers effortless screen capture and editing options including annotation tools. The app is quite efficient for both individual users and businesses. Creating your own CloudApp account saves you the trouble of searching for images on your Mac.

Features:

  • Also works as a Chrome extension

  • Is available as an iOS app

Pros:

  • Can annotate with emojis, text, shapes, and arrows

  • Very straightforward app

  • Instant sharing via link

  • Can create a GIF

Cons:

  • Might seem too basic for users who need more customization

Download CloudApp

Where to find your saved screenshots on a Mac

You already know how to use the built-in snipping tool on your Mac, but where is exactly the folder containing all the taken screenshots? In fact, screenshots are saved to your desktop by default. If there’s nothing on your desktop, you can try searching for your screenshots by going to Finder > Go > Home > Pictures > Screenshots. If you're using macOS Catalina, then you'll need to go to Finder > Go > Home > Library > Pictures > Screenshots. That's all there is to it!

In macOS Mojave or later, you can change the default directory of saved screenshots in the Options menu (the available options are Desktop, Documents, Clipboard, Mail, Messages, Preview or Other Location). You can also drag the thumbnail to a folder or document.

Summary: How to choose the right snipping tool for you

When it comes to snipping tools, there are a lot of options out there. So, how do you know which one is the right fit for you? Here are a few things to consider when choosing a snipping tool for your Mac.

  • First, think about what type of snips you'll be taking most often. If you're mostly snipping screenshots, you'll want a tool that's good at capturing images. On the other hand, if you need to snip text more often than images, you'll want a tool that's better at capturing text.

  • Second, consider how much control you need over your snips. Some tools let you annotate and edit your snips after you've taken them, while others are more basic. If you need a lot of control over your snips, you'll want a tool with more features.

  • Finally, think about ease of use. Some tools are very simple and easy to use, while others are more complex and have a learning curve. If you're not comfortable with complex tools, you'll want to choose a simpler one.

Movavi Screen Recorder

The perfect way to record from your screen

Disclaimer: Please be aware that Movavi Screen Recorder does not allow capture of copy-protected video and audio streams.

Frequently asked questions

How do you snip on a Mac?

There are three ways you can snip on your Mac:

  • Capture everything on your screen using the following combination of keys: ⌘ + Shift + 3.

  • Use ⌘ + Shift + 4 to capture a selection of your screen.

  • Press ⌘ + Shift + 5 to call up the screen-recording panel and select the desired option.

What happened to Grab on Mac?

If you're used to using the Grab app on Mac, then you'll be disappointed to know that it's no longer available in macOS Catalina. Grab was available as a preinstalled app on macOS until High Sierra (version 10.13). The Screenshot tool replaced it in Mojave (version 10.14). Don't worry, the snipping tool is just as good as Grab!

What is the best snipping tool for Mac?

Here are the best tools that allow you to take screenshots:

Of course, you can also use the pre-installed snipping tool. Just press these hotkeys: ⌘ + Shift + 3, ⌘ + Shift + 4, or ⌘ + Shift + 5.

Have questions?

If you can’t find the answer to your question, please feel free to contact our Support Team.

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