How to crop a screenshot on a Mac

Edited by Ben Jacklin

June 1, 2021

Here are the 3 best ways to crop a screenshot on a Mac:

There are many situations in which you might want to take a screenshot on your Mac to share with friends, family, colleagues, and followers, and knowing how to crop a screenshot on a Mac is vital to help you carry out simple edits and trims of the shots you take.

This guide will show you exactly how to edit a screenshot on a Mac in various ways, covering all the best solutions, including apps, hotkeys, and more.

Read on to find out the best ways to screenshot crop on a Mac.

How to edit a screenshot on a Mac with Movavi Screen Recorder

Best for: making and editing screenshots and recordings

G2 rating: 4.5/5 stars, 44 user reviews

One of the best ways to take and edit a screenshot on a Mac is with the help of Movavi Screen Recorder. This is a screen capture and screen crop Mac tool you can download to your device and start using today. Movavi Screen Recorder allows you to not only take screenshots but also to make screen recordings too, so it offers a lot of versatility. It's also a very easy-to-use program with built-in editing features that let you crop, annotate, and alter your screenshots on the fly at the touch of a button.

Pros:

  • A very useful, versatile app
  • Lots of editing features to cut, trim and alter your images
  • Ability to record videos of your screen as well
  • Beginner-friendly

Cons:

  • Requires download and installation

Here’s how to crop a screenshot on a Mac using Movavi Screen Recorder

Step 1. Download and Install Movavi Screen Recorder on Your Mac

First, you'll have to download and install Movavi Screen Recorder to your Mac. You can download the recorder from the official Movavi site and follow the instructions to complete the installation.

Step 2. Capture and Crop a Screenshot

Open the program when you're ready to take a screenshot and then click on the Screenshot button on the sidebar to do so. Movavi Screen Recorder allows you to take a screenshot of the entire screen or a cropped screenshot by cutting off the sides and adjusting the size as desired.

Step 3. Edit a Screenshot on a Mac

Once your screenshot has been captured, you can use the built-in editing tools to adjust it and crop it down to size before saving and sharing. The program will save your file by default in PNG format.

How to screen crop on a Mac using hotkeys

Best for: speed and convenience

There are various hotkey combinations you can learn and use on your Mac to perform different tasks and access certain shortcuts, including one set of hotkeys that can let you take screenshots and another set that allows you to take partial screenshots. This is a really quick and convenient way to capture screenshots and then crop them to the size you want. However, the downside with this method is that you have to remember the precise combinations of keys to press, which can be difficult for people who have trouble remembering technical inputs.

Pros:

  • Very quick and convenient
  • Allows for whole screenshot capture or partial screenshots
  • No downloading or installation required
  • No need for any extra apps or services

Cons:

  • Can be difficult to remember the precise combinations and inputs

Follow these steps to crop a screenshot on your Mac:

  1. To take a screenshot on your Mac using hotkeys, you first need to get whatever you want to capture up on the screen.
  2. To take a full screenshot, press the Shift, Command, and 3 keys all at the same time. A thumbnail should appear in the corner of the screen, you can click on this to crop it.
  3. To capture a partial screenshot, press the Shift, Command, and 4 keys together at the same time. Then drag the crosshair to choose the area of the screen you want to capture. Again, a thumbnail should appear in the corner, and you can click this to make any extra crops or edits.
  4. To capture an individual window or menu, press the Shift, Command, 4, and spacebar keys at the same time. You should see a camera icon, which you can then hover over the window you want to capture. Again, click on the thumbnail that appears to edit.

How to screenshot crop on a Mac using a built-in Screenshot app

Best for: ease of use

Another method you can use when it comes to how to take a cropped screenshot while using a Mac is to make use of the built-in Screenshot app. This is very similar to the Snipping Tool seen on other devices and platforms; it's a lightweight, easy-to-use, beginner-friendly app that can be activated by pressing a hotkey combination or making use of the Launchpad. The Screenshot app can be used for taking screenshots of different sizes and sections of the screen, as well as screen recordings too, and it comes with additional features like a timer.

Pros:

  • An easy-to-use tool
  • Built-in, so no downloads or installs needed
  • Also works with screen recordings
  • Various editing options and other features

Cons:

  • Quite a basic tool

Read on to learn how to edit a screenshot using a built-in app.

  1. The Screenshot app is automatically installed on all Macs, so you don't need to download or install it, but you will need to launch it. You can do this by either pressing the Shift, Command, and 5 keys at the same time or by using the Launchpad.
  2. Once the tool is open, click on the relevant button to capture a screenshot. You can use the different buttons to make different types of screenshots, including the entire screen, window, and portions of the screen. You can also use this tool to make screen recordings.
  3. Make use of the options, if desired, to configure the tool to your liking and use extra features.
  4. Click on the Capture button to take your screenshot or click on the window you want to capture if you're doing an individual window screenshot.
  5. A thumbnail of your capture will appear. You can click on this and then crop it as desired.

How to take a cropped screenshot with Preview

Best for: precise cropping

You can also choose to make use of the Preview tool in order to make cropped screenshots on your Mac. The Preview tool is usually used to let you view image files that are stored on your device or new images you made, like screenshots. In this tool, it's possible to simply click on the crop button and then drag and mark out the area of the image you want to keep. It's really easy to use, and you can also use Preview to edit images like screenshots in other ways, such as resizing them, annotating, or adjusting the color.

Pros:

  • Beginner-friendly
  • Installed on all Macs
  • Can be used for other forms of editing too

Cons:

  • Easy to make mistakes when dragging the box

Here’s how to crop a screenshot with the Preview app:

  1. To use the Preview tool, first, click on the screenshot image you want to view.
  2. The image should open in the preview window. You can then click and drag on it to mark the area you want to keep, as well as the area you want to remove.
  3. Once you've dragged out your selection, click on Tools and then Crop, or simply use the hotkey shortcut Command and K to crop the image.
  4. Save your image before closing the Preview window.

How to crop pictures in the Photos app

Best for: advanced editing

You may also make use of the built-in Photos app on your Mac to make cropped screenshots very easily. This app can also be used for advanced editing of your images and screenshots, allowing you to adjust the color, resize the image, apply filters, and so on. It offers a lot of features but isn't the fastest option when all you want to do is crop a screenshot.

Pros:

  • Built-in – no installation or download needed
  • Easy to use for beginners
  • Lots of different editing options, including filters and resizing

Cons:

  • Not the fastest option for cropping

Follow the steps below to edit your screenshot:

  1. The Photos app is installed on all Mac devices, so there's no need to download or install it. Instead, simply open the app via the Launchpad and then click on a screenshot you want to edit.
  2. Click on the Edit button in the top corner and then select the Crop tab at the top.
  3. You can then use the preset aspect ratios on the side to choose the right ratio for your image and then drag the sides and corners of the image inwards to crop it.
  4. You can also click and drag on the center of the image to move it around or use the wheel on the side to adjust the rotation.
  5. Click on the Done when you're finished to save the cropped image.

How to make and crop screenshots using a touchpad

Best for: MacBook Pro users

Another very simple method for making cropped screenshots on a Mac is with the use of the touchpad. You can use the Touch Bar itself to take screenshots with a single tap, but this only works on newer MacBook Pro models, as older Macs don't have the same functionality.

Pros:

  • Really simple and straightforward
  • Lets you take different sizes and types of screenshot
  • Works in seconds

Cons:

  • Only works with newer MacBook Pro models

Here’s how to crop a screenshot using the touchpad:

  1. The Photos app is installed on all Mac devices, so there's no need to download or install it. Instead, simply open the app via the Launchpad and then click on a screenshot you want to edit.
  2. First, you need to enable the Screenshot icon on the Touch Bar. You should see a camera-shaped icon appear.
  3. Tap the camera icon and select the type of screenshot you'd like to take.
  4. Take the screenshot and then click the thumbnail to edit and save where you want.

Comparing the screenshot editing options

Program

Best for

Pros

Cons

Movavi Screen RecorderMaking and editing screenshots and recordings

Easy to use

Free

Built-in editing

Works with videos

Requires download
HotkeysSpeed and convenience

No downloads

No installs

Quick and easy

Whole or partial capture

Hard to remember
PreviewPrecise cropping

Beginner-friendly

Installed by default

Other editing features

Requires care to use
PhotosAdvanced editing

Beginner-friendly

Built-in

Filters and resizing

Not the fastest
TouchpadMacBook Pro users

Very simple

Multiple screenshot options

Works in seconds

Only for new MacBook Pro users
Built-in Screenshot appEase of use

No downloads/installs

Very easy to use

Works with recordings too

Basic

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. Learn more

Frequently asked questions

How do you crop a screenshot on Mac?

There are many different ways in which you can crop a screenshot on your Mac. You can use Movavi Screen Recorder, for example, to take and crop screenshots as desired, as well as for screen recordings too. You can also make use of simple hotkey combinations and touchpad touches to take and edit screenshots or use other methods like the built-in Screenshot app, the Preview tool, and the Photos app.

How do you edit a screenshot on a Mac?

A good way to edit Mac screenshots is to make use of Movavi Screen Recorder. To use this, follow these steps:

  1. First, download and install Movavi Screen Recorder for your Mac.
  2. Open up the program and configure the settings as desired.
  3. To take a screenshot, click the Screenshot button.
  4. Once you have your screenshot, you can use Movavi Screen Recorder's built-in editing tools to edit it. You can crop, highlight, add arrows and lines, and more.

Is there a snipping tool on a Mac?

There isn't the same Snipping Tool on Mac as you would find on Windows devices. However, Macs have their own built-in Screenshot app, which works in a very similar way to the Snipping Tool, as well as simple hotkey combinations you can use to take screenshots whenever you need to.