You will need to know how to crop a screenshot on a Mac if you want to grab a screenshot of an app while it’s running but remove the menu bar or dock. There are numerous techniques for taking Mac screenshots, including built-in solutions as well as commercial and free alternatives.

These include ways for cropping undesired exterior regions, applying filters to your image, and making more complicated alterations. Here’s how to crop a screenshot on a Mac.

Essential Keyboard Shortcuts for Taking Screenshots on a Mac

Before learning how to crop a screenshot, you may need to first learn how to snap a new screenshot.

On a Macbook, there are multiple ways to take a screenshot, but the easiest method is to use one of several keyboard shortcuts. If you are running macOS Mojave or later, you can use the built-in screenshot cropping tool to crop screenshots as you take them.

If you’re not sure how to snap screenshots, try these:

  • Shift + Command + 3 to take a screenshot of the entire screen.
  • Shift + Command + 4 to capture a portion of the screen.
  • Shift + Command + 4 + Space bar to capture a window or menu.

How to Crop a Screenshot on a Macbook

After you’ve taken a screenshot, you can crop it using one of the methods listed below.

Using the Built-In Screenshot Cropping Tool

The new, built-in screenshot cropping tool is possibly the best way to crop a screenshot on a Mac.

You’ll see a floating thumbnail in the bottom-right corner of your screen after taking a screenshot in macOS. It’s a thumbnail of your screenshot that opens the cropping tool when you click it. If you do not click on the thumbnail within a few seconds, it will disappear and you will no longer be able to use the tool. Unfortunately, there is no way to extend the time until it evaporates.

To crop with this tool, do the following:

  1. After taking your screenshot, click the Crop icon (top-right).
  2. Choose the region of your screenshot that you want to save.
  3. When you’re done, click Done.

Making Use of Preview

When you double-click on an image in macOS, the Preview app launches automatically. You can use this tool to crop your screenshots quickly.

To crop a screenshot in Preview, follow these steps:

  1. To open the Preview app, double-click an image in the Finder.
  2. Select the Show Markup Toolbar icon (top-right, pencil-shaped).
  3. By clicking and dragging, select the area you wish to keep.
  4. Select Tools from the menu bar.
  5. Choose Crop from the drop-down menu.

Making use of the Photos app

On macOS, the Photos app is the default tool for managing your images. On a Mac, it may also be used as a simple photo editing application, allowing you to rapidly crop screenshots.

You must, however, save your screenshot to your Mac before proceeding.

To edit screenshots in the Photos app, follow these steps:

  1. Select Photos, then File > Import.
  2. Choose the screenshot you want to modify.
  3. Select Import.
  4. Double-click the imported image, then select Edit (top-right).
  5. Select the Crop button at the top.

Third-Party Services

You can find a number of third-party apps that allow you to edit images in the App Store by going to the Photo & Video section.

Among them are Adobe Lightroom, Polarr Photo Editor, Pixelstyle Photo Image Editor, and others. Online, similar apps are also available. When it comes to cropping, each third-party photo-editing solution behaves slightly differently than the next.

As an example, consider how Polarr Photo Editor handles cropping. Follow these steps to edit screenshots in Polarr Photo Editor:

  1. Select File > Open.
  2. Choose the photo you want to edit.
  3. Select the crop icon on the left.
  4. Choose the area you want to save.
  5. To save the image, click the Save Photo button.

Screenshot Editing on a Mac

There are numerous ways to crop a screenshot on a Mac, whether you use a built-in tool or a third-party alternative.

Cropping screenshots is possible with more advanced image editing software, such as GIMP or Photoshop. You can also experiment with web-based tools—a quick Google search will reveal these, but some worthy of mention include Fotor, PicResize, and piZap.


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