How to Screenshot a Part of the Screen on Windows and Mac

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Screenshots allow users to get a picture of what is currently on their screen for reference purposes or for sharing with others. Learn how to take a screenshot of a selected area to capture screenshot with precision.

Whether you need to highlight specific details or crop an image, this article will walk you through the simple steps to take a partial screenshot. Get ready to elevate your screen-capturing with accuracy and efficiency.

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How we picked tools to screenshot a part of the screen

When choosing software to make a selective screenshot, we considered several key criteria to ensure efficiency:

  • Ease of use. We favored tools with intuitive interface that are accessible to both beginners and experienced users.
  • Compatibility. We included options for various operating systems, including Windows and macOS.
  • Editing capabilities. We looked for tools that offer basic editing features, such as cropping, annotating, and adding text to screenshots, enhancing their usability.

Screenshot a part of the screen on Windows

Icecream Screen Recorder

With Icecream Screen Recorder, it is convenient and swift to capture exactly what you desire on your computer screen.

Here is a step-by-step guide for taking a screenshot using this software:

  1. Download and install free screenshot software on your computer.
  2. Click "Screenshot" in the side menu and press "Custom area".
  3. Select the desired part of your screen by moving the cursor and toggling over the area. Once you've chosen the section, release the mouse.
  4. You can use the "Drawing panel" to add text, steps, arrows, and other elements.
  5. Click "Copy" to place your screenshot on the clipboard, "Screenshot" to edit, crop, and save the image, or "Upload" to create a shareable link.

Pros:

  • The free screen recorder is free and easy to use, so anyone can easily take a partial screenshot with it.
  • It has powerful photo editing tools that allow you to quickly add annotations or highlights before and after taking a screenshot.
  • The program supports popular image formats like JPG and PNG, so you can easily share your screenshots with others.
  • It offers various screenshot modes, such as full screen, custom area, and selected windows, allowing you to capture what you need.
  • The application can also record any part of the screen, which can be useful for creating tutorials or presentations.
  • You can use hotkeys for capturing screenshots and screen recording, enhancing efficiency.

Using Icecream Screen Recorder is a great way to quickly capture any part of your computer screen without using complex software. Utilizing this program, anyone can get images of their chosen area in a few simple steps!

Alt + Print Screen

Capturing screenshots on Windows is straightforward with hotkeys. This combination will capture the active window.

  1. Press Alt and Print Screen simultaneously.
  2. The screenshot will be saved to the clipboard.
  3. To save it, open any photo editor and paste the image by pressing Ctrl and V.
  4. Save the screenshot as a PNG or JPG image.
Screen capture of a specific area

Pros:

  • Captures the window quickly without the need for additional software or tools.
  • The screenshot is copied to the clipboard, so you can paste it into documents or messages.

Cons:

  • Can't take a screenshot of specific regions, limiting its versatility.
  • If you forget to save the screenshot manually, it will be lost when you capture the next one.

Windows + Shift + S

This way you can select a custom area for a partial screenshot on Windows.

  1. Press the Windows Key + Shift + S at the same time.
  2. Your screen will dim and your mouse cursor will turn into a crosshair.
  3. Use the crosshair to select the area of your screen that you want to capture.
  4. You will see a pop-up window. Click it to open your screenshot in Snip & Sketch.
  5. You can copy it to the clipboard or save it in any folder on your PC.
Screen capture of a specific area

You can choose how to take a screenshot before selecting the area.

  • Rectangular. This mode enables you to screenshot a rectangular area on your screen. You can precisely size and position the rectangle.
  • Free-form. Draw a custom, freehand shape on your desktop to define the area for screen capture.
  • Window. Capture a single program, browser window, or application without including the surrounding elements.
  • Full-screen. Make a screenshot of your entire screen to encompass every element currently displayed on your monitor.

Pros:

  • Provides basic annotation and sketching tools, allowing you to add notes or highlights.

Cons:

  • This shortcut is only available in Windows 10 and 11.

Snipping tool

You can screenshot a part of your screen using a built-in Windows program. Here's how:

  1. You can find this app in the "Start" menu or by typing "Snipping tool" in the search bar.
  2. Press the down arrow on the "Mode" button and select the "Rectangular Snip" option.
  3. Click and drag your mouse to choose the area for a selective screenshot.
  4. If you want, you can edit the image by highlighting, writing, or drawing on it.
  5. When you are ready, click "File" and then "Save as" to get your screenshot in your desired location and format (JPG, GIF, etc.).
Snipping tool

Pros:

  • You can capture a screenshot in different modes, including free-form, rectangular, window, and full-screen.

Cons:

  • Is considered outdated and has been replaced by more modern alternatives in recent Windows versions.

Greenshot

Greenshot is an open-source software for Windows. It allows users to capture screenshots of their desktop or specific regions, annotate them, and save or share the images.

Here's a basic guide on how to use it:

  1. Download and install Greenshot on your computer.
  2. After installation, the program runs in the background. You can access it by clicking on the icon in the system tray.
  3. Select one of the capture methods:
    • Region. Allows you to choose a custom area for capture.
    • Last region. Repeats the last selection.
    • Window. Captures a specific window or application.
    • Full screen. Takes a picture of the entire screen.
  4. Once you've taken a screenshot, the program offers to open a built-in free image editor.
  5. After capturing and annotating the picture, you can save it to your computer, copy it to the clipboard, or send it to a printer.
Greenshot

Pros:

  • The source code is available for anyone to inspect and modify.
  • Includes a built-in editor that allows users to annotate and edit screenshots.
  • Doesn't consume significant system resources.

Cons:

  • There is a MacOS version available, but you need to pay for it.

Lightshot

Lightshot is an easy-to-use screenshot tool available for Windows and macOS. It lets users capture screenshots of their desktop, specific windows, or selected areas of the display. Here's a step-by-step guide:

  1. Begin by downloading Lightshot from its official website.
  2. Once installed, launch the app using the keyboard shortcut (default: Print Screen on Windows, Command + Shift + 9 on macOS).
  3. Your desktop will be overlaid with a semi-transparent layer. Use your cursor to choose the part of the screen you wish to capture.
  4. Use the toolbar that appears after selecting an area to access various annotation features.
  5. Once you are satisfied with the result, you can export the screenshot by clicking the "Save" button or copy it to the clipboard.
Lightshot

Pros:

  • You can customize your screenshots with annotations to convey information more effectively.
  • The free screenshot tool is designed to be lightweight and fast, ensuring that you can capture images without any lag.

Cons:

Screenshot a part of the screen on MacOS

Taking screenshots on MacOS is simple and easy. Here are the steps for taking a picture of a chosen area:

  1. Press Command + Shift + 4 simultaneously on your keyboard.
  2. The cursor will change to a crosshair. Click and drag it to screenshot a part of the screen.
  3. When the desired area is selected, release the mouse button or trackpad.
  4. The image will be captured and saved as a PNG file to your desktop.
Screen capture on Mac

It is also possible to make a screenshot of a specific window:

  1. Press Command + Shift + 4.
  2. Press and release the space bar.
  3. Click on the desired window you want to take a screenshot of.

You can also copy the screenshot directly to your clipboard instead of saving it by pressing Control while dragging the selection area. This way, you can paste the image into any document or presentation without having to save it first.

Press and hold the space bar before releasing the mouse button. This will lock the shape but let you reposition it on the screen. That way you can adjust the initial selection if it's a little off.

Once you've captured your screenshot, you can use Preview or photo editing software to make any necessary adjustments before saving or sharing it with others.

FAQ

What file format should I use for screenshots?
Most image editing programs support JPEG, PNG, or TIFF formatted files for screenshots.
Is there a way to capture multiple screenshots simultaneously?
Yes, you can use software such as Icecream Screen Recorder to take multiple screenshots without losing the previous ones.
How can I capture an image of my whole screen?
On Windows, press the PrtScn key on your keyboard. On Mac, press Command + Shift + 3.

Tips

  1. Choose a file type. The screenshot can be saved as a PNG or JPG file. Select one depending on your needs.
  2. Edit as needed. After taking your screenshot, you can use a photo editor to make further adjustments as needed.
  3. Delay capture. Some tools allow you to set a delay before capturing the screenshot. This is useful for capturing pop-up menus that disappear quickly.
  4. Keep screenshots organized. Save screenshots in designated folders and name them properly so it's easy to find them later on.
  5. Compress images. If your screenshot folder is too large, resize the images in it to reduce their size.
  6. Manage memory usage. If you're utilizing a third-party app for taking a screenshot, make sure it's not taking up too much memory. This can slow down your device's performance.

Conclusion

In conclusion, knowing how to take a screenshot of a selected area is a fundamental skill for both Windows and Mac users. It enables you to focus on specific content and share it effectively.

Whether you're highlighting critical information, documenting technical issues, or creating educational materials, the ability to take precise partial screenshots empowers you to communicate with clarity.

So, the next time you need to grab a specific portion of your screen, you'll be well-equipped to do so with confidence and ease. It's really as simple as that!

Alexandra Meyer

Editor-in-Chief at Icecream Apps

With experience spanning over several years, Alexandra Meyer holds the esteemed position of editor-in-chief at Icecream Apps. Originally involved in the website's establishment in 2014, Alexandra now ensures the maintenance of the company's exceptional content standards across their various projects. Specializing in technology, software, online services, and human resources, she has extensively written and edited numerous articles on these subjects.
6 min read
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