How to Crop a Screenshot on Mac: 6 Easy Methods

You’ve probably already learned how to take a screenshot on your Mac. However, cropping or editing photos on your computer is likely nowhere near as intuitive as on your iPhone or tablet. Taking screenshots on your iPhone is easy, and you immediately get the option to edit if you need to. Now, the question is, does your Mac allow for similar levels of convenience?

If you want to discover how to crop a screenshot on Mac, you’re in the right place. Below, we show you six easy methods for doing a MacBook screenshot crop with step-by-step guides. These methods will work on any Apple computer running macOS. Let’s get right to it!

How to Crop a Screenshot on Mac: Step-by-Step Guides

If you’re asking, “how do you crop a screenshot on a Mac?” all the answers you need are below. Because there are six methods for cropping screenshots on your Mac computer, here are a few tips to help you choose:

  • Pick the most accessible – Convenience always reigns above all. Choose the simplest, easiest, and most accessible method unless you need specific additional functions only available in third-party options. On your Mac, cropping a screenshot doesn’t need to be complicated.
  • Choose a tool with the features you need – Using the built-in tools on your MacBook to crop a screenshot is excellent, but sometimes they don’t have all the necessary features.
  • Price – Choose the tool that offers all the features you need in the most affordable manner. And if you can get away with free solutions, there’s no need to pay a dime!

And now, without further ado, here’s how to crop a screenshot on Macbook Pro, Air, or any other Mac!

Using a Hotkey

Your Mac has countless hotkeys that, when pressed, bring up specific responses or perform various tasks. As you may have guessed, your Mac has shortcuts that allow you to take screenshots.

One particular shortcut lets you take pre-cropped screenshots in a single step, so you don’t have to do any editing after. You can take a cropped screenshot on Mac computers that shows only precisely what you need by following the steps below:

  1. Press the keys Command + Control + Shift + 4.
  2. Upon pressing these keys, your cursor will turn into a crosshair. You can then click and drag to take a screenshot of any size you need.
How to take a cropped screenshot on Mac
  1. When you have the perfect screenshot, you can simply let go of your click, and it’ll immediately copy the selected area onto your clipboard.
  2. Paste your pre-cropped screenshot wherever you need it!

Pros of Using This Method

  • Free
  • Easy and simple
  • No need for any additional steps

Cons of Using This Method

  • It’s hard to be precise with your cropping

Built-in Screenshot Tool on Mac

Using the built-in screenshot utility on your Mac is another excellent option. You can be a bit more precise this way than with the hotkey above, but you can also conveniently take pre-cropped screenshots. Just follow the steps below:

  1. Bring up the screenshot utility tool by pressing the Command + Shift + 5 keys simultaneously. Once pressed, you’ll see a bar like the one below:
screenshot utility tool
  1. Click on the box with the dashed lines, which is the “Capture Selected Portion” option.
“Capture Selected Portion”
  1. Once selected, this option will allow you to click and drag a box to the exact size you need for your screenshot. Get it as perfect as you’d like.
How to crop a screenshot on a mac
  1. Once ready, click “Capture,” and it should save the screenshot to your clipboard.
  2. You can also save it to other locations by clicking on Options.
Clipboard

Pros of Using This Method

  • Free
  • Easy and simple
  • More precise
  • Allows you to choose save location

Cons of Using This Method

  • Not as quick as the hotkey method

Using the Preview App

Here’s how to crop a screenshot on MacBook using the Preview app. This method assumes you already have a saved file to open.

  1. Double-click on any photo or screenshot you want to crop. It will instantly open in the Preview app.
  2. Click and drag on any portion of the screen to select the cropped section.
Preview app
  1. Remember that you can keep adjusting the box until you have it exactly how you need it. Once ready, you can simply go to the Top Menu Bar > Tools > Crop or press the Command + K shortcut.
  2. Once cropped, go to the Top Menu Bar > File > Save, and the Preview app will overwrite your previous file.

Pros of Using This Method

  • Free
  • Easy and straightforward, no extra installations needed
  • Great for precise cropping

Cons of Using This Method

  • More steps

Using the Photos App

Apple’s built-in Photos app allows for more advanced editing, including cropping! Here’s how:

  1. Open your Photos app.
  2. Go to the top menu bar and navigate to Files > Import. Import whichever file you’d like to crop.
Import screenshot
  1. You’ll find your imported file in Imports on the sidebar.
You’ll find your imported file in Imports on the sidebar.
  1. Double-click on the file to open it. Once it’s open, press Enter (or the return key) to enter edit mode.
  2. In edit mode, click on Crop at the top of the Photos window. Adjust as needed using the corner adjustment handles, then click on Done.
click on Crop at the top of the Photos window.
  1. After you click Done, the Photos app will overwrite your previous file, so ensure you have your crop exactly how you need it before you commit. And that’s how to crop a screenshot on Mac using the Photos app!

Pros of Using This Method

  • Also allows other edits like adding filters or making photo quality adjustments
  • Free and simple
  • Has many cropping settings and presets to help you out

Cons of Using This Method

  • Requires you to import your file
  • Many steps, not the most convenient

Third-Party Apps

Many third-party apps will enable you to crop a screenshot on Macs. You can choose whichever one you want. Adobe Photoshop or Affinity Photo 1 or 2 are examples of paid apps, while Canva and GIMP are free versions. You’ll need to find a tutorial for the specific app you chose for precise instructions!

Pros of Using This Method

  • More control
  • Tons more features
  • Apps are helpful for other things too

Cons of Using This Method

  • Some tools are behind paywalls
  • Need to download and install apps

Online Tools

If you’ve ever wondered whether it was possible to find online tools for cropping screenshots, the answer is yes. There are plenty of online tools out there, and PrintScreenshot.com is just one example.

To use PrintScreenshot to crop/edit your screenshot, navigate to the page. You can take a screenshot and paste, drag in an existing screenshot over, or upload a file.

PrintScreenShot

Once your screenshot is on the website, scroll down to “Edit Screenshot” and click on Crop.

scroll down to “Edit Screenshot” and click on Crop.

Configure your crop exactly how you like, then click on File. Choose how you’d like to save your image (Save Image, Save Image as, Save/Share).

Pros of Using This Method

  • Free
  • Simple and intuitive

Cons of Using This Method

  • Has ads
  • Relies on an internet connection

Which Is the Best Method to Crop Mac Screenshot?

Of the above methods, which one is best for doing an easy screenshot crop on macOS?

Honestly, it’s all up to your personal preference.

However, if you ask us, we prefer the built-in macOS tools for their simplicity, accessibility, and convenience. Our favorite methods for how to screenshot on Mac and crop are the hotkey, screenshot utility, and the Photos app.

Editing Screenshots on Mac Computers

Now that we’ve answered the question, “how do you crop a screenshot on a Mac?” let’s talk about how to edit a screenshot on Mac. The methods below allow you to use your Mac to edit screenshot images exactly how you need:

  • Photos app – Your Mac’s Photos app lets you make adjustments, add filters, and crop your photos and screenshots. You can also make annotations and markup your photos as needed. This is our favorite method for how to edit screenshots on Mac if you don’t need to make complex alterations.
  • Online tools – Many online tools and resources let you edit screenshots for free. For example, you can try PrintScreenshot.com.
  • Third-party apps – You can always try third-party apps like Canva, Adobe Photoshop, GIMP, Affinity Photo (1/2), and more. Some apps are available for free or have a free web version, while others are paid software.

Editing screenshots isn’t complicated. There are many intuitive tools that practically walk you through the process. Choose whichever method is most accessible to you!

Frequently Asked Questions

Is there a snipping tool on a Mac?

Yes! Apple’s built-in screenshot and screen recording utility also acts as a snipping tool. You can bring up the tool by pressing the keyboard shortcut Command + Shift + 5. Once pressed, this shortcut brings up the toolbar that will allow you to use the snipping tool as needed.

How do you crop a screenshot on Mac?

You can try one of several methods to crop screenshots on Mac. Apple includes built-in utilities and apps that allow you to crop or edit screenshots on your computer without any additional tools. You can also try third-party apps or online tools for this purpose. Our article above includes step-by-step guides to help you find the best method for you.

What is the shortcut to crop a picture on a Mac?

If you want to do a Mac screenshot crop, the easiest and simplest way to do it is with one of macOS’s built-in utilities. However, to crop a picture, you’ll need to use an app. Your Mac’s built-in Photos app will allow you to crop and edit photos without any additional cost. However, you can also use third-party apps like GIMP, Adobe Photoshop, Affinity Photo 1 or 2, Canva, and more.

Conclusion

Cropping screenshots on your Mac is simpler than you might think. Apple provides built-in tools to help you do a Mac screenshot crop, so you don’t even have to use third-party tools for this purpose. However, there are many online tools and third-party apps, both free and paid, that you can use if you prefer.

In our opinion, the best methods for how to crop a Mac screenshot are the ones built right into macOS. We prefer using the screenshot utility or the Photos app, as these methods are free, simple, and convenient.

We hope that the guides above on how to crop a screenshot on Mac have helped you figure out how to edit your images as needed. Let us know which one is your favorite method below!

Wondering which apps to install on your Mac for the best setup and experience? Check out the best Mac apps here.

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Chriselle has been a passionate writer for over 10 years, working with many publications worldwide. She currently writes for Productivity Spot, The Grad Cafe, and Hackr.io, among others.

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