Beginners Guide to Mac Screenshot to Clipboard

How to instantly put your mac screenshot on the clipboard instead of taking up storage space 

“Universal Clipboard” makes copying and pasting super easy across macOS and iOS. There are some ways this Continuity feature will boost your experience. A classic case in point, you’ll be able to save the screenshots to the clipboard on your Mac so that they’re accessible across your devices.


Let’s say; you have got taken a screenshot on your Mac and wish to import it within the Notes app on your iPhone. Rather than using airdrop or other means, take it within the clipboard. Then, your image will be simply a fast paste away. Isn’t it a bit a lot of straightforward?

Mac OS X includes some very helpful and powerful screenshot capabilities. 

By default, using the mac screenshot tools places the captured image on your desktop or in another user-defined directory. 

Sometimes, however, you would like to instantly use that screenshot in another application, like editing it in Photoshop or sharing it via Mail. In these cases, the creation of the screenshot file is just a redundant step within the method of obtaining the screenshot to its ultimate destination.

A solution to the present middleman file is Mac’s ability to save a captured screenshot to your clipboard, wherever it will be directly pasted into the required application without having to make and place the file on your desktop. 

The great news is that this further practicality is additionally designed right into the Macintosh OS and uses an easy modification of the already acquainted mac screenshot shortcuts. Here’s how it works.

Copying a mac Screenshot to the clipboard

To save your Mac screenshot to the clipboard rather than to a file on your desktop, the magic key is management (displayed on some older Mac keyboards as ⌃). You just take an existing screenshot keyboard shortcut and add control to the combination.

For example, the keyboard shortcut to capture the whole screen is Shift (⇧) + Command (⌘) + 3. Pressing that key combination can capture your entire screen and place the image as a new PNG file on your desktop. 

However, if you utilize Control (⌃) + Shift (⇧) + Command (⌘) + 3, nothing can seem on your desktop and, well, nothing can appear to happen in the least. However, if you open an app that will accept a pasted image, like Pages, and take a look at and try the contents of your clipboard (Command + V), you’ll see your screenshot seem.

This clipboard trick conjointly works with other screenshot sorts, as well as selection (Control (⌃) + Shift (⇧) + Command (⌘) + 4) and Window (Control (⌃) + Shift (⇧) + Command (⌘) + 4 + Spacebar). When adjusting to the current new shortcut, simply keep in mind to add the key alongside.

Pressing the key in conjunction with the opposite common shortcut keys is true a small amount of awkward from a finger positioning standpoint, however, we’ve found that it’s simple to adjust with a bit of practice apply. 

The advantage of learning this approach is that you simply will the right quickly take your screenshot into the proper application, saving you time, particularly if you are taking uncountable screenshots throughout the day. 

As a bonus, this technique additionally keeps your desktop clutter-free! If you would like to save your Mac screenshot to a file, of course, you’ll be able to invariably forgo the control key as necessary.

Customize Your Mac Screenshot Shortcuts

If you’re keen on the idea of saving a screenshot onto the clipboard, however, and hate having to twist your fingers to succeed in the required keys, you’ll be able to make the most of Mac’s wonderful keyboard mapping function to form your screenshot shortcuts.

Just head to System Preferences > Keyboard > Shortcuts. Choose Screen Shots from the list on the left aspect of the window, and you’ll see Mac’s screenshot options and their default keyboard shortcut combinations on the correct aspect.

Find the screenshot command shortcut you’d like to modify and double-click the shortcut listed to the proper. Now, press the new key combination you’d wish to go along with the command. For instance, you’ll leave the traditional shortcuts alone, however, modify the “save to clipboard” ones to control + Shift + 3/4. 

Or else, if you’re thinking that you’ll use the clipboard technique a lot of usually than the file technique, you’ll switch the control, creating the management modifier applicable to the file technique solely. 

Simply shortcut to verify that your required crosscut combination isn’t used by another application. OS X can warn you with a yellow alert triangle if the crosscut you enter is already in use, however, the software can’t account for all third-party applications.

Once you’ve created your changes, simply shut the System Preferences window and continue along with your screenshots!

Marco Ballesteros

I'm passionate about everything tech but lack the technical knowledge to be a coder or developer. But I have learned how to work around that issue hope you enjoy all the content I have created to help you.

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