By default, screenshotting a Mac window takes into account macOS’s nice drop shadow. But more often than not, the effect makes the screenshotted images more difficult to align properly in documents and webpages due to the surrounding shadow.

While you can always disable the shadow effect with a simple Terminal command, doing so removes the shadow for all screenshots.

What if you wanted to remove the shadow for the current screenshot only?

That’s what this tutorial is all about: we’ll tell you about a modifier key that you can press while screenshotting a window to override default system behavior and remove the shadow effect from that particular screenshot only.

How to take a Mac screenshot without the shadow effect

1) Press the Command (⌘)-Shift (⇧)-4 keys simultaneously on your Mac’s keyboard. You’ll enter a mode where you can take a screenshot of a selected area of your screen and your mouse pointer should change to a crosshair icon.

2) Press the Spacebar key. This will change your cursor to a camera symbol to denote that you’ll be capturing a screenshot of a specific window.

3) Now hold the Option (⌥) key, position the cursor over a window you’d like to screenshot, then hit the left mouse button to grab an image of the selected window without the annoying drop shadow effect.

Tip: If you’d like to remove the shadow effect from the current screenshot and also have it saved in macOS’s system clipboard for quick pasting in other apps (and devices, via Universal Clipboard), use the Control (⌃)-Command (⌘)-Shift (⇧)-4 shortcut instead of the Command (⌘)-Shift (⇧)-4 key combo.

To cancel taking a screenshot, just hit the Escape (⎋) key.

Other Mac screenshotting tips

macOS provides comprehensive support for grabbing screenshots right out of the box.

Some of the more advanced screenshotting features may be less obvious to novice users than others. To make the most of your Mac’s screenshot-taking capabilities, consult the following tutorials from the iDownloadBlog team:

Happy screenshotting!

As always, submit your ides for future tutorial coverage via tips@iDownloadBlog.com.

  • Thanks for sharing, I was wondering for that how to screenshot on MAC and I find solution from you…loved it

  • Iskren Donev

    I didn’t know the bit where you can take a screenshot of a window by holding down Space. Thanks! The article was well worth my time reading.

  • Thanks for the great tips to take screenshot on mac without any hesitation. Very nice and informative blog post.