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Take Screenshots on an iMac with an HP or Any Keyboard

When we talk about Apple products, it is evident that they will be different from other counterparts in terms of hardware and software, and we will be discussing the same in this article.

Every desktop and laptop has its own hotkeys to take a screenshot depending upon the keyboard mapping, and so does an iMac, but what if you are not using an Apple keyboard? What if you are using an HP Keyboard?

Would you still be able to take a screenshot?

In this article, we will be providing the steps to take a screenshot on an iMac using an HP key? Well, the simple answer is, Yes, you will be able to take a screenshot. However, the hotkeys would be different.

How to Take a Screenshot on an iMac Using an HP Keyboard?

The following steps will help the users to take a screenshot from an iMac:

Method 1: The users who prefer to take a screenshot for the entire screen can follow the following hotkeys:

Windows button + Shift + 3

Method 2: The users who prefer to take a screenshot for a selective part of the screen will be able to do so by simply referring to the following hotkeys:

Windows button + Shift + 4

Note: The steps given above will only work when the HP keyboard is designed with Windows Mapping. Most of the keyboards used for other computer companies are designed as per Windows mapping, with, of course, the exception of Apple.

How to take a Screenshot on an iMac with any Windows Keyboard?

The users can follow the following steps to take a screenshot using a Windows keyboard:

Method 1: To take the screenshot of the entire screen, the users will have to use the following hotkeys:

Windows button + Shift + 3 

Method 2: To take a screenshot of a particular section of the screen, the users will have to use the following hotkeys:

Windows button + Shift + 4 

How to Crop a Screenshot on an iMac?

The iMac users can crop a screenshot by using the following hotkeys:

  • Shift+ Command+5

The screen will produce a dotted box for editing the screenshot, and the users will be able to drag it and take the required shot.

In addition, the users can also take a screenshot and click on the image, which would appear on the bottom right of the screen. It appears to let the user have a preview of it.

Now, it will appear on an editing menu, and the users would be able to make the necessary changes to the screenshot, i.e., to crop it.

Why all the Complications?

The complication with regard to taking a screenshot is present on an iMac because not many users know that Apple has a different keyboard mapping than Windows and because Windows dominated the PC market at one time, the competitors were using not only the software developed by it but also the keyboard designed by it, and therefore this problem arises.

The problem associated with it is a study in itself but more on that in a different article. 

For now, let us understand the significant changes we see in the keyboard mapping of an iMac and a Windows or any other personal computer that exist in the market.

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The following are the significant differences in Keyboard System Preference between Windows and Mac:

  1. The “Alt” button for Windows is an “Option” button on Mac.
  2. The Windows icon on Windows is a “command” button on Mac.

The remapping of these keys makes some basic functions of the computers a little different for operating, which is why we see the complication in taking a screenshot.

The PC users can also use an Apple keyboard, but they have to change the mappings of the keys mentioned above. The users must also be careful in attempting to change the mappings as it may lead to further complications that may harm the overall functioning of the computer.

The Apple users using a PC keyboard having a Windows mapping can also change the mappings and operate the keyboard as per the requirement, but again, it must be done only when the user is well aware of the nature of the problem.


In this article, we learn about the shortcuts which a user can use to take a screenshot on various conditions for both the Apple and Windows Keyboards.

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The various reasons for the problems associated with it were also discussed. However, there is only one thing left out, which is the reason behind such a difference. 

As mentioned earlier, it is a subject in itself and has a long history behind it, but all we can do is explain in a nutshell.

Apple first commercialized keyboard mapping through the Macintosh. But, after Microsoft teamed with IBM for developing its own PC, it changed the mapping to avoid any lawsuit being filed against it, and that is how two different keyboard mappings exist in the market. 

Ajit Kumar Yadav
Ajit Kumar Yadav is an analyst interpreting different technologies and keeping track of their events. He understands the business part of technology and construes it from social, political, economic, and cultural lenses.


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