Capturing a Screen Shot

by Barry Dysert
(last updated April 20, 2019)

2

Windows makes it easy to create an image of what's on the screen. PC keyboards have a "Print Screen" key, which used to actually print the screen image to an attached printer. This key may have some abbreviated variation of "Print Screen," such as "PrtScn." (It may take some creative reading to figure out which key is the correct one on your keyboard.)

Nowadays, the "Print Screen" key doesn't actually print anything. Instead it captures the screen image and places it on the Clipboard. If, instead of capturing the entire screen, you want to only capture the active window, just hold down the Alt key when you press "Print Screen." If you really want to print whatever you've captured, paste the Clipboard contents into an image-capable application (like Microsoft Word or a dedicated graphics program) and print from there.

If you are using Windows 8 or Windows 10, you should be aware that Microsoft has enhanced and modified the ability to capture a screen. You can find more information about it in this WindowsTip.

Another way to capture a screen shot is to use the Snipping Tool. One of the Snipping Tool's options is to do a full-screen snip. The Snipping Tool also has a window snip option that allows you to capture a window or dialog box.

 This tip (12560) applies to Windows 7, 8, and 10.

Author Bio

Barry Dysert

Barry has been a computer professional for over 35 years, working in different positions such as technical team leader, project manager, and software developer. He is currently a software engineer with an emphasis on developing custom applications under Microsoft Windows. When not working with Windows or writing Tips, Barry is an amateur writer. His first non-fiction book is titled "A Chronological Commentary of Revelation." ...

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What is 2 + 3?

2018-12-24 13:23:44

Allan

While Print Screen is OK, the Snipping Tool is much faster and far more flexible as you can capture all or any part of the screen. It also has some neat options.


2018-12-24 06:17:31

Roy Taylor

As a teacher I often needed to provide my pupils with crib sheets on how to do things. One other useful addition to the PrtScr tool box is ALT - PrtScr when you have a dialogue box open, it captures only the dialogue box and saves hours of pasting into Paint and cropping.


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