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Take a screen capture

Sometimes it's easier to show someone what you're seeing on your computer screen instead of explaining it. In Windows, one easy solution is the PrtScn key. When you press it, an image of your screen is copied to the Clipboard. This is called a screen capture or screen shot.

To print the screen capture or send it to someone in an e‑mail, you'll first have to paste it into Paint or some other image-editing program and save it.

If you use Windows XP, Vista or 7 you can use the following guide, also a better solution for Windows 7 users is Snipping Tool, Click here to learn more about that.

To take a screen capture of the entire screen

  1. Press PrtScn.
  2. Open Paint by clicking the Start button, clicking All Programs, clicking Accessories, and then clicking Paint.
  3. In Paint, on the Home tab, in the Clipboard group, click Paste. (Windows XP users click edit menu and then click paste)
  4. If you want to resize the image, on the Home tab, in the Image group, click Resize, and enter a new percentage or pixel size. (Windows 7 only)
  5. Click the Paint button or file menu, and then click Save. (Choose JPG or PNG for file type/format)

It's also possible to capture a specific active window when you press PrtScn.

To capture an active window

  1. Press Alt+PrtScn.
  2. Open Paint by clicking the Start button, clicking All Programs, clicking Accessories, and then clicking Paint.
  3. In Paint, on the Home tab, in the Clipboard group, click Paste. (Windows XP users click edit menu and then click paste)
  4. If you want to resize the image, on the Home tab, in the Image group, click Resize, and enter a new percentage or pixel size. (Windows 7 only)
  5. Click the Paint button or file menu, and then click Save. (Choose JPG or PNG for file type/format)

Notes:

On some keyboards, PrtScn might appear as PRTSC, PRTSCN, or a similar abbreviation.

Certain laptops and other mobile devices that lack a PrtScn key might use other key combinations, such as FN+Insert, to capture the screen. Check the manual the came with your laptop or device for specific instructions.
Subpages (1): Snipping Tool
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