Easy Way To Take A Screen Shot With Windows
Being able to take a screen shot using your computer is a useful skill to develop whether you are a casual computer user or someone who uses it for work.
A screen shot is a picture you take of what is currently on your computer screen. It will not be interactive for the person who receives the picture but, rather, will allow them to look at it the way they would any other photograph.
There are several ways to take screen shots but sometimes for beginners or for people not super comfortable with computers, an easy to follow and understand way is best.
If you have Microsoft Office installed on your computer, this is a quick and easy way to take a screen shot, edit it and even paste it into a Word Document.
*Note, click on any of the pictures below to make it bigger and easier to see.
Step One: Find the Screen Shot
Decide what you want to take a screen shot (picture) of on your computer and make sure that it is displayed on your screen.
You may want to close all extra documents you have open and any extra tabs on your web browser.
Step Two: Locate the Print Screen Button On Your Keyboard
Depending on the layout of your computer, your print screen button may be at the top or at the side. It will not be on the main keyboard typing area.
The button will either say
- Print Screen
- Prt Sc
It also may have more words under it like: "sysrq."
Here are examples of a Print Screen Button on a regular keyboard.
Step Three: Hold Down the Control Button
Locate the Control or CTRL button on your computer.
While holding this down, press the Print Screen Button. This will take a picture of whatever is on your computer screen. But you are not done yet. You need to find somewhere to place the picture so you can edit it.
Step Four: Open Paint
In your computer programs you should have a program called Paint. It is standard with most Windows computers.
Go ahead and open up this program.
Step Five: Paste Your Screen Shot Into Paint
The easiest way to paste your screen shot into Paint is to hold down the Control Button (the same one you used earlier) and then press the letter "V" on your keyboard.
Once you do this, you should see your screen shot appear in the Paint program.
Note: Make sure your Paint is open and ready before pressing the Ctrl V command.
You can also use the paste command which should be located right under File on your open Paint window.
Step Six: Save Your Screen Shot
Even if you are planning on editing your screen shot, you will want to save it, just in case.
To do this choose the File/Save As/JPEG
A JPEG image is a higher quality image and it is also, usually, easily opened by other people.
Step Seven: Edit or Crop Your Screen Shot
You will likely want to edit your screen shot to just focus on the most interesting part or the part you want to save.
This is fairly easy to do in Paint.
In the images below you will notice that I have edited a screen shot to just show one portion.
- Choose Select (the Rectangular form keeps it looking neat)
- Then drag your mouse around the image to make a dotted line box. Choose only the parts you want to keep.
- Choose Crop from the menu.
- The image that was in the dotted line box will now be the only portion of the screen shot you see.
- If you have made a mistake, choose the back arrow to undo your crop and then try again.
See the screen shots below for a step-by-step guide.
Step Eight: Save Your Cropped Screen Shot
You will want to save your cropped screen shot in a place that you can find it.
- Choose the Save As and the JPEG option as you did before.
- You will then be taken to a box that gives you options of places to save your file. You can save it anywhere that you feel comfortable and that you know how to access.
- If you have trouble navigating your computer, you can save it on the Desktop which will make it easy to find.
You can also name the file something that lets you know what it is and that will help you find it when you need it.
How To Paste A Screen Shot On a Word Document
If you would like to bring the image into a Microsoft Word document, you can do that pretty easily from Paint.
- After you have cropped the image, choose Select/Select All OR hold down the control button and press the letter "a" at the same time.
- Open Microsoft Word from your computer programs and open a new, blank document.
- Choose paste OR hold down the control button while pressing the letter "v" at the same time.
- Your image will now appear in your Word document. You can type under it or just save it as you would any other document.
How To Add Circles, Arrows and Other Symbols To Your Screen Shot
If you would like to add circles or arrows (as I have done throughout this presentation) to emphasize aspects of your screen shot, you only need to follow these simple steps.
- For a circle:
1. Have your screen shot open in Paint.
2. Choose the circle shape from the box of shapes at the top.
3. Choose "Solid Color" for the Outline drop down box next to the shapes.
4. Choose "No Fill" for the Fill drop down box.
5. Choose the color for your circle by clicking on Color 1 and then the color you want.
6. Click your mouse on your screen shot and click and drag to create a clear circle.
- For an arrow:
1. Use the steps 1-3 for creating a circle except choose the arrow shape instead (note that there is one for each direction).
2. In the drop down box choose "Fill."
3. Choose your Colors for the outline and the fill. Color 1 will be your outline and Color 2 will be your fil.
4. Drag your mouse on the screen shot and an arrow will appear. You can adjust the size and the placement.
These are very helpful if you are trying to help someone visualize an issue, to give instructions or to call attention to one part of the screenshot.
Credit: All Screen Shots Made From Project Gutenberg Website
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Reasons You May Need to Take A Screenshot
There are many reasons that being able to take a screenshot can be valuable.
Sometimes you might need to do this for work or for school in order to show some type of information, homework or data.
Other times it is useful if you are having a computer issue or getting an error message and you are not sure what you need to do.
By taking a screen shot, you can send a picture of the issue to technical support or to a friend or family member that might be able to pinpoint the problem and help you find a solution.
There are other ways to take and save a screen shot and as you get better with a computer, you may find shortcuts.
This is a simple and easy way to do it with programs that most computer users have readily available.