How to Do a Screen Capture on a PC
A screenshot can be incredibly helpful if you're having computer problems and you want to show someone what's going on.
Screenshots can also be an amazing tool for showing off things that show up on your computer screen (ie. something cool that happened in an online game.) Another use for a screenshot is to have perfect pictures for computer tutorials.
Some people use screenshot software, but it's completely unnecessary and can be unsafe (most of this type of software comes packaged with other junk software like browser toolbars.)
This guide will show you, step-by-step, how to capture a screenshot and how to save it as an image without using any software other than what Microsoft provides in Windows.
Note: I used Windows XP to create this guide, but this will also work in later versions of Windows. Let's get started!
Keyboard Shortcut: Screenshot
How to Take Screenshot
You will need:
- Microsoft Paint
- A keyboard
- Something you want to take a screenshot of
To take a screenshot of your current screen, you'll want to press "Print Scr" (this stands for Print Screen) on your keyboard.
Congrats! You've taken a screenshot! Right now, it's temporarily saved in your clipboard, so now you'll have to save it somewhere so you don't lose it.
Keyboard Shortcut: Paste
Remember to crop your screenshot if it contains sensitive or embarrassing information. You can do this right in Paint!
How to Save a Screenshot
Open Paint. You can do this by clicking Start (in the lower left-hand corner), then click "All Programs", click "Accessories", and then click "Paint."
Alternatively, you can just hit the letter 'R' while holding down the Windows key. This will bring up the Run window. In this window, type "mspaint" (without the quotes) and click "OK."
Once Paint is open, you'll want to paste your screenshot. You can't do this by right clicking and selecting "paste" as you usually would, so you'll have to use the keyboard shortcut for this.
Click in the white "drawing" area of Paint to ensure Paint is targeted. Then, hold the CTRL button and hit the letter "v." Paint should now show the screenshot.
To save the image, click "File" in the upper left-hand corner. Then, click "Save As..." in the drop-down menu.
- A window called "Save As" will pop up. Select where you would like to save your image using the buttons to the left (or the drop-down menu next to the words "Save in:".)
- Name your file. Choose a name that will remind you what the image is, such as pic_of_desktop.jpg.
- Select the file type under "save as type." I personally prefer .PNG or .JPG, they're easier to work with on the Internet (some free image hosting sites don't allow .GIF or .BMP files.)
- Click "Save." You're all done!
Now you know how to capture your screen!