Capturing Screen Images

There are many situations where you may find it useful to take a snapshot of
your computer screen and/or a specific window. For instance, maybe you get
a pop-up error message, or you have a question about a specific window,
menu, or the like, and you want to a record of your screen exactly as it
appears. Or, maybe you’re documenting a computer-related process, and you
want to include snapshots of related windows. These are just a few

In this Tip, we’ll talk about two ways to capture screenshots: the ‘Print
Screen’ key on your keyboard, and a shareware utility called ‘Snag It’.

1. The ‘Print Screen’ key

The ‘Print Screen’ key, generally located on the top row of the keyboard
between ‘F12’ and ‘Scroll Lock’, is the easiest and cheapest way to capture
screenshots. You have two options when using the ‘Print Screen’ key: press
it by itself to capture your whole screen (Start bar and all), or hold ‘ALT’
and press it to capture only the currently selected window.

Once you’ve captured an image this way, you’ll need to open a program that
will allow you to ‘Paste’ it. (Possibilities include Word, PowerPoint,
Paint, etc.) Within this program, go to Edit | Paste or press ‘CTRL + V’ to
paste your picture. Once it’s pasted, it’ll act just like a normal picture,
so if you’re working in Word or PowerPoint, you can format further. (See
our recent Tip on formatting pictures.)

2. Snag It

‘Snag It’ is a shareware program with a 30-day free trial period, and an
option to buy for $49.95. If you’re going to capture screenshots on a
regular basis, you should consider this as an option, because it’s much more
advanced than the ‘Print Screen’ key.

If you want to use Snag It, you’ll have to download and install it first.
To begin, navigate to
and click the ‘Download Free Trial’ link. In the window that pops up,
you’ll probably want to uncheck the checkbox to exempt yourself from the
Snag It mailing list. Click ‘Download Snag It’ and choose ‘Save’. When
your download is done, click the ‘Open’ button on the download window to
begin installation. Follow the installation wizard’s instructions.

Run Snag It and take a look at the main screen. You’ll see a variety of
‘Capture Profiles’; these allow you to decide exactly what you’re going to
capture. You have a variety of options, and most are self-explanatory. If
you choose to capture a ‘region’, you’ll have to use the mouse and trace the
area you want to capture.

Capturing something ‘To File’ allows you to save captured images as some
type of image file (options include GIF, JPEG, BMP, and many more). If you
choose to capture something ‘To Clipboard’, you’ll need to paste that image
into another program as described above.

Once you’ve chosen a capture profile, you can capture a screenshot at any
time. Simply press the ‘Capture’ button on Snag It’s window, or press ‘CTRL
+ SHIFT + P’. Once you’ve captured an image, Snag It will show you a
preview, and you’ll either need to click ‘Finish’ to save your image, or
‘Cancel’ to reject it.

This article provided courtesy of Shulman Clark Associates - Ann Arbor, MI - Providing Practical Technology Services For Small Business