How to take screenshots on Windows?

Taking screenshots is an essential part of our day to day operations with a PC. Almost all operating systems have a way of taking screenshots on the device on which it is used. Windows is no different. How to take a screenshot on Windows? We present the most common methods of taking a screenshot on Windows.

Windows has been around since quite long. Taking screenshots has been quite an easy affair with Windows for the normal users like us. The Print Screen option has been there since the beginning and we have all been using it almost all the time when we are in need of a screenshot.
However, Windows does have some more unique ways of taking a screenshot. Each of these methods caters to some specific requirement you may be having. The methods work in almost all versions of Windows with the exception of one of them which is available only in Windows Vista and later. Let us dig deeper into the best ways to take a screenshot on Windows.

Taking a screenshot using Print Screen

Well, all Windows users are aware of this method of taking a screenshot. In fact, this can be considered to be the simplest way of taking a screenshot on Windows.
The Print Screen button on your keyboard can be used to take the screenshots in different ways. One of the easiest ways is to take the screenshot of your entire screen. Follow the steps below to take a screenshot using the button.
  • Go to the screen you want to take a screenshot of. If it is a web page, launch the web page.
  • Press Prt sc or Print Screen button on your keyboard. Please note that the button may be labeled in a variety of ways depending on your keyboard design and manufacturer.
  • The entire screen before you will now be copied onto the clipboard.
  • Launch Paint and paste the contents from the clipboard. You may also use ctrl+v button combination to paste the image.
  • Edit the image pasted as per your requirements.
  • Save the image file at the location you want.

Please note that we have pasted the screenshot in the Paint program as an example. You can paste it in Word editor or any other program that can deal with image files. Moreover, some laptops may require you to press alt+fn+prt sc or any other button combinations to copy the contents of the screen on the clipboard. Refer to your laptop documentation for details.

Saving the screenshot as a file

This method can be helpful when you have to take several screenshots in one go. The method will do away the need to paste the contents of the keyboard on the destination program for each shot taken. The screenshots will be saved as a file on your device.

Follow the steps below to take the screenshots -
  • Be on the screen of which you want to take a screenshot of.
  • Press Windows Logo+ Print Screen.
  • This will save the screenshot taken in the library on your device.
  • To find the screenshot taken, launch Windows Explorer and navigate to the default Pictures folder. You should be able to see the screenshot saved under Screenshots folder.
  • Rename, edit or move the screenshots to any other location you want to.

Some laptops may need you to use Windows Logo+ctrl.Prt Sc or Windows Logo+Fn+Prt Sc for taking the screenshot. Refer to your laptop documantation for clear instructions.

Taking screenshot of a single Window

This method will be helpful when you have several Windows open on your desktop and you want to take the screenshot of the active Window alone. Make sure that the active Window or the Window which you want to take the screenshot of is at the foreground.
Follow these steps to take a screenshot of the active Window -
  • Make sure that the Active Window is at the foreground. You can click on the title bar of the Window to bring it to the foreground.
  • Press Alt+Prt Sc. On some laptops, you may need to press Alt+Fn+Prt Sc. Please check with your model.
  • A screenshot of the active window will be copied to the clipboard.
  • Launch Paint or any other application that can handle image files and paste the contents of the clipboard therein. You may also use Ctrl+V button combinations for the purpose.
  • Edit, or save the file to the location you would want it to.

Taking a screenshot of only a part of the screen

Well, you can use any of the above methods to take a screenshot and then edit the image file to achieve this task. However, Windows Vista and later versions of Windows have made it simpler for you. The Windows Snipping Tool available in the later versions is an excellent option for the purpose of taking a screenshot.

The Windows Snipping Tool can be found under Accessories under programs. To find it,
  • Click on Start and then on All Programs.
  • Click on Accessories
  • Locate Snipping Tool and click on it.
Alternatively, you can also type in Snipping Tool in the search box and find it.
Follow the steps below to take a screenshot using the Windows Snipping Tool.
  • Make sure you are on the page of which you want to take a screenshot of.
  • Launch Windows Snipping Tool by following the methods explained above.
  • Click on the drop down arrow next to New.
  • Choose either Rectangular Snip or Free Form Snip. The terms should be self-explanatory. Rectangular Snip will help you take a rectangular shot, while the Free Form Snip will let you draw any shape on the screen to take a shot of that particular shape.
  • Once the screenshot is taken, you can further use the tool to make markings on it, or highlight a part of the document.
  • Save the screenshot as you would normally do with any file.

In fact, the Snipping Tool method lets you take a shot of only that part which you would need. Thus, it helps you save a screenshot really quickly and saves a lot of time that otherwise would go in editing the file separately.

In Conclusion

Well, those were a few handy methods to allow you take screenshots on your Windows device. We have concentrated on the built in tools that are available on Windows for taking a screenshot. There are several third party applications available that help you take screenshots of your Windows screen. Unless you have very specific or advanced requirements, we do not see any reason why would one need a third party software for the purpose of taking a screenshot. Which of the methods featured above have you used for taking a screenshot? Do share your views and opinions with us so that our readers will benefit from your feedback.

Article by Timmappa Kamat
Timmappa Kamat is a technology enthusiast. He has an active interest in newer technological developments. He is fond of new gizmos & gadgets. He loves to share his knowledge through tech-savvy websites as a freelancer. A Mechanical Engineer by profession, he is equally interested in blogging, with his own blog. He wants to carve a name for himself in blogging arena one day! If you need any clarifications about his articles,please respond here below or get in touch with him through his profile.

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