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How to take a screenshot on a PC

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How to take a screenshot on a PC 2

Sometimes the simplest things are the ones that challenge us the most. Case in point: Taking a screenshot on your PC. There are many reasons to do this: confirming information to a friend, a colleague, or skeptical family member. Or, if you are Googling yourself, saving important details to pass along to your super-intelligent dog children.

But we’ve also probably all stumbled in the process or resorted to that most embarrassing option: Taking a grainy, off-center photo of the screen and sending it off. This is NOT the best way to do it. And it’s not even any faster than the official ways outlined below. 

The fastest methods:

A quick clip is only a single key away:

How to take a screenshot on a PC

The PrtScn key (print screen) copies the entire screen to your clipboard. Paste command will place it in an email or document or even in a message application, but if you want to save it, you’ll have to open an image editor to paste, name and save. 

For example, you can grab the display from two monitors, and place it in an email (in this case, to myself.)

How to take a screenshot on a PC

Image: Screenshot: Ken Foster

How to take a screenshot on a PC

Image: SCREENSHOT: KEN FOSTER

Some alternatives include pairing the Windows key + print screen key, which automatically saves the screen capture to your Photos or Pictures>Screenshots folder. Now you can go back to it later.  

The con with both these methods is that you get EVERYTHING on the screen, so it may require cropping or editing if you want to highlight the relevant information. Another option is using the Alt key alongside the PrtScn, which captures just the active window on a screen with multiple windows in use.  

For more flexibility, you can use the Snipping Tool or its recent update, Snip and Sketch.  

The snipping tool can be pulled up in your Windows search bar.  

How to take a screenshot on a PC

Once the app is launched, you can initiate a snip by clicking on the “new” button, illustrated with scissors.  

How to take a screenshot on a PC

Image: Screenshot: Ken Foster

You can then drag your mouse to highlight the part of the screen that you want to screen capture. The image then comes up with several options across the top of the window, including an option to save (the disk icon), copy (the document), or attach to an email.  

How to take a screenshot on a PC

Image: Screenshot: Ken Foster

The newer Snip and Sketch screenshot tool launches by pressing the Windows + Shift + S keys.  

How to take a screenshot on a PC

Image: Screenshot: Ken Foster

Additional editing tools include easy cropping, notes, highlights, so you can make comments and even make fun of yourself: 

How to take a screenshot on a PC

Image: Screenshot: Ken Foster

Now that you know how to screenshot on a Windows PC using keyboard shortcuts and other screen capture tools, you’ll never have to take a wonky picture of your entire screen with your mobile device ever again.

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