How To Use Print Screen To Capture A Picture of Your Computer Screen

Taking a picture of your computer screen also often called a screen capture is a lot easier today than it was 20 years ago. Most keyboards have a “Print Screen” button that takes a picture of your computer screen and saves it to the computer clipboard. How you press the “Print Screen” key is what decides what part of your computer screen is actually captured.

Pressing Just the Print Screen Key

Print Screen w/ 2 Monitors
Print Screen w/ 2 Monitors
Full Print Screen
Print Screen Capture w/ 1 Monitor

If you just press the print screen key then you are telling Windows to take a picture of your entire computer screen. For those that have two monitors you will have both of your monitor screens captured. For those with a single monitor the picture will include what is shown on your entire computer monitor. This includes the task bar and everything else that your see. If you are using multiple monitors then the print screen will include everything that is on all of the monitors.

Pressing the ALT + Print screen Keys Together

Capture Active Window If you press and hold down the ALT key and then press the print screen key you will capture what is called the “Current Window”. In other words the screen capture will be focused on whatever you are currently looking at like a web page in your browser for example. Using this technique makes it possible for those with two or more computer screens to capture what is on a single screen. It also provides less need for cropping when all you want is an area that is on your current computer screen.

Where Did the Screen Capture With Print Screen Go?

So you pressed the Print Screen key the way that you wanted and now wondering where did it go and how do you use it. The first thing to know is that the screen capture has been saved to your clipboard. That means it is just like you pressed the copy or the CTRL + C keys. This means whatever your favorite program is that choosing the paste or CTRL + V keys will paste it. Whether you are in your favorite graphics program or you are in a text editor like MS Word you can make use of the new screen capture. If you have Microsoft’s OneDrive installed and are logged in a copy of the screen capture has also been saved to your OneDrive under the Pictures folder.

Now you can manipulate and use the screen capture in whatever program or document you need to. Usually this is first in your favorite graphics program so that you can crop the parts of the capture that you are wanting to focus on. Without cropping the screen capture photo you may end up with a graphic that has to be so small that it is difficult to impossible to see what is actually captured. If you have multiple monitors and capture them all for example you will have a photo that is to wide to fit on a single page and still be able to see. Using a graphics program like “Paint” “Gimpe” or “Photoshop” will allow you to crop, capture and resize your screen capture to what best suits your needs.

 

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Brad is a true PC Helper. Having worked on computers since 1988 he's not only experienced at what he does but puts the computer owner above all else. Owning a computer should be a fun and a safe experience. That is the whole mission of the PC Helper program, taking care of you and your computer.

Author: pchelper

Brad is a true PC Helper. Having worked on computers since 1988 he's not only experienced at what he does but puts the computer owner above all else. Owning a computer should be a fun and a safe experience. That is the whole mission of the PC Helper program, taking care of you and your computer.

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