How can I take a screenshot?

I’d like to print out what I’m seeing on my screen. My laptop has a “Print Screen” button but when I press it nothing happens. Am I missing something?


I came across this question asked by Alice (who blog on Born2Cree8) on one of the message boards I frequent. This question is actually more more common than you may think. It’s one of those things that’s easy when you know about it, but insurmountable when you don’t!

screenshot.pngHere’s the bit you’re missing. Your Print Screen (Prt Sc) button on your keyboard IS actually taking a picture of what’s on your screen at the moment. However, it doesn’t actually print it out. The screen image is actually being saved to your Clipboard and you need to specify what you want to do with this. The easiest thing to do is to open your favourite graphics package (ex Paint, Photoshop, Paint.Net) and paste the image in. Once it’s there, you can manipulate it, save it or print it out.

So the steps you need are:

  • Prepare your screen so that eveything you want to print is visible
  • Hit Prt Sc (this copies your screen to the clipboard)
  • Open Paint
  • Press Ctrl-V to paste your clipboard into your graphics package
  • Print at will

Now, if you’re using Vista there’s an even better way (Vista is the best buy in my opinion if you’re after a new computer). Vista comes with a small tool called the Snipping Tool, that you can find under Accessories in All Programs. Once you click on this, the Tool will appear and shade out your screen. You’re then free to select any part of the screen you want and as soon as you’ve done this, it appears in the Snipping Tool, ready to the printing, saved or email to someone else. To make things even easier, the Snipping Tool even has a pen and highlighter function if you want to draw someone’s attention to a particular spot on the screen.

Hope this helps!

4 thoughts on “How can I take a screenshot?”

  1. Dude! Owen! Thanks, man – that’s awesome! That’s two new, fun, and very useful things I learned about my computer this morning! Makes me wanna dig around and see what else I’ve been missing on this thing! And it is SO refreshing to hear someone speaking positively about Vista! 🙂

  2. Paint.net is definitely a great piece of S/W. You can use it to perform a screenshot as you mentionned but also to create great pictures from scratch!

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