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How To Print Screen in Windows

by maddyacca

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Original Source:  How To Print Screen in Windows

A screenshot can be taken in different simple ways on a Windows PC, depending on what tools you want to use and what sort of the screenshot you want to take. Here are some steps you can use:


To Capture the Entire Screen

On your keyboard there is a key you can press that will directly capture the whole screen. This key is usually labeled “Prnt Scrn”, “Print Scrn” or such and it is usually found on the upper part near F12 key. On some laptops, you have to press “Fn”/”Function” key to reach the “Print Screen” option.


To capture only one Window

You can take a screenshot just one window instead of the entire screen. Make that window active i.e. it should be in the front. Then, if you press Alt+Print Screen you will get the image of that window captured.


To save the print screened image

  1. Go to Microsoft Paint through Start Menu > All Programs > Accessories > Paint.
  2. Next, paste the screenshot you have taken by clicking the Select tool somewhere along the top ribbon. Select “rectangular Select” and right click on the canvas. Finally select ‘Paste’. You can save yourself this hassle by using any of the following steps:
  • Paste the screenshot straight into the Word document or an email by right-clicking the page and choosing ‘Paste’.
  • Ctrl+V is another combination you would want to keep in mind. It will paste the screenshot directly on the page or Paint you are using.
  • For Windows XP and any previous version of Windows, select Paste from the Edit menu.
  1. To save the screenshot, click File (for Windows Vista and previous versions) or the Menu button (for Windows 7 or later versions) near Home and select “Save As…” Five the file a name and you can also select what type you want your file to be saved as. You can read further information on file types under “tips” later in this article.


Snipping Tool

It is compatible with all the Windows Vista versions other than Starter and Home Basic as well as with Windows 7 Ultimate, Home Premium and Professional. For the rest, the method explained above is sufficient.  How to Take a Screenshot with the Snipping Tool in Vista gives further details on using this tool.

  1. Open the Snipping tool from Start Menu. Go to Programs, then Accessories and look for Snipping Tool. Or simply type in “Snipping tool” in the search box in Start Menu.
  2. In the Snipping tool window, click New and choose from the dropdown menu what kind of screenshot you would like to snip.


  • Free-form Snip allows you to cut area of any shape
  • Rectangular Snip will select a rectangular area of the size you select.
  • Window Snip will allow you to select a window snip.
  • Full-screen Snip like print screening the entire screen, selects the whole of it as it is except the Snipping tool window.
  1. Choose what you want to take a screenshot of.  For instance if you select “Window Snip”, you must go to the Window you want to snip but if your selected “Full-screen Snip” then you will go to the next step instead. 
  2. Next step is obviously to save that screenshot you snipped. On the window that will appear, click the icon that looks like floppy disk. Type in the name and select the type for the screenshot. Now you can use it for the purposes you needed it for.



You can download Jing if you want to take screenshots and videos. They will be immediately there to upload and share on the web.

No matter what type your keyboard is, it must have a Print Screen key.

At times, Print Screen key on laptop is associated with another Function key (Fn) that you can find on the lowermost row of keys.

You might want to take the size of the file you print screened into consideration so that it doesn’t exceed the size limit.

If your work makes you take a lot of screenshots then there are programs available that you can download to fasten the procedure.

When you hit Save As…, it allows you to save your file in various types:

  • BMP saves the file as it is an uncompressed format but since it creates large files, it is not recommended. It is a default format in Windows XP that means if you don’t select a type; your file will be saved as bmp.
  • PNG default format for Windows 7 and it saves high-quality screenshots compressing it to small sizes. It is a recommended format.
  • JPG/JPEG format compresses the screenshot but changes it a bit in the process. It might interfere with the pixels and the color gets a bit off. It is default for Windows Vista but suggested for photographs not screenshots.
  • GIF does not reproduce good color photographs and only works for graphics that have solid color areas since the edges between these areas become sharp in this format.


  • If you save your files in types like bitmap then it might be saved as a very big file. It is better if you use PNG format.
  • Sending a large attachment gets annoying for both the sender and the receiver. To tackle this, you can crop and convert the file.

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