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Take screenshots on Windows PC, laptops and tablets

If you’ve ever wondered how to take pictures directly from your Microsoft Windows screen, you’ll be happy to know that it’s a straightforward process. Mastering this ability can streamline your workflow, allowing you to seamlessly share visuals or store data for later use. This guide will show you different ways to take screenshots on Windows 10 and 11 – easy as pie when you know what you’re doing.

Windows users who want to take screenshots of their desktop, applications, or documents will be happy to know that Microsoft has created several handy tools that allow you to quickly use shortcuts. Capture screenshots on the desktop, clipboard, or a specific folder. The Snip tool for Windows has been added to Windows 10 and is now being replaced by the Snip & Sketch tool in Windows 11. Below, we’ll guide you through the correct keyboard shortcuts to use them.

Take a screenshot on Windows

The simplest way to take a screenshot in Windows is to use the “Print Screen” (PrtScn) key on your keyboard. This key, often located to the right of the keyboard layout, is the most direct path to creating a screenshot. Once you press “PrtScnOn your Windows desktop or laptop keyboard, you will then enter screenshot capture mode and your screen will darken and a small menu will appear in the middle of the top of the screen, as in the image below. Here are the steps you can follow:

  1. Press the “PrtScn” key.
  2. Open an image editing tool like Paint or Photoshop.
  3. Press “Ctrl + V” to paste the screenshot.
  4. Edit as necessary, then save your screenshot.

However, the PrtScn key doesn’t limit you to just one way to take screenshots. In case you are interested in how to do this, here are some of the main differences of PrtScn:

  • PrtScn: Takes a screenshot of the entire screen.
  • Alt + PrtScn: Takes a screenshot of the active window.
  • Win + PrtScn: Takes a screenshot of the entire screen and automatically saves it to the Screenshots folder in Pictures.
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If your keyboard is not equipped with a Print Screen button, you can always access it using the Windows key + Shift + S keys with older Windows systems. On some laptops, it’s also worth noting that you may need to press the “jobon keyboard withPrtScnTo activate the Snip & Sketch tool.

Windows 10 operating system

Use the Windows Snipping Tool

For more flexibility and control over your screenshots, the Snipping Tool will find a good companion. It’s been a part of Windows for years and offers several modes: free form, rectangle, window, and full screen. To take a screenshot using the Snipping Tool:

  1. Open the Snipping Tool (found under Windows Accessories in the Start menu).
  2. Choose the “mode” you want.
  3. Click New to start clipping.
  4. After capturing, save the clip.

Take a screenshot with Snip & Sketch

Snip & Sketch is a utility introduced by Microsoft to improve your experience of taking screenshots. With a more modern interface and added annotation features, this tool is gradually replacing the Snipping Tool. To use it, follow these steps:

  1. Press “Win + Shift + S”.
  2. Choose the type of clip you want (rectangular, free-form, window, or full screen).
  3. The screen will dim, allowing you to select your clipping area.
  4. The clip will be copied to the clipboard and you can paste it into any program.

The Snip & Sketch menu includes four main feature icons with an “X” on the right side, allowing you to exit the Window screen snipper and return to the desktop or open the application.

 

Region screenshot selector

The first icon from the left in the toolbar is for capture Rectangular screenshot It allows you to quickly draw a rectangular box around the desired area you wish to capture. A crosshair will appear to replace your cursor icon and you can simply select a selection of your screen using the left mouse button by pressing and holding while you drag your cursor across the area you wish to take a screenshot of. Once you are happy with your choice, let go of the mouse button and an area of ​​your screen will automatically be pasted to the clipboard, allowing you to paste it into documents or applications.

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free form

If you prefer to take more free form, then the second icon from the left allows you to draw an irregular shape with your mouse. Then the captured screenshot will be saved to your clipboard, making it easy to paste it into a document or editing application for further processing or saving as a separate file.

Capture screens of Windows applications

If you are working within a specific Windows application and want to capture a file Application window and its contents, the third icon from the left allows you to easily capture a clean window frame complete with the contents of the application. This is useful if you are submitting how-to documents or want to capture the entire application framework with menus for sharing.

Full screenshot of the Windows desktop

Finally, the fourth icon on the left allows you to do this Capture the entire desktop It allows you to take a screenshot without having to draw any rectangles with your mouse. Again, the captured screenshot will be saved to your clipboard for easy access in your favorite application or paste into the document you’re working on.

If you are using a file Windows tablet or 2 in 1 Convertible PC Or similar and you can’t access the print screen button on the keyboard, Microsoft also provides another way to take a screenshot by pressing the power button along with the volume down button. Simply pressing it at the same time will save a screenshot of the entire screen to your clipboard, allowing you to paste it into other documents or open it in applications for editing.

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Windows 11 operating system

Third party screenshot apps

If the built-in tools don’t meet your needs, several third-party apps can facilitate advanced screen capture. Programs such as Lightshot, Snagit, and Greenshot offer features such as editing tools, customizable hotkeys, and different screenshot modes.

** Remember to be careful When downloading any third party apps, make sure they are from a reputable source to avoid any potential security risks.

The ability to take screenshots on your Microsoft Windows system is a useful skill for both professional and personal use. By using the above methods, you will be able to easily capture any screen activity. Whether it is to record proof of an online transaction, capture a moment from a video, or save information for later use, screenshots are the way to go.

If, for some reason, your Windows computer does not already have the latest Snip & Sketch or Snipping screenshot app installed on it, you can download the Windows Snip tool from the official Microsoft Windows app store for free. The app is small and won’t take up much of your storage once you install it, but it does provide a useful way to take screenshots of your desktop or apps, making it ideal for capturing data as images that you can share quickly and easily. For more information about capturing your screen on Windows, go to the official Microsoft support site for more details.

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John Smith

My John Smith is a seasoned technology writer with a passion for unraveling the complexities of the digital world. With a background in computer science and a keen interest in emerging trends, John has become a sought-after voice in translating intricate technological concepts into accessible and engaging articles.

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