How To Take Screen Shots Using Windows

Hand typing on laptop computer, close-up
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Screen shots, also called "screen captures," are just that: pictures of your Windows computer screen that you choose to take. In taking a screen shot you are copying the image on the screen so that you can paste it into something: a document, an image, a presentation, an email, or other application.

Follow the information for your particular operating system.

Difficulty: Easy

Time Required: 1 minute

Here's How:

  1. Windows XP - Screen Shot

    • To copy the whole screen, press the Print Screen Key, usually labeled “PrtSc” or "Print Screen".

    • To copy only an open window, click on the window to assure it is active, then press the ALT key and the Print Screen Key at the same time, then release both keys.

    Next, open the application where you would like to paste the image. Paste the image by pressing the Control Key and the V key at the same time. The image should appear in your document.

  2. Windows Vista - Screen Shot

    • You can do it the same way as above (in XP instructions)

    • Or, you can use Vista’s Snipping Tool (if you have a Vista edition other than Home Basic). For more information about the Snipping Tool, click here.

    Follow the instructions below to alter the image before you paste it into your document.

  3. Crop the Image

    If you would like to crop the image (this process deletes all but the part of the image you want to keep), paste it into an image tool like Microsoft Paint first. Once you have cropped the image, copy the edited image and paste it into the desired document.

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