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IT For Beginners: Taking Screenshots

By Yann, published on 08/05/2019 We Love Prof - IN > Academia > Information Technology > How To Take A Screenshot On Your Computer?

IT for beginners is vital in today’s world, as things move so fast it is the only way that technology novices don’t get left behind. Change is the only thing that we can be sure of. Each day new innovations turn the experts in old technology into the beginners in new technology. The newcomers of current technology are becoming the inventors of the future.

Within everything, we can see innovation, take the simple screenshot for example. Which is essentially the act of taking a photo of the screen of your device without a camera. I expect that its invention was as simple as someone looking at their screen feeling that they should be able to copy it. Voila, the screenshot is born in something as simple as an idea.

Screenshots are incredibly useful, they are the digital answer to snipping our favourite article out of the newspaper. They can even be as functional as taking a picture of our programs to remember what you have installed or as useful as taking a screenshot of a problem on your PC’s desktop so that you can get help from one of your kids later.

Why Take A Screenshot

A screenshot is an image that is taken of the content displayed at a given moment on a device’s screen. It gives you the freedom to copy anything visible inside your devices virtual screen. From the text to images, to web pages, to your desktop if you want to. You can then take what you have copied and paste it into a document or save it as an image file (png, jpg, gif format) and then use however you might like. It is, therefore, a handy tool which is very time-saving.

The act of capturing your screen is useful for many reasons such as:

  1. Keeping track of a web page whose copy is prohibited
  2. Showing errors on a web page,
  3. Teaching how to perform a simple action (how to install a program, copy and paste, etc.),
  4. Using it to mark up an image
  5. Explaining tutorials with pictures
  6. To do document drafts
  7. Showing software

But the reason that you might use this software is only limited by your imagination. The good news is that all devices have a program or shortcut which can help you with taking a screenshot and the vast majority are also extendable with apps or downloadable programs which can take basic functionality further. Thus the only thing we have left to do is choose a program and learn how to use it.

Only limited by your imagination You can then take what you have copied and paste it into a document or save it as an image file. Photo Source: Unsplash

How To Do A Screen Shot On Windows

Capturing your devices screen is popular, and this is indicated with the amount of software available to achieve this result. Some software is free with basic functionality, other software is purchasable with extensive features.

Built-In Features: The Prtsc Button

  1. Activate the window you would like to take a screenshot of
  2. Press Ctrl + PrtSc keys at the same time.
  3. Although it looks like nothing has happened, you have just taken a screenshot. You now need to find a place to paste it so that you can see it.
  4. Click the windows button, which looks like a window, located in the bottom left of the keyboard.
  5. Go to All programs, open a program from here that will give you a blank page. MS word document or even the paint program located in the ‘Accessories’ menu list.
  6. Now activate the new document and press paste.
  7. Your screenshot will appear, you can now edit and save your document.

Bult In Software: The Snipping Tool

This tool is much more advanced than the PrtSc key method. The software gives you numerous ways to copy your screen

  1. You can draw using your cursor to create a hand-drawn shape around something
  2. You can use the cursor to make a rectangle
  3. You can copy the active window
  4. You can copy the whole screen
  5. You can do timed captures

To Open The Snipping Tool

  1. Go to the start menu
  2. Type ‘snipping tool’
  3. Select it from the search results
  4. Prepare to take your screenshot
  1. New: means screenshot a new image
  2. Mode: gives you access to free draw, rectangle, window or entire screen capture.
  1. Take a screenshot of your choice
  2. You now have a few options
    • Mark up the image with free hand drawing or highlighter.
    • Save the capture.
    • Copy the capture to paste elsewhere.
    • Share

Change is the only thing that we can be sure of. The newcomers of current technology are becoming the inventors of the future. Photo Source: Unsplash

What Software Can You Install For The Best Screenshots

Here is a none exhaustive list of programs that you can download and install on your computer:

SnagIt (Paid)

This software is for professionals who need to have extended needs to capture functionality and features. This software is powerful and is available on Windows and Mac.

  • Timer so you can capture tooltips and drop down menus
  • You can capture hidden features
  • You can add arrows, blur parts of the screen for privacy,
  • You can link images together to create gifs
  • You have a long list of ways to share
  • It integrates with MS office

Fireshot (Free and Paid)

This software to capture screenshots runs in the browser so that you can capture your webpages. It runs in Firefox, Opera, Chrome and Internet Explorer, as well as other browsers. Because it is browser based it works with any Operating system.

  • This software lets you capture an entire page without having to take multiple screenshots.
  • Markup the page with your own notes and edit
  • You can share everywhere
  • Save as an image or PDF

Screenshot (Free, MAC)

Screenshot is Mac’s inbuilt option, and it is full of all of the bells and whistles that you need.

  1. Open the software
  2. Select the kind of capture from the toolbar at the bottom of the screen
  • Select from full screen
  • Window
  • Rectangular
  • Record full screen
  • Capture window video
  • Capture with a timer

You can also choose to show or hide the mouse pointer

  1. To Save, do nothing, and it will go to the default location
  2. Click it to markup over the image
  3. You can also share the capture

If that’s not enough, you can also use it with some basic keyboard shortcuts.

  • Cmd+Shift +3 – lets you capture the entire screen,
  • Cmd+Shift +4 – enables you to capture a selected area or window,
  • Cmd+Shift + 6 – enables you to grab a screenshot of the touch bar

In most cases, this image capture tool will be very easy to use.

GreenShot (Free)

GreenShot is among the most complete screenshot software for Windows. It is easy to use, it also allows you to capture the mouse pointer and send the screenshot to a printer or other software. After installing GreenShot, the software can annotate, highlight, darken or mask selected areas of the capture.

It has fantastic features such as:

  1. Backup to a file,
  2. Print,
  3. Copy to the clipboard,
  4. Attachment to an email,
  5. Send to Office
  6. Share to royalty-free image banks like Flickr or Picasa, etc.

Here are some keyboard shortcuts that work to save you time:

  • Capture the entire screen: Ctrl + PrtSc,
  • Capture the active window: Alt + PrtSc
  • Capturing a region: PrtSc,
  • Capture the last region: Shift + PrtSc,
  • Capture Internet Explorer: Ctrl + Shift + PrtSc.

Photo of the screen of your device without a camera. A screenshot is an image that is taken of the content displayed at a given moment on a device’s screen. Photo Source: Unsplash

Take A Screenshot With A Smartphone

Taking screenshots with a phone is easy, but you need to use both hands and make sure that you press the buttons at the same time. This is a great way to share with friends, for example, you could share a screenshot of an argument you are having with your friend. You could show a screenshot of something you are working on as a sneak peek too. There are lots of ways to use screenshots on your phone. Here’s how to do it:

Screenshots On Andriod

Most Common Way

  • Simultaneously press the ‘power button’ and “low volume” button,

Since different versions of Android have a different way of doing it. You can also try:

  • Simultaneously press the “back” and  ‘power button’  button.
  • Press the “home” and  ‘power button’  button simultaneously.

The technique is that both keys must be held while waiting for the screenshot to be stored on the phone. You will know when it has worked because a small image will fall back and then disappear. The image will be stored with your phone in the screenshots folder.

Screenshots On iPhone

With an iPhone, screenshots are much more natural, all you have to do is simultaneously press the ‘power button’ and the ‘home button’. The screen will flicker, and you know that the screenshot has been made. You will find the screenshot in the photos app in a folder called screenshots.

Screenshots are fun, useful, informative and get for making something visually interesting. From saving pages from your browser to building a full tutorial on how to use software. Screenshots are pretty essential for many people; including businesses.

Screenshots can also be fun and creative, you can use them with a markup feature to draw over pages and make corrections to your creative texts.

No to mention how they can help you when you can’t explain something and need to share your screen. Even if you have yet to take your first screenshot knowing how to take one will be invaluable one day when you can’t find your pen or the article is too long to write down.

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