How to Create a Screen Shot in Windows

Chad Sweely By Chad Sweely
Expert Author
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There may be some cases where you will need to create a screen shot of the window(s) that you currently have open, whether it is for a customer support representative to better diagnose a technical problem with your computer or to create a snapshot of what is happening on your computer just in case the situation you are in does not happen again. All of the common versions of Microsoft Windows (95, 98, 2000, XP, Vista, and 7) provide ways to easily capture and save a screen shot so that you have a visual document of the current state of your operating system.

In this tutorial, I will be using the operating system of Microsoft Windows XP; however, the process below will be fairly standard for other Windows-related operating systems.

  1. Open the window/windows that you would like to take a screen shot of and then press the Prt Scr (Print Screen) key on your keyboard. This will automatically copy the state of all of the windows you currently have open on your computer to the Windows Clipboard.
  2. From the Start menu, go to All Programs, and click on the Paint application from the Accessories submenu. This will load Paint, a drawing program that is included with all versions of Microsoft Windows.
  3. Within Paint, click on the Edit menu, and then select Paste. The screen shot that you created by pressing Prt Scr will now be displayed within your Paint document.
  4. To save the screen shot that you inserted into Paint, from the File menu, click on the Save option. This will open a window that will allow you to save your Paint document.
  5. Before you press the “Save” button in the Save window, choose the “.JPG” option from the “Save as type” drop-down list. This will make the file easier to open for the user who you are giving the screen-shot file to.
  6. Press the “Save” button within the “Save” window, and your screen shot that you created will automatically be saved to your hard drive.

If you want to take a screen shot of one particular window instead of all of the windows that are currently open on your desktop, instead of just pressing Prt Scr on your keyboard during Step 1, press Crtl + Prt Scr. This will only capture the current window that you have open/selected.

About Chad Sweely
Chad Sweely is a staff wrtiter and Flash Designer for FlashNewz.

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