Capture a Screen Shot of Your Desktop or the Active Window in Windows

Have you ever pressed the PrtScn (print screen) key on your Windows keyboard and wondered why it was there since it never seemed to do anything? Well, it does do something! It copies an image of your screen onto the clipboard, ready to paste into any graphics program such as “paint”. Following steps show you how to use it along with Windows image editor, Microsoft Paint, to save an image of your screen. You can also watch a video version of this tutorial.

Video – How to Take Screen Shot in Windows XP


Here are the steps:

1. Press the Print Screen key on your keyboard. It may be labeled [PrtScn].

2. Open an image editing program, such as Microsoft Paint.

3. Go to the Edit menu and choose Paste.

4. If prompted to enlarge the image, choose Yes.

5. Optional: Use your image editor’s crop tool to crop out unnecessary portions of the screen shot.

6. Go to the File Menu and choose Save As.

7. Navigate to the folder where you want to save the image.

8. Type a file name for the image.

9. Select a file type.

10. Click the Save button.


1. Hold the Alt key down while pressing Print Screen to capture only the active window.

2. Generally the GIF format works best when saving screen shots of application windows. The JPEG format usually makes screen shots (especially those with text) blurry, blotchy and discolored.

3. See related resources below for more screen shot tips and listings of screen capture software that offers many more options for capturing screens and portions of screens on Windows and Macintosh computers.

4. The Windows “clipboard” is a term used to describe the temporary storage space in memory where an item is placed when you copy or cut. When you paste, the item is transferred to the program you’re working in. If you copy something else, the old item is replaced with the new. You can’t navigate to or manipulate the clipboard directly; it’s only used for copy and paste operations.

5. If you have windows Vista, you can capture screen shots much more easily using the Snipping Tool included with Vista.

How to Take an iPhone Screenshot

Apple has made it quite easy to take a quick iPhone screen shot, whether it is send the picture of an app to a friend or to record your high score in a game for everyone to see. Screen hots are stored with your photos in the camera so it is easy to get at them and email them to a friend.

To take an iPhone screen shot, press the sleep button at the top of the iPhone 3GS and the home button at the same time. Not sure where these buttons are located on your iPhone? Following picture will point them out:

Video – How to Take Screen Shot in iPhone


Capture a Screen Shot with the Snipping Tool in Windows Vista

1. Click on the Start Menu and start typing “snipping” into the search box.

2. Snipping Tool should show up in the Programs list above the search box, and you can click on it to start it.

3. The Snipping Tool window will appear on your screen.

4. The Snipping Tool assumes you want to create a new clipping as soon as you open it. Your screen will dim, and you can click and drag your cursor to select an area to copy. As you drag, the selected area will be darker, and surrounded by a red border if you’ve never changed the Snipping Tool options.

5. When you release the mouse button, the captured area will open in the Snipping Tool window. If you’re not happy with the selection and need to try again, click the “New” button.

6. When you are happy with your clipping, press the second button to save the screen shot as an image file.

Video – How to Take Screen Shot in Windows Vista


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