August 11, 2022
how to screensoht on windows
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How to Screenshot on Windows with an Easy and Concise Method

Want to learn how to screenshot on Windows? Whether you want to capture your full screen or just one window or area, there are several quick and easy ways to take screenshots in Windows 10, Windows 11, and Windows 8. This CrownGuests article will teach you how to use keyboard shortcuts (including the Print Screen key) and the built-in Snipping Tool app to screen capture any area of your Windows desktop.

Method 1: How to Screenshot on Windows Every Computer

Step: 1

Go to the screen that you want to screenshot. Before you can take a screenshot, make sure that the screen on which you want to take a screenshot is up and with no distractions (e.g., open windows or programs).

Step: 2

Press the Print Screen key. It’s typically found on the upper-right side of the keyboard, just right of the row of “Function” keys (e.g., F12) at the top of the keyboard. Pressing the Print Screen key will take a picture of the entire screen’s contents.

  • The Print Screen key may be entitled “PrtSc” or something similar.
  • If your computer has an Fn key on the lower-left side of the keyboard, you might need to press Fn and  Print Screen at the same time.

Step: 3

Open Paint. This program comes installed on all Windows computers. To open it:

  • Open Start
    • On Windows 8, open Search
  • Click the search bar at the bottom of the Start
  • Type in “paint”
  • Click Paint at the top of the Start window.
    • On Windows 8, Paint will be in the search.
  • For a Windows XP computer, click Start, select Programs, select Accessories, and click Paint.

Step: 4

Paste in the screenshot. Once the Paint window opens, press Ctrl+V to paste in the screenshot. You should see the screenshot appear in the Paint window.

Step: 5

Save the screenshot. Press Ctrl+S, then enter a name for your screenshot, select a save folder on the left side of the window, and click Save.

  • You can change the screenshot’s file type by clicking the “Save as type” drop-down box at the bottom of the window and then clicking a different format (e.g., JPEG) in the drop-down menu.
  • The most common file types are JPG and PNG. The recommended format for screenshots is PNG, due to its high quality and small file size.

Taking a One-Window Screenshot Method 2:

Step: 1

Click on the window that you want to capture an image of. The One-Window screenshot function will take a picture of the “active” window on your screen, which means that it should be in front of all your other windows.

Step: 2

Hold down Alt and press  PrtScr. An image of the window will be copied to the clipboard. The dimensions of the image will be determined by the size of the window when the screenshot is captured.

  • You will not receive any confirmation that the screenshot has been taken.

Step: 3

Open Paint. This program comes installed on all Windows computers. To open it:

  • Open Start
    • On Windows 8, open Search
  • Click the search bar at the bottom of the Start
  • Type in “paint”
  • Click Paint at the top of the Start window.
    • On Windows 8, Paint will be in the search.
  • For a Windows XP computer, click Start, select Programs, select Accessories, and click Paint.

Step: 4

Paste in the screenshot. Once the Paint window loads, press Ctrl+V to paste in the screenshot. You should see it appear in the Paint window.

  • You can also paste the screenshot into other programs, such as Word, or into the body of an email. Simply open the program that you want to paste the image into and press Ctrl+V.

Step: 5

Save your screenshot as an image file. Click File, click Save, enter a file name, click a location on the left side of the page, and click Save.

  • You can change the screenshot’s file type by clicking the “Save as type” drop-down box at the bottom of the window and then clicking a different format (e.g., JPEG) in the drop-down menu.
  • The most common file types are JPG and PNG. The recommended format for screenshots is PNG, due to its high quality and small file size.

Method 3: How to Screenshot on Windows 8 and 10

Step: 1

Go to the screen that you want to screenshot. Before you can take a screenshot, make sure that the screen on which you want to take a screenshot is up and with no distractions (e.g., open windows or programs).

Step: 2

Find the “Print Screen” key on your keyboard. The  Print Screen key is most often found on the upper-right side of the main keyboard (not counting the number pad if your keyboard has one), and it usually has “SysReq” (“System Requirements”) written below it.

  • The Print Screen key will usually be abbreviated to “PrtSc” or something similar.

Step: 3

Press the  Win key and the  Print Screen key at the same time (although do press the Windows key first). Doing so will take a screenshot of the current screen; in most cases, you’ll see the screen dim briefly.

  • Your screen won’t dim if your computer has certain display settings disabled. This is most common on old computers on which you upgraded to Windows 10.
  • If your screenshot doesn’t appear when you look for it, try pressing Ctrl+Win+ Print Screen or Fn+ Win+ Print Screen.

Step: 4

Find the screenshot. You’ll find the screenshot inside the “Screenshots” folder, which is inside of your computer’s “Pictures” folder. Each screenshot that you take will be labeled “Screenshot (number)” to correspond with the order in which the screenshot was taken.

  • For example, the first screenshot you take will be labeled “Screenshot (1)”, etc.

How to Take a Screenshot on Windows (7, 8, 10), and Save and Edit Them

Learning how to take a screenshot on Windows systems is the simplest way to preserve or share any visual content from a website, program, or video game. You can take it and send it via email, social media, or file-sharing sites with just a few clicks.

This article will show you how to screen-capture any webpage, program, and even full-screen video game using a wide variety of methods. You’ll learn how to capture not just static screenshots but also record videos.

We’ll also explore the differences in screenshotting between the most recent Windows versions: 7, 8, and 10.

How to Take Screenshots in Windows 7, 8, 10 with the Snipping Tool

All recent versions of Windows, including 7, 8, and 10, include the Snipping Tool. You can easily open it by searching for it in the toolbar search.

Press the Windows key to open the toolbar and jump to Windows search. Alternately, you can also use the Windows + S shortcut to summon Windows search. However, note that in Windows 7, you must manually select the search field before you can type out the keyword. Type in “Snipping Tool” and press Enter.

Note: There’s no keyboard shortcut to open the Snipping Tool. It would be best if you did that manually. In Windows 10, the updated version of this app can be opened with a shortcut—more on that later.

The Snipping Tool in Window's Start menu.
The Snipping Tool in Window’s Start menu.

Pressing the Enter key after typing the correct phrase will open the program automatically.

It has various modes, including free-form screenshots, but the basic form is a rectangular screenshot shape. But at least it gives you more flexibility than just pressing the print screen key.

Once you initiate the “Snipping” by clicking the “New” button, the whole screen goes gray. You can then select the area you want to capture and save.

Windows Snipping Tool screenshot example.
Windows Snipping Tool.

You can now edit the screenshot with the pen, highlighter, and eraser tools. It also offers a few unique options compared to copying and pasting something into Paint, such as the Delay mode for taking delayed (timed) screenshots. You can also highlight something in the screenshot and email it directly from the Snipping Tool.

Once it’s open, you can also use many shortcuts to work faster.

In the table below, we break down all the keyboard shortcuts (only available after opening the Snipping Tool):

Keyboard Shortcut What It Does
Ctrl + PrtScn / Alt + N Takes a new screenshot with the Snipping Tool app (when it’s open).
Alt + M Changes between different modes (free-form, rectangular, window, and full-screen).
Alt + D  Sets a delay for the screenshot.
CTRL + S  Saves the screenshot.
CTRL + C Copies the screenshot to your clipboard.

One feature we miss is the ability to take multiple screenshots with an identically sized and placed window.

All in all, it’s not a life-changing screenshotting app by any stretch of the imagination, but it’s sufficient for primary use.

How to Take Windows 10 Screenshots with Snip & Sketch Tool

In Windows 10, you also have access to the new and slightly improved Snip & Sketch app.

You can open it in the same way by searching the menu or using the built-in shortcut: Shift + Windows + S.

That’ll automatically open the app menu for taking a screen snip. Also, here, you can choose from window, free-form, full-screen, or rectangle options for your snapshot.

Windows Snip & Sketch tool.
Windows Snip & Sketch tool.

With the window snip option, it doesn’t automatically capture the active window. You can switch tabs with Alt + Tab and then click the specific window you want to capture.

Compared to the original version, there’s been a few changes:

  • Screenshots automatically save to the dashboard (including changes you make, like highlights or annotations).
  • Automatically add outlines to snips—helpful for partial screenshots.
  • Share the screenshot via Wi-Fi or Bluetooth.
  • Change the settings, so the PrtScn button opens Snip & Sketch automatically.
  • You can no longer set a delay for the screenshot to happen later.

Want to upload these screenshots to your website to spice up your latest blog post?

By default, the PNG format files saved by Windows screenshotting software are unnecessarily large. Once you’ve taken and edited these screenshots, you should make sure to optimize the images for the web.

If you want some extra features, like more powerful editing, automatic web optimization, or full-page website captures, you’ll need to use a third-party tool.

How to Screenshot Tabs and Entire Webpage in Google Chrome

Google Chrome doesn’t come with built-in screenshotting functionality, but there are plenty of great, free extensions available.

Just go to the Chrome Web Store and search for “screenshot,” filter the result by extensions, and you’ll see for yourself. You can then choose from dozens of chrome extensions for screenshotting webpages.

Screenshot extensions in Chrome Web Store.
Chrome Web Store screenshot extensions.

There are so many options that it can be hard to choose. To make things simple, we recommend any of the following:

All of these tools go way beyond what you can do with Snip & Sketch. For example, you can capture a full-page screenshot instead of only the visible part with each of these.

In Awesome Screenshot, you can even use a Ctrl + Shift + E shortcut or manually open the menu to do this.

Awesome Screenshot's menu in Chrome.
Awesome Screenshot menu in Chrome.

If you’re wondering what that looks like, take a peek at this full-screen capture of our homepage: one continuous shot perfectly representing what our site looks like in a browser. It’s an easy way to share what a test site on a local server seems like if there are errors that don’t show up in staging.

Another practical feature is that you can screenshot just the contents of any particular tab. That means you don’t have to crop out your 90+ tab windows or the full URL to your secret document.

In Awesome Screenshot, the shortcut for this is Ctrl + Shift + V.

It also means you can take screenshots with identical dimensions across multiple different pages. That’s perfect if you use screenshots as part of your blogging or content marketing and want to keep your visuals consistent.

Plus, most of these extensions, including Awesome Screenshot, come with a better image editor than what you’ll find natively in Windows.

You can, for example, blur out parts of the image, add in shapes, arrows, text boxes, and more. And these options are all available in the free versions.

Awesome Screenshot's editor.
Awesome Screenshot’s editor.

These features make it easy to edit and prepare tutorial-style screenshots to include in a how-to blog post.

How to Screenshot on windows in Microsoft Edge (Full Page)

One interesting thing about Microsoft Edge is that the latest version has built-in screenshotting.

You don’t need to install any additional plugins. Just open up the browser, and start taking screenshots. Use the shortcut Ctrl + Shift + S to open the “Web Capture” overlay.

You can then choose between free selection or capturing the whole page.

Microsoft Edge menu showing the location of “Web capture” option.
Microsoft Edge menu showing the location of the “Web capture” option.

The full-page capture doesn’t rely on multiple partial screenshots and scrolling. So, a floating bar won’t ruin your screenshot.

Once you’ve captured the page, you can then use the available draw and erase tools to highlight items on the page or make annotations.

A full-page screenshot in Edge.
A full-page screenshot in Edge.

Beyond that, you can share, copy, or save the screenshot (the default screenshots folder is /User/Downloads/).

The features are rudimentary, but the tool works perfectly to share a webpage with a friend or coworker.

How to Screenshot a Game (or Anything Else) with Xbox Game Bar

In Windows 10, the Xbox Game Bar is installed and active by default (even if you don’t own an Xbox). You can open it at any time by pressing the Windows key + G.

Although it was built into Windows as a feature to screenshot and record video games, it works just as well for capturing movies, websites, or the content of any other program.

After opening the Xbox Game Bar, you can either press the camera button in the top-left corner or take a screenshot without opening the menu by pressing the print screen shortcut keys: Windows key + Alt + PrtScn.

Xbox Game Bar Terraria screenshot.
Xbox Game Bar Terraria screenshot.

Once you open the Game Bar, you can show recent screenshots by clicking the “Show all captures” button.

Xbox Game Bar screenshot gallery.
Xbox Game Bar screenshot gallery.

From here, you can browse and share all recent screenshots on Twitter. There’s even a super basic “meme editor” that lets you add a big block text to the top and bottom.

The Xbox Game Bar saves files to the /User/Videos/Captures/ folder by default. It has some unique features, like the ability to scale the screenshots up to 4K.

Note: You don’t have to be playing a video game to use the Game Bar to take screenshots.

How to Screenshot in PowerPoint

If you have the latest version of PowerPoint in Windows 10, it supports capturing screenshots.

Instead of using the PrtScn key and pasting it in, you can capture other windows while inside PowerPoint.

Taking a screenshot through PowerPoint.
Take a screenshot through PowerPoint.

It will automatically insert a screenshot of the window you choose into the slide. If it’s a full-sized window, it’ll cover the entire page.

The newer versions of PowerPoint ship with a fairly powerful image editor. You can change colors and saturation, and even remove the background with a magic wand.

You can also customize the screenshot with shapes, borders, and text within PowerPoint and save the slide as an image.

Editing a PowerPoint screenshot.
Editing a PowerPoint screenshot.

Combined, that probably makes PowerPoint the most potent official Microsoft screenshotting tool.

How to Screenshot on windows with LightShot (and Other Third-Party Apps)

Lightshot is a lightweight—surprise—and easy-to-use screenshotting software. To use third-party software like LightShot, the first thing you need to do is download the program.

Visit the download page on the official website, and download the Windows version using the appropriate button or link.

LightShot screenshot tool's download page.
LightShot screenshot tool’s download page.

Once installed, it automatically overrides the regular PrtScn key command. Every time you press that key, now you open up the LightShot interface.

You can select an area of the screen to capture and add simple text, rectangles, or arrows. You can edit the thickness of the lines and elements by using your mouse scroll. If you don’t have a mouse plugged in, try swiping two fingers on your touchpad.

Taking a screenshot with LightShot.
Take a screenshot with LightShot.

To save the files, you can either press the save icon or use the Windows standard Ctrl + S shortcut. It keeps the files in the /Documents/Lightshot/ folder by default. But you can change that folder and easily save files in other locations.

It’s not super powerful, but it’s fast and effortless to use.

How to Take a Screenshot on Microsoft Surface Devices

On a Microsoft Surface with Windows 10 installed, you can already use any of the ways we mentioned so far.

As if that’s not enough, there’s also a custom way to take screenshots—because it’s technically also a tablet.

To take a screenshot on your Surface device, press and hold the Windows button and simultaneously press the Volume Down button. When it takes a screenshot, the screen will get dimmer.

You’ll find the screen capture files in the /User/Pictures/Screenshots folder.

Some Surface owners complain that this option doesn’t work for their computers. If it doesn’t work, you can either troubleshoot the settings or use any of the eight other ways we’ve covered so far.

If you made it here, we’ve shown you all nine ways to take screenshots on your Windows computer. We’ll cover how to capture video from your computer screen in the next section.]]]=\\\\.

Summary

Whether you’re working with an old version of Windows 7, or the newest version of Windows 10 on a brand-new Surface laptop, you have tons of options for taking screenshots.

You can use the built-in keyboard key shortcuts, Windows tools like Snip & Sketch, or a third-party app in Chrome. Even PowerPoint has a built-in function for taking screenshots and including them in your presentation.

Like with Windows, the same holds for taking a screenshot on your Mac.

Static screenshots are only the beginning. You can even capture videos showing what you’re doing step-by-step and instantly share them online, including commentary.

Also, See:

Works Cited

Lloyd, Jack. “The Easiest Way to Take a Screenshot in Windows | wikiHow.” wikiHow, www.wikihow.com, 16 June 2022, https://www.wikihow.com/Take-a-Screenshot-in-Microsoft-Windows.

Ravoof, Salman. “How to Take a Screenshot on Windows (7, 8, 10), and Save and Edit Them.” Kinsta®, kinsta.com, 19 Apr. 2021, https://kinsta.com/blog/how-to-screenshot-on-windows/.

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