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  • WRITTEN BY Jorge Rojas POSTED ON October 24,2012

How many times have you gotten a weird error or problem on your computer but couldn’t accurately explain it to tech support? In this case, a picture is worth a thousand words, and having a screenshot can help support resolve the issue faster.

With a couple of keyboard strokes you can save everything displayed on your monitor as an image and edit it as you need it. This screenshot capability includes creating images of web pages, desktop icons, notification boxes, file folders; basically anything displayed gets saved in the screenshot.

Taking a Screenshot in Windows

On the top row of your standard keyboard, you will see a key that says PrtScn or Print, this is above the insert key and to the right of F12. In Windows, pressing this button will take a screenshot of your entire desktop and temporarily save it on your clipboard as a .png file.

You can now open your screenshot with any program that uses the clipboard. Microsoft Word, OneNote, Outlook, and even MS Paint can display the screenshot and let you send or save it. With your preferred software open, simply paste the screenshot from the keyboard using CTRL+V, or if you prefer you can also right click > Paste.

If you want an image of a specific window or application, and you do not want to spend the time cropping off the edges, then click on the application you want to take a screenshot of, and hit Alt+PrtScn. You will then paste it the same way.

Saving a Screenshot on Apple Devices

For Mac users, to take a screenshot there are three keys: command + shift + 3. Mobile devices also has a screenshot feature as well. With Apple devices hold down the Home Button and press Sleep/wake, this will save your screenshot in Saved Photos. Every smartphone and tablet has a screenshot capability; check your device manual to find out more.

Taking Screenshots on the Web

If you are in the habit of taking screenshots of the web, then Awesome Screenshot is a handy tool that will take a screenshot of only the content displayed in your browser; it will even give you the option to take screenshots of specific sections of web pages. Awesome Screenshot is a free addon for Firefox and Chrome, check it out at www.awesomescreenshot.com.

There are many handy uses for screenshots, they make it easy to put pictures into documents, they can make website walkthroughs easy to understand, and screenshots are especially handy when communicating computer problems with IT. Next time you run into a strange error or on-screen problem, email us the screenshot.

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