There may be times when you want to explain or show something that's happening on your computer screen or mobile device. Knowing how to take a screenshot—or a picture of the screen—can be handy in a variety of ways, like:
- When you'd like to capture an error message to show tech support
- If you're on the phone with someone who needs help finding something on his or her computer, you can send a screenshot of your computer to show that person what to look for
- If you'd like to save the confirmation number of a purchase rather than printing it or writing it down
- Print Scrn: This copies the entire screen.
When taking a screenshot in Windows, you'll use the Print Scrn key in your keyboard shortcuts. The image will copy to the clipboard. It's important to note that only one image at a time can be copied to the clipboard.
Taking screenshots in Windows
- Alt+Print Scrn: This copies the active window or dialog box.
Taking screenshots in Mac OS X
When taking screenshots in Mac OS X, these keyboard shortcuts will automatically save the picture to your desktop as an image file.
- Shift+Command+3: This takes a screenshot of the entire screen.
- Shift+Command+4: The mouse changes into a crosshair . You can then choose from two options:
- Click and drag the mouse to take a screenshot of part of the screen.
- Press the space bar. The mouse changes into a camera . Then click on a window to take a screenshot of that window
An alternative to using keyboard shortcuts is to use a built-in screenshot app, such as the Snipping Tool (included with many versions of Windows) or Grab(included in all versions of Mac OS X). If you'd like additional options like the ability to edit your images or add callouts, you can download an app likeJing, Snagit, or Skitch. Snagit and Skitch also feature a time delay setting for capturing an action, like opening a menu.
Taking screenshots on mobile devices
- To take a screenshot on an Apple mobile device, all you have to do is press the Home button and theSleep/wake button at the same time. This will take a photo of what's on your screen, and the image will save to your camera roll (in the Photos app).
- To take a screenshot on most Android mobile devices, just press the Volume Down button and the Power button at the same time. This will take a picture of your screen, and the image will save to your gallery.