Inside the Brain of a Geek: Screen Shots


One question I get often is “How to capture a screen-shot, screen grab, print screen or snip?”  It can be a multi-step process and most of the time you get more than you want.  Microsoft has addressed that in Windows 7 with the snipping tool.   The snipping tool allows you to make free-form, rectangular, window, and full-screen snips that automatically copy into the clipboard and mark-up window.  Using the mark-up window you can email, save, or copy to any application that allows pasting. 


To access the snipping tool click on the Windows Key, or left click on the Start button, and type “Snip” in the search box. Once the “Snipping Tool” is highlighted select “Enter” to launch the program. Use the drop down box to the right of “New” button to select the snipping tool you want to use.   A white overlay appears on your screen until you capture a snip.  Holding down the left click button, draw around the area you want to snip.   Once you release the left button it will copy the snip to the clipboard and open the mark-up window.   From there you can email, save, or paste into another application. 


I made the snip below using the free form snip.   I then used the highlighter in the mark-up window to highlight the text.  


For a full tutorial on using the Snipping tool in Windows 7 use the link below.


For Windows XP/Vista/7 users:  Click the window you want to capture.   Press Alt+Print Screen by holding down the Alt key and then pressing the Print Screen.  The Print Screen button is usually located in the top right of your keyboard.  It might be marked with “PrtSc”.   This only makes a copy of the window.  You can then paste the screen shot in any application that allows pasting.  These are just a few Paint, Word, PowerPoint, Outlook email, Photoshop, etc...  Open one of these applications then right click inside the application and select paste.  If you want a full screen shot, just use the Print Screen button. 


For iPhone users:   You can take a screen shot by pressing the Home & Sleep/Power buttons at the same time.  Don’t hold down the buttons, just a quick press at the same time is all that you need.  You will hear the camera shutter sound and the screen shot will be save in you photos.


For Android users:  It is possible but very difficult to take screen shots with an Android phone.   Buying an app looks like the best option.   The app “No Root Screenshot it” gets 4 ½ out of 5 stars.