Have you ever wanted to take a picture of your computer screen? Doing it is easier than you think. You can learn how to capture your screen on Windows, Mac, and on your phone. All you have to do is know a few keyboard shortcuts and a few quick tricks.
Method 1 of 3: Windows
Step 1. Find a key on your keyboard that says "Print Screen"
This means "Print Screen" and pressing this button will save a screenshot of your screen to your clipboard. This process is the same as pressing "copy" on an image.
- This key is usually in the upper right corner of your keyboard, above the backspace key.
- Press "Print Screen" once to take a photo of your current screen.
- If you press the "Alt" key at the same time, you will take a photo only of the window you are using, such as your Internet browser. So if you want an image only from your browser, click on that window, and press the "Alt" and "Print Screen" keys together.
Step 2. Open Microsoft Paint
This free program comes pre-installed on all Windows computers, and allows you to paste your screenshot and edit it if you want.
- You can find this program in the start menu. Click "All Programs" → "Accessories" → "Paint" to open it.
- You could use any program that allows you to paste images like Photoshop, Microsoft Word, and InDesign, but Paint is the simplest and fastest way to save a screenshot.
Step 3. Click "Paste" to see the screenshot
This button is in the upper left corner of Microsoft Paint, but you can also press the "Ctrl" and "V" keys at the same time to perform this same function.
Step 4. Save your screenshot
Now you can save your image using Paint. Click the little purple save button (it looks like a purple floppy disk) or press the "Ctrl" and "G" keys at the same time. You will have the option to name the image and choose its quality.
Step 5. An alternative is to use the "Snipping Tool" in Windows Vista, 7 or 8
Microsoft introduced a small tool on all Windows machines that allows you to take custom screenshots of your screen. In the start menu, search for "Snippets" to find the program. From this tool, you can create a screenshot of custom size and save it directly through it:
- Click on "New".
- Click and drag the pointer over the area you want to capture in an image.
- Click "Save Snippet" (the square purple floppy disk button).
Method 2 of 3: Mac OS X
Step 1. Press the "Command" ("Apple"), "Shift" and "3" keys at the same time
An image of your screen will be saved on your desktop with the name "Screen shot", with the date and time included.
Step 2. To capture a selected area, press the "Command" ("Apple"), "Shift" and "4" keys
This time the cursor will turn into a small cross. Once it appears, you can click and drag it over the image you want to save.
Step 3. Open the image file and edit it
You can double-click the image file on your desktop to open it. From there you can edit, cut or rename it with your favorite program.
If you click on the name and let the pointer stay on it, you can change the name directly on your desktop
Method 3 of 3: Other Methods
Step 1. Use GIMP to capture your screen at any time
This is a free and open source photo editor that has a built-in screen capture feature. There are two ways to capture a screen with this program.
- Click "File" → "Acquire" → "Screenshot"
- Press the "Shift" and "F12" keys at the same time.
Step 2. Take a screenshot on Linux with GNOME Desktop
Although the "Print Screen" key method mentioned in the Windows section normally works on Linux, the OS has a few other ways to capture screens with more options:
- Click on "Applications."
- Click on "Accessories" and find "Screenshot."
- You'll have a number of options, from setting the screen size to scheduling a delay.
Step 3. Take a screenshot with an iPhone by pressing the home button and the power button at the same time
If you press them at the same time you will see a bright flash and your image will be saved in your Photos, where you can access it at any time.
Step 4. Take a screenshot with an Android phone by pressing the volume button and the power button at the same time
Many Android phones also provide a "screenshot" option when you press the power button.
- Android phones using the Cream Sandwich 4.0 operating system can, but no older models.
- If you have a phone that doesn't have this feature, you can download an app from the Google Play store. Search with the words "Capture Screen" and download your favorite free application.
- Try taking screenshots now so you're ready to do it anytime you find an image you like.
- The image that is generated when you press the Print Screen key will be the same size as the screen, you may have to cut or shrink it.