How To Take A Picture Of Your Screen

Dear Computer Lady,

How do I take a picture (snapshot) of a page? Sometimes for work when I am composing email, I want to show what I am talking about. Please – help!

Thanks, Elaine

Dear Elaine,

This is a great question! I take snapshots of my screen quite often when I am writing directions for people, and I use special software just for that purpose.

Fortunately, though, you don’t have to purchase any software to take a basic screenshot, every windows computer comes with the functions necessary to do this.

The first component of taking a screenshot is easy. Just press the “Print Screen” key on your keyboard. You won’t see any immediate results, but in the background, Windows has just taken a picture of your screen, and stored it on the clipboard. It is up to you to paste the copy into a program that can use it.

The Windows, “Paint” program is perfect for this. Just open Paint, (It is found in the “Programs” menu unders “Accessories”) click on “Edit” in the menu bar, then click “Paste” and your screenshot will be pasted in this “Paint” window. From there, you can edit, crop and save the picture.

If you are running Windows 7, it is even easier to take a screenshot using a new feature called the “Snipping Tool”.

The Snipping Tool is also located in your programs menu under “Accessories” and you can use it to select a section of the screen you want to copy, and then save your image.


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Elizabeth Boston is a Web designer, Social Media Consultant and managing editor of, “Ask The Computer Lady”.
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    • sj_kac
    • December 10, 2012

    A great free program to do screen captures is “MWSNAP” from
    It allows capturing all or a selected part of the screen. You can then save it to a JPG file or copy and past it into a word processor, or print it. I have been using MWSNAP for years and couldn’t get along without it.

    • whitekat1964
    • December 10, 2012

    If you want a screenshot of only the active window, you can hold down Alt when you hit print screen, then you don’t have to crop it. 🙂

    • twysmilng
    • December 10, 2012

    If you are using the Microsoft Office 2010 programs (Word, Excel, Powerpoint, Outlook, etc.) you can easily do this task by going to the tab marked Insert, then the dropdown Screenshot, then click on Screen Clipping. You will be able to draw a box around whatever part of the screen you want to “clip”. Try it out!

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