Print The Screen

Dear Elizabeth,

I have enjoyed your service for a long time and often find your answers useful.  However, I have never seen you answer this one (although I’m sure you must have answered it at some time).  I would like to print the screen in one of my e-mail folders in Outlook Express.  I remember there was a way to do it in Outlook, but even though I’ve looked everywhere, I can’t figure a way to do it in Outlook Express.  Incidentally, I thought the “Print Screen” button would work, but it doesn’t.  I have XP.
Thanks so much for your help. Ruth


Dear Ruth,

In the days of DOS (before Windows) when you pressed the “Print Screen” key, you would instantly send a copy of what was on your screen to the printer.

With the advent of Windows, Microsoft changed the way the “Print Screen” key works. In any version of Windows, pressing the “Print Screen” key sends a picture of your screen to the clipboard. Since you cannot see the clipboard, it really looks like nothing has happened, and so you think that the button no longer works.

All you need to do, is a couple of extra steps and you will soon be sending a printout of your screen to the printer.

After you press the “Print Screen” button to copy the image of your screen to the clipboard, you need to open an image program. My favorite is Irfanview which is available at  or, you can use Paint which is included on all computers running Windows.

To open Paint, click on “Start”, then “Programs” or “All Programs” point to “Accessories” and then click on “Paint”.

Once you are in the Paint program, click on “Edit” in the menu bar and then click on “Paste”. This will put your image in the Paint window.

If “Paste” was not highlighted, then you forgot to press the “Print Screen” button to copy the image.

Once you have pasted the image into Paint, click on “File” and then “Print…” to print the image.



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