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Capturing an image or screenshot with a Windows 10 operating system will be like taking a screenshot on your iPhone (Home button + Power button), favorite gaming system, or smart watch. Once you do it once, the process is hard to forget and quite handy. In this article I will demonstrate a few ways to take a screenshot in Windows 10.
Do not let vocabulary or any of the varying terms throw you off! A screenshot is also universally referred to as a snip, snippet, screen capture or a print screen.
By far one the most used and easiest ways to take a screenshot in Windows 10 is by using the Print Screen button utility on the keyboard. This button is located in-between to the F12 and Scroll lock buttons near the top right of most conventional keyboards. See image below for locating the key.
When you first click the Print Screen button, you will more than likely conclude nothing happened (and that this guide might possibly be bogus). Rest assured that the action of pressing the Print Screen button will copy an image of your entire screen to your clipboard. Windows 10 allows you to utilize the captured image in any way, shape or form you need from here! You may now take advantage of this feature in almost any application you are using, to paste the screenshot (Right click and select Paste, or press CTRL + V).
Please be aware that the Print Screen button could be displayed as “PrntScrn”, “Print Scr”, or “PrtScn” given the keyboard being used. Also, be aware this button is typically found between the F12 and Scroll Lock buttons on your keyboard, unless on a laptop, in which you may need to press the “Fn” or “Function” key beforehand to make the Print Screen function accessible. You should check with your laptop’s manual for further information, if this extra step is applicable to you.
For those in a hurry, here is a quick tip to keep you moving without all the details:
Sequential screenshots can be quickly created by pressing the Windows Key + Print Screen button at the same time. If executed properly, your screen will briefly dim and you may then find the screenshot nested within Pictures Folder, inside Screenshots Folder. Each image is automatically tagged with the number of total screenshots taken up to that point.
So, while the clipboard holds our potential screenshot, let’s proceed with the three most common ways of application. Programs used in this guide will be already installed on your Windows 10 computer with Paint, Snip & Sketch, and Snipping Tool.
We will begin with a basic approach (training wheels) using Paint. Press the Windows Key or click the Start button from the toolbar on the bottom left-hand side of your screen. Type “Paint” and select it from the search results, or you may simply press Enter. Once you open Microsoft Paint, press buttons CTRL + V on your keyboard (, or alternatively you may right click the blank, default canvas and select “Paste”).
The newest route to date, that is gaining popularity was introduced in the Windows 10 – May 2019 Update. This new tool is called Snip & Sketch and is a featured application of the newest version of Windows 10. Press the Windows Key or select the Start button from the toolbar on the bottom left-hand side of your screen. Type “Snip & Sketch” and select it from the search results, or simply press Enter.
When you launch this program, you will be prompted with a screen like what you see below:
You will have a friendly user interface (visual aid) designed to make capturing an image on your desktop a quick process. Snip & Sketch walks you through how to take a new snip (snippet or screenshot) with step-by-step dialogue boxes. This interface (like the program that precedes it) also includes preferences like scaling the needed image size to your desired proportions and a one to five second delayed time for capturing. If you wish to employ this built-in feature as intended, you may press the Windows logo key + Shift + S to access the on-screen toolbar.
The on-screen toolbar for Snip & Sketch will look like what you see below: (before opening Snip & Sketch, I opened a blank Word Document on my desktop to help you see its functionality)
By performing this shortcut (Windows logo key + Shift + S), you are prompted to “Draw a shape to create a screen snip”. You will notice that your desktop’s foreground is now dimmed. The Snip & Sketch toolbar will be located near the top of the screen with the furthest left option (highlighted by default) the Rectangular Snip, followed to the right by Freeform Snip, Window Snip, Fullscreen Snip, and lastly, on the furthest right, is the option to close out of the Snip & Sketch program.
I purposely saved the best for last (really just my favorite by nostalgia). The origin of snips, snipping, and our beloved screenshots is the 17-year-old Snipping Tool, which like Snip & Sketch, is included in the newest version of Windows 10. You can access the Snipping Tool by pressing the Windows Key or by selecting the Start button from the toolbar on the bottom left-hand side of your screen. Type “Snipping Tool” and select it from the search results, or simply press Enter.
When the Snipping Tool is launched your screen will look like the image below:
You will see in the above image, five options on the toolbar:
- Mode (with extended drop down selections for Freeform, Rectangular, Window or Full Screen Snip)
- Delay (with extended drop down for ranged selections of 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 second delays)
If you were not already using the Print Screen button on your keyboard, the only shortcut (excluding third party applications), before Snip & Sketch was the Snipping Tool. The Snipping Tool is slowly being phased out as of October 2018.
When launching the Snipping Tool, you will see, “Snipping Tool is moving…” follow by the explanation of Snip & Sketch being the primary capturing application for Windows 10 moving forward. How soon they plan on completely removing the Snipping Tool is unknown, however the newer version that we previously discussed is pretty much the same(, as far as how to capture and save a screenshot on your Windows 10 computer). By clicking on options, you can customize ways to use this utility to your benefit. View the Snipping Tool options in the image below:
If you require more than one image, you can always create a new capture by pressing buttons CTRL + N or ALT + N.
Technical career fields rely on basic functions like copy and pasting text and providing images for validations and procedures. You should view the print screen button, snips, and snippets in the same light as highlighting text for copying and pasting. It could be just as important for you to know all possible ways as it is for you to know just one. Simplistic acts of taking a screenshot are generally believed to be a minor, basic task, but being able to do so is still a very important skill. You might need to take a screenshot to verify something for your work, troubleshoot issues with tech support, for your own personal records, or maybe you just want to capture an interesting moment happening on your computer; Regardless of the reasoning, we have covered the three most common and efficient ways of taking screenshots, snips, snippets or however you prefer to call it!
Happy Snipping and Happy New Year!