Take a Screenshot

by Jim Chesters

Sometimes it’s easier to simply show someone what you’re looking at. So whether you’re trying to explain how to use a program, report a bug or just share a great image, there’s many reasons as to why you may want to capture a screenshot from your computer, tablet or phone.


To take a screenshot on Windows computers looks for the Print Screen button, usually abbreviated “prt sc” or “prt scn.” When you click this button (you may need to use the function or “fn” button in conjunction if your keyboard requires that) Windows will copy the image on your screen to the clipboard. From there you can open up the Paint application or somewhere else where you can paste the clipboard and viola! There’s your screenshot.

Update: A member writes in with some more tips on how to take a screenshot easily in Windows.

If you have Microsoft One Note installed, activate One Note on your system. To take a screen shot, press the Windows key and the S at the same time. The screen will go grey with the screen data showing behind it. Using the mouse draw a box around just what part of the screen you want to capture. Once captured and the mouse button is released, the resulting screen shot is automatically saved to the Clipboard, which makes it available for pasting into paint or another application.

Windows 7 also comes with a snipping tool that allows you to highlight in color any section of the screenshot, like specific text, and save the result with the highlight.


On a Mac you have two quick options for capturing a screenshot. The first is to hold down Command and Shift and then press the number 3. This will capture the entire screen.

If you want to take a screenshot of a specific area hold Command and Shift and press the number 4. This turns your cursor into a crosshair. Now click and drag to form a lasso around the area you want to capture and when you release you will have a screenshot of that only.

In both cases these are saved to your desktop automatically.

iPhone and iPad:

Press the home and sleep button at the same time. The screen should flash when you get it right and it will save the screen in your photos.

Android devices:

Hold down both the power button and the volume down button for about 2 seconds. This will save the screen as a photo.

For more information on techniques to take a screenshot check out and bookmark this handy reference guide take-a-screenshot.org.