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How to Make a Screenshot

how-to-make-screenshot-small.jpg A “screenshot” is a snapshot of what’s on your computer’s screen. For instance, here is a screenshot of what I see when I go to Google.
You can see that the screenshot includes everything that I normally see on my computer screen, including the titles, menus and stuff at the bottom of the screen.
The reason it looks kind of fuzzy is because I have made the screenshot smaller to fit here. If I had left it the original size it would be just as clear as any page on my computer.

So how do you make screenshots?

You don’t have to buy any special software to make screenshots. Your computer already has the cabability to do it quickly and easily. To create a screenshot follow these steps:

1. Open the page that you want to capture and leave it up on your computer screen.

2. Press the PrintScreen button on your keyboard and let it up. (To find the PrintScreen or PrtScrn button, look on the right hand side of your keyboard).

3. You have now saved an image of your screen on your computer’s clipboard. You won’t be able to see it, but it’s there (it’s a similar idea to when you copy and paste).

4. Open a graphics program such as Paint. Everyone has Paint on their PC. To access it, click Start>Programs>Accessories>Paint.

5. Once you have Paint open, click “new” to create a new empty image.

6. Click Edit>Paste to paste in the screenshot you just took.

7. You will now see your screenshot as a picture. Click File>Save As and save your file in a place that you will remember. If it asks you what format you want to save in, choose PNG.

8. Now you have an image file of the screen saved on your computer. You can insert it into a document or webpage just like any other image.

Additional points:

If you want to skip the Paint steps, you can also paste the screenshot directly into a word processing program such as Word and into certain email programs such as Outlook.

This basic method will result in a full-size screenshot. This follow-up article explains how to make your screenshot smaller.  You can also use the same directions to make your screenshot larger.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Gina Weiss July 11, 2007, 12:59 am

    Wow! I had always wondered how screen shots were done and you’ve made it so easy! Using your instructions, I had the screenshot I needed in less than a minute – Thank you SO MUCH!!
    Any recommendations for editing screenshots?
    Thanks again,

  • Barbra Sundquist July 11, 2007, 11:39 am

    Hi Gina,
    Glad to hear that it worked for you! I’m planning to write an article soon on how to edit, so check back for that.

  • Gina Weiss July 14, 2007, 3:21 pm

    Looking forward to that – I enjoy your blog, Barbra, and will be back frequently. :)

  • A Shark Saved My Life July 25, 2007, 7:33 am

    [Digi]Blog Carnival June 28th, 2007

    making money – marketing – optimizing – June 28, 2007
    Blog Carnival
    Welcome to the June 28, 2007 edition of making money – marketing – optimizing.
    Barbra Sundquist presents How to Make a Screenshot posted at HomeBusinessWiz.
    Ianternet presents…

  • K T Cat July 30, 2007, 9:06 pm

    Thanks for this tip. I use this so rarely that I always forget how I did it last time.

  • Vytas October 12, 2007, 6:32 am

    I have made a screenshot maker a lot of time ago, you can look here and read information about it. http://dev.fivq.com/

  • Get Clicks January 25, 2008, 12:57 pm

    How do you re-size the screen shot?

  • Lena Berkova July 17, 2008, 5:19 am

    I want to know more easy way:
    I use program named Magic Screenshot (http://www.roversoft.dp.ua/default.aspx?ProductID=9, download from http://roversoft.dp.ua/products/MagicScreenshotSetup.msi). This program allow you to make screenshot of full or part screen and even mark any areas on screen. Screenshot public to internet automatically and you can give this link to any your friends or partners any ways – email, ICQ, publish to forums. Very easy and very useful program (see on butterfly near clock after installation)
    only 3 clicks and you can show screenshot to your friends :)

  • Wafex August 11, 2009, 5:20 pm

    I’m just asking but you cut out a certain part of the screenshot out then clear the image
    Then paste the cut out part and you now you have what you want but can you make the cutout part fit the whole screen, like re-size it?

  • Barbra August 12, 2009, 2:35 am

    Yes, you can resize it by following the same directions as described here. Or even easier, just go to http://www.resizeyourimage.com which has a free image re-size tool that is easy to use.

  • Viv Thompson February 3, 2011, 7:49 pm

    For months I had been wondering how to take a screen shot, and in between time I had lost hours at various times taking photos and uploading. Then I punched ‘how to take a screen shot’ into search engine and up you came. THANK YOU VERY MUCH. You have made my life easier, and love the clear way you explained the procedure.
    All best wishes,

  • Barbra March 29, 2011, 6:42 pm

    @Viv – Very glad to be of assistance! Thank you for taking the time to give feedback.

  • Dmitrij April 30, 2011, 11:50 pm

    Thank you for the nice instruction.
    Also you can try to use very simple tool for make, edit and share screenshots.
    Also there are 3 versions for different OSes – for Windows, Linux and Mac

  • Nikki August 1, 2011, 2:55 am

    OMG! You’re amazing, so simple. and very easy to get! Thanks! :D

  • Barbra August 11, 2011, 2:35 am

    Glad it helped Nikki, and thanks for your feedback!

  • subashini August 25, 2011, 10:22 pm


    I have the ASUS notebook with windows XP. I couldn’t take the screenshot by pressing the Prt Sc and Ctrl +V..

    I even tried by pressing Alt+Prt Sc and Shift+Prt Sc.. Nothing worked. Is there is any way i can take the screen shots. Please help me in this regard


  • joy April 19, 2012, 12:44 pm

    thanks for the great info! now i can do my screenshot on my own….

    very simple and very easy! thanks again!