Create a screenshot under Windows: Here’s how!

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We explain how you can take a screenshot and edit it in Windows.

Create a screenshot under Windows
Create a screenshot under Windows: Here’s how!

The most important things in a nutshell – create, save and edit screenshots:

You can learn here how to create a screenshot under Windows.

  • Screenshot of the entire screen and saving the copy in the clipboard : [Print] key (Note: on some laptops, instead of the [Print] key, press [Fn] + [PrtScn] )
  • Screenshot of the currently active window and save the copy in the clipboard: [Alt] + [Print]
  • Screenshot of self-selected area: [Windows key] + [Shift ⇧] + [s] with the help of the key combination [Ctrl] + [v] insert the screenshot at the desired location
  • Create a screenshot and save it directly in the folder path Images> Screenshots: [ Windows key] + [Print]

Table of contents

  1. Screenshots under Windows 7, 8 and 10
  2. Snipping Tool: Tool for taking screenshots in Windows
  3. Problems taking screenshots
  4. Other tools: External tools for taking screenshots under Windows

Create a Screenshots under Windows 7, 8 and 10

Creating screenshots in Microsoft’s operating system is very easy: by pressing the [Print] key on your keyboard, you can copy the current screen view to the clipboard. If you are using two monitors at the same time, both screens will be recorded. You don’t want to photograph the entire screen, but just a window? First select the relevant window. With the keyboard shortcut for screenshots in Windows – [Alt] + [Print] – you can then create a snapshot of this.

Windows screenshot

If you press the [Win], [Alt] and [Print] keys together, you can save the currently selected window as a PNG file in the “Screenshots” folder.

 Fact

The push button has been on computer keyboards for a very long time. In the times of MS-DOS, the connected printer was addressed directly: By pressing the button, users could send the screen content directly to the device and print it out. Modern systems use this button to create almost exclusively digital copies and no longer actual printouts.

By the way, your mouse pointer will not appear on the screenshot. That can be both an advantage and a disadvantage. You don’t have to worry about whether the cursor is covering important information. However, if you want to use the screenshot to indicate something in particular, the pointer can be useful. To do this, you need to install an external tool.

 Note

Your keyboard may be labeled differently: Especially in English-speaking countries, the terms [Print], [Prnt] or [Prnt Scrn] (for “Print Screen”) are more common. On laptops, keys are assigned twice to save space. Then the screenshot should be possible by additionally pressing the function key: [Fn] + [Print].

Snipping Tool: Tool for taking screenshots in Windows

In the Snipping Tool you can choose between different cutting methods

The push button function is useful, quick, and straightforward, but it’s also very simple. Microsoft has therefore introduced another method for taking screenshots in Windows. The Snipping Tool is already pre-installed in the operating system and offers more options to customize the screenshot as you need it. When you have opened the program, you can choose between different cut types:

Cut full screen: This setting corresponds to the function of the pushbutton. Create a complete copy of the screen (or screens) with just one click.

Cut out window: If you choose this type, first decide on a window from which you want to create an image. If you hover over it with the mouse pointer, this becomes clearly visible, while everyone else gets a foggy filter. A click on the window of your choice triggers the screenshot.

Rectangular cut-out: With this type of cut-out, you can select a free but rectangular area for the screenshot. If you z. For example, if you know that only a certain part of the screen is important before you take a snapshot, you only need to save that part. This means that the viewer knows immediately which part is important to you. It’s also a way to keep personal information out of the screenshot. Hold down the mouse button and drag a frame. As soon as you release the button, the picture is taken.

Free cutting: You have even more freedom with the last cut type. This allows you to choose a shape freehand and only include this area in the screenshot. The quality of the shape depends on how well you can draw with the mouse. Here, too, the program creates the screenshot as soon as you release the mouse button. If you have not reached the starting point with the drawn frame by then, the Snipping Tool automatically completes the connection between the starting point and the end point using the shortest path.

Editing view in the Snipping Tool

There are several ways to mark your screenshot in the Snipping Tool

In contrast to the creation of a screenshot with the push button, the Snipping Tool shows you the snapshot directly. So you can immediately check that everything looks the way it should. If not: Just click on “New” again and try again. As soon as you are happy with the result, you can start adding markers straight away. Important points can be underlined, circled or highlighted with an arrow with a pen. Use the highlighter to paint directly over an important sentence or a crucial number. In the last step, you decide what to do with your screenshot:

Save: Clicking on “Save” opens a window in which you can define the storage location, file name and format. PNG, GIF, JPEG or the MHTML format, with which websites are actually archived, are available.

Copy: You can also use the Snipping Tool to copy the screenshot to the clipboard. Just like with the push button, you can then use your screenshot in various applications, e.g. B. in a Word document, insert.

Send: You can also send your screenshot by email. To do this, the excerpt is either inserted directly into a new email or sent as an attachment. The prerequisite for this is that you use a certain program for your e-mails, not the web application of your mail provider.

When you take a screenshot in Windows 10 using the Snipping Tool, you also have the option of time delay. As with a camera’s self-timer, you set a timer that delays the snapshot. You can use this time to make settings, e.g. B. are only visible for a short time or require holding a key.

Editing view in the Snipping Tool

Problems taking screenshots

Errors are particularly common when creating screenshots from other programs. If you try to take a snapshot within a video or a game, the result is often a completely black image. In many cases the reason for this is a conflict in the graphics card. In most cases, however, the problem can be avoided: In some cases, it is sufficient to reduce the game from full screen to window mode. Often games or video playback programs also have their own screenshot function, which can be activated via a hotkey.

However, it happens e.g. E.g. at Netflix that the software provider intentionally prevents the creation of screenshots. In such cases, this has to do with copyrights. The built-in copy protection technology (DRM) prevents the image from being copied in order to protect the rights of the owner. If this is the cause of your problem taking a screenshot in Windows, you have to accept it.

Other tools: External tools for taking screenshots under Windows

Even if the Snipping Tool already offers more features than the simple key combination for screenshots under Windows, it can make sense to try other software as well. Programs from external providers are particularly advisable for those users who use screenshots professionally or at least on a daily basis. Some of these screenshot programs offer more editing options and additional functions, for example automatic scrolling to show even long websites completely in one image, or so-called screencasts – the programs record a video of your desktop. This function is particularly popular with tutorials, because it allows the creators of such videos to simply show their viewers what they have to do instead of explaining it in a cumbersome manner.

ShareX: The free open source software also lets you create screencasts and GIF files.

Screenshot Captor: The slim tool can take photos of both auto-scroll and multiple monitors independently of each other.

Grabilla: The manufacturers of this screenshot tool make the software available for numerous platforms and also offer their own file hosting service.

Monosnap: The software is quick and easy to use and still offers all the important features. DuckCapture: In addition to the usual screenshot functions, this tool offers its users the option of simply combining several screenshots into one large image.

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