Screenshots for Free!

Ever wanted to take a “photo” of exactly what is on your screen to send to someone else? For instance, when you have an error on your screen and you want your friendly MagnusIT Engineer to be able to see exactly what you see? There are software utilities to do this, but if you’re using a PC with Windows on it, you can do it for free with this tip.

Look on your keyboard. For most people, the PrntScrn (Print Screen) button is to the right of the F12 key.


Pressing the PrntScrn key will take a screenshot of exactly what’s on your screen right now and put it on the clipboard. For example, here’s what I see on my screen right now:


So how do you get the image from there?

  • Open a program like Outlook and Paste it into the body of a new email.
  • Or how about Word? Edit -> Paste, or use your handy Ctrl-V trick from yesterday.
  • Or, install a free photo editor photo editor like Paint.NET (one of our favorites). Again, just click Edit -> Paste.

Ready for more? What if you don’t want to send your entire screen, and instead just want to capture the active program’s screen? For instance, see the desktop on the image above, and the clock? What if I just want to capture what is open in Chrome?

Alt-PrntScrn does the same thing, but only for the active window you’re in. For instance, here’s Pandora on my laptop, without the desktop below it:


(but I used Paint.NET to get rid of my username for Pandora above) 😉

Happy Tuesday!

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