Don’t take photos of laptop screens, learn how to take laptop screenshots

One of the most popular tasks to do on a smartphone is to take screenshots. Damning deleted tweets and other social media messages have been re-accessed thanks to the speed with which social media users take screenshots. But although technology consumers have become experts of taking screenshots from mobile devices, particularly smartphones, the same cannot be said of laptops – despite laptops coming with at least three methods of taking laptop screenshots that are easier and quicker to use than the methods available for smartphones.

The three methods for taking laptop screenshots are as follows:

  1. Print screen (prt sc) keyboard method
  2. Windows Key shortcuts
  3. Windows Snipping Tool method.

Method 1: Print Screen Keyboard Method

The print screen (prt sc) keyboard method is a method that’s available by default through the laptop’s keys. In almost every single laptop and desktop keyboard, you will find a key written prt sc (see image below). In some laptops you can use this key directing to print the current active screen (take a screenshot of the current active screen) or use a combination of keys which are usually Fn + Prt Sc or Shift + Prt Sc or Alt + Prt Sc, depending on the laptop or desktop computer that you are using.

The print screen method for laptop screenshots puts the screenshot in the computer’s clipboard. Thus, as opposed to smartphones that save the screenshot directly to gallery as a picture image, the screenshot taken through the print screen method requires image processing. There are various programs for processing these images but what I find most useful in Windows 10 is the Paint 3D App. You can also use PowerPoint, Publisher, or even Photoshop.

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That is, once you have done print screen method, open up Publisher, create a blank document, then Paste. You can paste simply by right clicking inside the blank document then choosing paste from the available options. After pasting you should be able to crop out the undesirable parts of the image to remain with the relevant parts.

If Image Processing is too hard for you, skip to Method 3.

Method 2: Windows Shortcuts

There are several Windows Shortcut methods that you can use to perform laptop screenshots, most of which include the Windows Key. See Image below for Windows Key.

The first of the methods is Windows + Prt Sc. This method executes a screenshot exactly as your typical smartphone performs a screenshot, whereby the image taken by the screenshot is automatically saved as a picture image in the Pictures Folder. To perform this screenshot you just need to press Windows + Pr Sc. To find your screenshot go to User Files, Pictures, then the screenshot. They are named screenshot with relevant numbers e.g. Screenshot (2).

Another Windows shortcut is the Windows + Shift + S. This shortcut dims the entire screen then pops up a tool for dragging across the part of the screen that you want to screen short. It works as if you are selecting an area of a screen that you want to copy. Once you have dragged your mouse across the area that you need to screenshot, it saves the screenshot temporarily on clipboard which is shown at the notification area. From there you can save the image yourself to your folder of choice then use it from there. What this method does is that it allows you to save time on cropping the image later on; as you just have to drag out the area of the screen that is of interest.

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Method 3: The Snipping Tool

Windows 10 comes with a tool called the Snipping Tool. This tool allows you to take a screenshot just as in the case of Windows + Shift + S, but instead of saving the image in the clipboard, it saves it in the Snipping Tool, from where you can copy the image to another document or save the image as a picture in the Pictures Folder or anywhere else you’d like to save it.

To access the Snipping Tool you just need to search for it using Windows Search (usually located at the Task Bar), then it will pop up. Click on it, then Click New, then drag an area of your screen your want to screenshot, then it will appear in the Snipping Tool. From there you can just go ahead and save the image to your Pictures Folder and do whatever it is you wanted to do with it in the first place.

Odipo Riaga
Managing Editor at KachTech Media
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