Written by David

How do I take a screenshot in Windows?

A screenshot is an easy way to take a 'photo' of your computer screen. It's useful when saving a purchase confirmation, to document something for online banking, or just to send someone a funny picture. How do you take a screenshot like that then? Below, we'll explain how it works on a laptop with a Windows operating system.

Different types of screenshots

First decide what your screenshot should look like. Do you want a screenshot of your entire screen? Do you need a screenshot of 1 window or program? Or do you want to select part of the screen yourself and take a screenshot of that?

Screenshot of the whole screen

Want to take a screenshot of your entire screen, with everything you see on your monitor in it? Follow these steps.

Step 1: Look for the Printscreen key

On the keyboard, find the key with PrtScn (abbreviation for Printscreen) on it. This button looks like the image on the right. It's often the third key from the right on the top row of your keyboard. You can take a screenshot of the screen by simply pressing the Printscreen button. You won't see anything happening, but the screenshot is now taken.

Step 2: Use the screen shot in a text file

Is your screenshot meant to be used in a text file? Open the file and click the location where the screenshot should appear. Press the Control key at the bottom left of your keyboard and then press the 'V' key. Your screenshot will now appear in your chosen file.

Step 3: Save the screenshot

Want to save the screenshot on your hard drive? Open the Paint program. You can do so by clicking the Windows start button at the bottom left of your screen. In the menu that pops us, there's a search bar at the bottom. Enter 'Paint' in the search bar. Click on the search result 'Paint'. When the program has opened, press the Control key - at the bottom left of your keyboard - and then press the 'V' key. Close Paint by clicking the red cross on the top right of the screen. The program will now ask if you want to save the screenshot. Click 'Save', and name the screenshot and select where you want to save it.

Screenshot of a window or program

Want to take a screenshot of one window or program? Follow these steps.

Step 1: Look for the Printscreen key

On the keyboard, find the key with PrtScn (abbreviation for Printscreen) on it. This button looks like the image on the right. It's often the third key from the right on the top row of your keyboard.

Step 2: Taking a screenshot

Click on the window or program that you want to take a screenshot of. Press the Alt key, which is next to the space bar, and press the Printscreen key at the same time. You won't see anything happening, but the screenshot is now taken.

Step 3: Use the screen shot in a text file

Is your screenshot meant to be used in a text file? Open the file and click the location where the screenshot should appear. Press the Control key at the bottom left of your keyboard and then press the 'V' key. Your screenshot will now appear in your chosen file.

Step 4: Save the screenshot

Want to save the screenshot on your hard drive, for example to attach it to an email? Open the Paint program. You can do so by clicking the Windows start button at the bottom left of your screen. In the menu that pops us, there's a search bar at the bottom. Enter 'Paint' in the search bar. Click on the search result 'Paint'. You can see the logo of that program in the image on the right. When the program has opened, press the Control key - at the bottom left of your keyboard - and then press the 'V' key. Close Paint by clicking the red cross on the top right of the screen. The program will now ask if you want to save the screenshot. Click 'Save', and name the screenshot and select where you want to save it

Take a screenshot of a part of your screen

Want to choose a part of the screen and take a screenshot of it? Use the snipping tool, which is a standard feature in Windows. This feature is especially useful if you only want to capture an image, or part of a program.

Step 1: Open the snipping tool

Click the Windows start button at the bottom left of your screen. In the menu that pops us, there's a search bar at the bottom. Enter 'Snipping tool' in the search bar. Click on the search result 'Snipping tool'. You can see the logo of that program in the image on the right.

Step 2: Select the correct part of your screen

Your cursor will change into a cross. You can use the cross to select the part of the screen that you want to take a screenshot of. Click the left mouse button and hold it while you move the mouse to select something. As soon as you left go of the left mouse button, the screenshot will be made.

Step 3: Save the screenshot

Your screenshot will appear in a new window. You can save it by clicking the 'floppy disk' button. It's the purple icon like the one in the picture on the right. Name the screenshot and select where you want to save it.


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