How to Take a Screenshot On Computer (Desktop and Laptop)
A screenshot is an image of the data displayed on the screen of a computer or mobile device “a screenshot of the band’s Facebook page”. Alternatively referred to as a print screen, screen dump, snapshot, or screen capture, a screen shot or screenshot is an image of what’s currently displayed on a screen.
Screenshots can be created by a software program or operating system. Once a screenshot is captured, it can be saved as an image file (e.g., GIF or JPEG). You can also manipulate and print the image after it is saved. The picture is an example screenshot from the game StarCraft.
If you need to capture a screenshot of something on your computer screen, both Windows 10 and Windows 11 offer a variety of methods for doing just that.
Whether you want to save the entire screen or just a piece of it, we’ve rounded up all the best ways to take a Windows screenshot.
How to Take a Screenshot in a Web Browser
Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge all support add-ons that extend browser usability. Here are a few screen capture add-ons that will fit right into your browser.
1. Lightshot(Opens in a new window) is free and works on Windows and Mac, but can also be added as Chrome(Opens in a new window), Edge(Opens in a new window), and Firefox(Opens in a new window) extensions.
2. FireShot(Opens in a new window) is a paid ($59.95, but currently $39.95) capture program that works with a browser or email client. You can capture images, make edits, share via social media, and save files to your computer. There are also Chrome(Opens in a new window) and Edge(Opens in a new window) extensions
3. Awesome Screenshot(Opens in a new window) is a free program that captures a whole page or a section, and then quickly annotates it (or blurs out the naughty bits) before sharing instantly. There are extensions for Chrome(Opens in a new window), Edge(Opens in a new window), and Firefox(Opens in a new window).
4. Nimbus Screen Screenshot(Opens in a new window) is free and will let you capture the whole screen or just parts of it. You can also use it to draw, make annotations, or mark up those same images. There are Chrome(Opens in a new window), Edge(Opens in a new window), and Firefox(Opens in a new window) extensions.
5. Page Screenshot(Opens in a new window) is a paid ($2.99) extension for Safari users that can capture the full length of a website or just a specific section. Once a screen grab is taken, the program opens Preview for easy editing.
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WHY DO WE TAKE SCREENSHOT?
1. Avoid going back and forth between multiple recipes – screenshot and swipe!
2. Save a picture to use as wallpaper on your phone
3. Easily access a facebook post or link later on
4. Save gift ideas
5. Show someone a high score on a game
6. Help someone understand something
7. For kids to show their parents an inappropriate comment on social media in case it’s deleted later
8. Help remember something
9. Save gift card bar codes
10. Save great ideas to remember later
Here’s everything you need to know about capturing screenshots, no matter the platform—Windows, macOS, Chrome OS, iOS and even Linux.
How to Take a Screenshot in Windows 10
Snip & Sketch
Snip & Sketch is a program that adds a helpful screenshot toolbar to the OS. Use the Shift + Windows Key + S keyboard shortcut to launch a small toolbar at the top of the screen to choose between capturing the full screen, a custom portion, or a specific window. Open the app directly and you get the added ability to capture on a delay.
The simplest way to take a screenshot in Windows 10 is to use the Print Screen button. You’ll find it on the upper-right side of most keyboards (or next to the Space Bar on some).
Tap PrtSc once to copy an image of your entire screen to the clipboard. You can then hit Ctrl + V to paste it into your program of choice.
How to Take a Screenshot in Windows 11
Windows 11 actually allows you to assign the Snipping Tool to the PrtSc key from Settings > Accessibility > Keyboard. Check the Use the Print Screen Button to Open Screen Snipping box to open the screen capture tool instead of simply grabbing your entire screen.
Despite being renamed the Xbox Game Bar, the feature works the same way it did in Windows 10. Open the tool with Windows Key + G, then tap the camera button in the Capture section to save a screenshot.
Or use the Windows Key + Alt + PrtSc command to capture with the Game Bar without having to open it first.
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How to Take a Screenshot on Mac
Mac screenshot tool
With the release of macOS Mojave, Mac users got more control over taking screenshots on a Mac. The update introduced a screenshot tool that can be triggered by pressing Command + Shift + 5, or by navigating to Launchpad > Other > Screenshot.
For anyone who prefers keyboard shortcuts, those are still supported. Use Command + Shift + 3 to capture the entire screen. If you only want part of the screen captured, Command + Shift + 4 will turn the cursor into a crosshair. Select the section of the screen you want to capture.
To capture a specific window, use Command + Shift + 5 (yes, the same shortcut to trigger the screenshot tool). Then hit the space bar to switch between capturing a section of screen and a specific window. If you have a Mac with a Touch Bar, capture that by pressing Command + Shift + 6.
You can capture an image and save it to the clipboard by adding Control to any keyboard shortcut you use.
For instance, use Command + Shift + Control + 3 to capture the entire screen, or Command + Shift + Control + 4 for a specific section. The image won’t save to the computer, but it can be pasted into an app.
How to Take a Screenshot on Linux
There are almost as many ways to take a screenshot in Linux as there are flavors of Linux. Focusing on Ubuntu in particular, open the Activities menu and select Screenshot.
You can then choose between the whole screen, a single window, or a custom area before snapping an image
Linux also allows you to use the Print Screen button, as well as the Alt + Print Screen shortcut to screenshot a specific window.
Use Shift + Print Screen to select a custom area to capture. You can also add the Ctrl key to any shortcut and save the image to the clipboard.
The program GIMP(Opens in a new window) (GNU Image Manipulation Program) allows you to take a screenshot from the same program where you edit the image after it’s captured. Open GIMP and go to File > Acquire > Screen Shot.
You’ll get a few options, such as taking the entire screen, a window, or using a time delay. The captured image then opens in GIMP for editing.
How to Take a Screenshot on a Chromebook
Those with a Chromebook can take a screenshot with the Show Windows key. This button is located at the top of the keyboard and has an image of a box with lines next to it.
Hit the Shift + Ctrl + Show windows, then select Screenshot and capture the full screen, part of the screen, or a specific window.
Chrome OS 89 also added a more full-featured Screen Capture tool; click the time on the bottom right and click Screen capture.
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