How to Copy a Screen Shot

Techwalla may earn compensation through affiliate links in this story.
Take a screen shot

Taking a screen shot of what is on your screen can be useful for diagnosing computer problems or simply saving an image that you have found on the Internet. Both Windows and Mac computers make taking and copying a screen shot an easy task that will only require a few keystrokes to accomplish. After the screen shot is copied, it can then be pasted into other programs and manipulated as needed.

Windows Machine

Step 1

Navigate to the page that you wish to copy. If you are wanting to make a screen shot of a program error, re-create the problem in the program to put the error box on the screen.

Step 2

Press the "PrtSc" button at the top of your keyboard. This will be located either above or to the side of the "F" keys.

Step 3

Open any program on your computer that allows image manipulation. This could be Microsoft Paint, Photo Editor or the graphics program of your choice, such as Print Shop Pro.

Step 4

Click on "Edit" within the program and choose the "Paste" option. The screen shot will then load in the program.

Step 5

Save the image to the file format you choose.

Mac Machine

Step 1

Press and hold down the "Command," "Shift" and "3" keys at the same time. The command key is also referred to as the "Apple" key. This will copy the entire screen and place a copy of the screen on your desktop as a .png file.

Step 2

Click on the desktop icon for the .png file. This will open the image in your graphics program.

Step 3

Manipulate and save the file into the format of your choice.


On a Windows computer, you can also paste the screen shot into Word or other programs that allow graphics, if desired.

To copy only the image of the current window, press the "Alt" key at the same time as the "PrtSc" key.