How to Take a Screenshot on Windows

Have you ever wanted to capture what was on your computer screen to illustrate something you were teaching? Screenshots have a variety of uses for documentation and technical support. A screenshot lets you capture the exact error message you received for a programmer or technical support person. Windows 95 and above support the same single-key method of capturing a screenshot.

Using laptop
credit: alexsalcedo/iStock/Getty Images

Step

Press the "Print Screen" key on the top let side of your keyboard. This key is sometimes labeled "Prt Scn" or "Prt Sc." This copies a picture of the screen to the clipboard.

Step

Open the "Start" menu and run Microsoft Paint from the "Accessories" folder of the "All Programs" section. You may also use any program with image capabilities, such as Photoshop, Gimp or Microsoft Word.

Step

Open the "Edit" menu and click "Paste." Click "Yes" to enlarge the bitmap.

Step

Click the "Save as" option from the "File" menu. Enter a name and location for the image. Select "JPG" or "PNG" file type for easy Web distribution or emailing.