How to Take a Screenshot on Your Laptop

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At times, you may need to show others what is on your screen, and knowing how to take a screenshot on a laptop or desktop computer is the easiest way to do this. Whether you're using a Windows, Mac or Linux computer, you'll find several options for taking a screenshot of either the entire screen or of only a specific portion of it.

Screenshots on Windows Laptops

You can take a screenshot on a laptop running Windows 7, 8 or 10 by using the built-in Windows Snipping Tool. Click the "Windows" button on the left side of the task bar, type in "Snipping Tool" and then press the "Enter" key. Select a "Rectangular Snip," "Free-form Snip," "Window Snip" or "Full-screen Snip" under the Mode option. Click the "New" button to take the screenshot and then click "Save" to save the screenshot to your laptop. You can also annotate the snip by clicking the "Pen" or "Highlighter" buttons to draw on the screenshot.

Screenshots on Mac

Mac laptops have a built-in capability to take screenshots. You can take a screenshot of the entire screen by pressing the "Shift," "Command" and "3" keys together. The screenshot that is taken is saved to your Mac's Desktop folder as a .png file. Take a screenshot of only a selected part of the screen by pressing and holding the "Shift," "Command" and "4" keys together to bring up a crosshair point. Move the mouse cursor to select the part of the screen that you want to take a screenshot of and then release the keys together to take the screenshot. The screenshot that is taken is saved to your Mac's Desktop folder as a .png file.

You can also use the Mac's Preview application to take a screenshot. Open "Preview" and select "File" and "Take Screenshot" from the menu bar. Select one of the available options, which are "From Selection," "From Window" and "From Entire Screen."

Screenshots on Ubuntu

Ubuntu is the most popular version of the Linux operating system. It also has a built-in feature to take a screenshot on your laptop or desktop computer. Hover the mouse cursor over the top left corner of the screen to show the Activities sidebar. Click the "Screenshot" app icon and select to take a screenshot of the whole screen, the currently opened application or an area of the screen. Click the "Take Screenshot" button and type in a name for the screenshot. Select a folder location before clicking the "Save" button.

Third-Party Programs

A number of third-party screenshot programs can be used on Windows or Mac computers if you are not satisfied with the built-in tools. Paid program options include Snagit, Ember, PicPick and FastStone Capture. There are also free programs like TinyTake, Nimbus Capture, Greenshot and Skitch. These programs offer additional tools such as the ability to draw and mark up the screenshot.