How to Take Screenshots on Your Computer

By Ernestine Hill

Computer screenshots are captured for any number of uses. The most common use for printing the computer screen is for teaching computer programs such as SAP databases or other company in-house program training. Screenshots of the subject matter can be used after the training as memory joggers whenever a step in the process grows vague or is forgotten. Another popular use for screenshots is to record images of file folders saved on the computer or on company file drives.

Things You'll Need

  • Computer

Capturing the Entire Screen

Step 1

Open a Microsoft Word document then click "Print Screen" on the "Computer Keyboard." The key is sometimes identified as "Prt scrn," "Pr scr," or other abbreviations depending on the keyboard manufacturer. This copies the entire computer desktop area.

Step 2

Open a new page in Word to paste the screenshot into. Right-click, then choose "Paste," or choose the "Paste" icon on the intended application's toolbar, or use "Ctrl+V" to paste.

Step 3

Click "View" on the Word standard toolbar, selecting "Tools," and then checking "Drawing." The "Drawing" toolbar opens near the bottom of the computer screen. If the sizing handles do not appear, click the screenshot, then click "Draw," "Text Wrapping," "Edit Wrap Points."

Step 4

Click outside the screenshot, then select the image again. The sizing handles appear so you can move and resize the picture. Crop the screenshot by right-clicking the mouse, then selecting "Show Picture Toolbar." Choose the "Crop" tool. Cut off any unwanted information by grabbing the cropping handles (heavy lines showing on the image) with the tool. Click the cropping tool again to turn it off.

Capturing an Active Window

Step 1

Open a new Microsoft Word document. Click "Tools, Letters and Mailings, Envelopes and Labels."

Step 2

Hold down "Alt" then press "Print Screen" on the keyboard.

Step 3

Open a new blank page in Word. Paste the image into the Word document. The picture of the copied active window appears minus the computer toolbar and icons bordering it.

Tips & Warnings

  • You can copy the computer screen with or without opening an application, then paste the copy into an application such as Word, Excel, or PowerPoint using the keyboard "Print Screen" process. Capturing the computer screen is a built-in computer option unrelated to having any specific application open. For example, you can take a screenshot of your desktop for handy reference of folders and other information you keep there.
  • Depending on the Microsoft Word edition used, language and step sequences may vary. Word 2003 Professional Edition was used in the preceding instructions.