How to Use Print Screen on a PC

By Charlie Gaston

Use the "Print Screen" key on your PC keyboard to take a snapshot of your computer screen. The image will automatically copy to a clipboard, which you can then transfer to a word processing document. Once you click on the "Print Screen" key, the image will remain on your clipboard until you paste it in its final destination. The process only requires basic computer knowledge.

Step 1

Locate the "Print Screen" key at the upper right-hand corner of your keyboard. It may appear next to the "F12" or "Scroll Lock" key, depending on the manufacturer of your keyboard.

Step 2

Press the "Print Screen" key once with your finger. (On some computers, you may need to press it in conjunction with another key such as the "Function" key. Others may use a combination of other keys for the print-screen function; check your computer's user manual.) This will capture an image of the entire screen.

Step 3

Press "Alt" and the "Print Screen" key simultaneously to capture just the active window on the screen, rather than the entire display. (Some computers, again, may use other key combinations for this function.)

Step 4

Open a new document in your word processing or graphics program. Wait for the page to load. Move your mouse pointer to the position where you want the screen shot to appear.

Step 5

Press "Ctrl" + "V," which will paste the screen shot inside the document at the exact location where your cursor is positioned.

Step 6

Save the document. Click on the "Save As" key, which is located under the "File" tab. Enter a file name. Now that the file is saved to your PC, you can email, print or view the image whenever you want.

Step 7

Click on the "Print" button to print the file or open an Internet browser and sign-in to your email account. Attach the file as directed and send as an email attachment.

Tips & Warnings

  • "Print Screen" is commonly abbreviated as "PrtSc."
  • You do not need a "Print Screen" program to use the "Print Screen" key on a PC.