What Is the Print Screen Command?

By Sam Foner

The print screen command is a key found on most standard Windows-compatible keyboards and laptops. Print screen allows the user to take a picture of the screen at any given time, also known as a screenshot.


The print screen key is located in the upper-right quadrant of the keyboard. On laptops and keyboards with limited keys, it may be accessed through a key combination using function (Fn).


Print screen is useful for capturing the information displayed on the screen at any time, especially if such information is displayed in a way that cannot be saved as a conventional file format.


When you wish to take a picture of your current display, simply press the print screen button. There will be no audio or visual notification; however, a picture of the screen has now been copied.


You will need to paste the copied image into a graphics program. On Windows computers, this is easily done by opening Microsoft Paint, located in the Accessories folder of Programs. Simply open Paint, and then press Ctrl-P to paste the image. You may now edit, crop and save the image as a standard image file.


Print screen can be used to record online receipts or records of payment, or capture a still shot from video. The resulting images can then be edited in Paint or the program of your choice.