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Creating Screen Captures with built in Windows Tools


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I've noticed that lately a lot of users have been posting pictures taken with their cell phone to show images from their computer screen and I can't help but wonder why they would be using this method to do something that Windows is quite capable of doing without any outside devices or software (although there is also 3rd party software capable of this too). To be honest these pictures usually look bad and are more difficult to make out then a good image taken right from your PC so yeah this is a Tutorial for learning but its selfishly motivated.

Using Print Screen: Almost all keyboards feature a Print Screen button depending on what type of keyboard you have you may have to use the function key in conjunction with it in order to get it to work. Using this button will take a capture of what is on your computer monitor saving it to the clipboard which can then be accessed inside Paint. To open Paint just type paint in a search box.
Paint.thumb.PNG.fc398dc135d975d41fff3112fcb55f87.PNGFrom there you would click on File and choose either save or save as and save the image to your hard drive where it can easily be used with drag and drop features to add it to your LB post. In Windows 10 (and I belive 8/8.1) you can also hit the windows key + print screen and it will auto save in your pictures folder.

The next tool we will discuss is the snipping tool to pull up the snipping tool just press the windows key + s (in windows 10) and type in snipping tool and press enter. For Windows 7 I believe you just hit the start button and type it in there (its been awhile since I've used it).


Once you have the Snipping Tool on screen just click on new and the screen will get a cloudy look and you can use your mouse to draw a box around any part of the screen and save a picture from it
5a9b0d2eb1bb5_SnippingTool1.thumb.png.9db96afb6193f4d20d0897ea8d36b5ae.pngExample of snip5a9b0ecb69918_ExampleofSnip.PNG.87c43934e248d0ad3fb050ef0f0a2d80.PNGFrom there you would use the same drag or drop method described above to place the images into the forum post

There you have it two short example of how to easily capture images directly from your screen and post it in the forums. If you are using a Arcade cab or an HTPC without a keyboard or mouse I would suggest either running software like Unified Remote and turn your smart phone into a keyboard and a mouse to be able to take higher quality images directly from your PC or getting a mini keyboard since it will make your machine much more functional when you have a need to do things of this nature.

I just learned that you can also use alt+print screen to save a shot of only the active window which may be helpful also.


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  • Lordmonkus pinned this topic
  • 3 months later...

Thanks for the info.  I think you should get the great Powers to make this into a Sticky.

I was about to try just what you prescribe, but you pointed the Snip Tool out for me

and the Alt/PrtSc is going to be helpful too.   Thanks again.  tje

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  • 1 year later...

I personally dislike Paint and Snipping Tool... don't get me wrong, they get the job done. Sharex is superior in every way. Sharex is more precise and take less steps than the Snipping Tool or PRNTSC to Paint. Finally, it has a vast array of features if you ever need more. An example of how it auto saves: 


You can make the keybind for screenshots whatever you want, I have it as Alt+Z


Edit: instead of a new post, I'll add due to the comment below, that this will also save it to your clipboard if you want it to.

Edited by Vloshko
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Since people are posting here I'll also add that Windows is trying to replace the snipping tool in Windows 10 with Snip and Sketch which so far from my testing works pretty great so hit the Windows key and S and start typing that in and it will bring it up its pretty much like snipping tool but its another built in Windows tool so I thought I'd mention it. Also if you go into All Settings go to system notifications and go to edit you quick actions you can add screen snip to you notifications area (the thing on the taskbar to the far right).

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  • 3 years later...

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