Introduction to Screenshot on PC
Taking screenshots on a PC is an essential skill for capturing images of what’s displayed on your computer screen. Also known as screen captures or screen grabs, screenshots have many uses – from preserving information to demonstrating issues to colleagues to creating tutorials and more.
There are several ways to take a screenshot on PC, both using built-in Windows tools as well as third-party software. The most basic method is using the Print Screen key on your keyboard. However, tools like Snipping Tool and Snip & Sketch offer more flexibility in capturing specific areas of your screen. Third-party options provide even more advanced features.
This article will cover the main methods for taking screenshots on a PC running Windows 10 or 11:
– Using the Print Screen key
– Leveraging Snipping Tool
– Trying out Snip & Sketch
– Capturing screenshots with third-party software
We’ll explore the capabilities of each option, including their benefits and downsides. Read on to learn how to take screenshots like a pro on your Windows PC.
How to Take a Screenshot Using the Print Screen Key
The quickest and easiest way to take a screenshot on PC is using the Print Screen (PrtScn) key. Here’s how it works:
1. Open the window or program you want to capture on your screen.
2. Press the Print Screen key on your keyboard. It’s usually located near the F12 and Scroll Lock keys.
3. The entire contents of your screen will now be copied to your clipboard.
4. Open an image editing program like Paint and paste the contents of the clipboard using CTRL+V or by going to Edit > Paste.
5. Crop the image if needed and then save it with a filename of your choice.
The main benefit of using Print Screen is how fast it is – just a couple of key presses and you’ve captured your whole display. However, it doesn’t allow you to select a specific area to screenshot, so you’ll likely need to crop it after pasting.
How to Use Snipping Tool for Screenshots
Snipping Tool is a built-in Windows application that provides more control over your screenshots. Here are the steps to use it:
1. Type “Snipping Tool” in the Windows search bar and open the Snipping Tool application.
2. At the top, click the drop-down arrow next to the New button and select one of the snipping modes:
– Free-form Snip: Manually draw around the area you want to capture
– Rectangular Snip: Drag cursor to form a rectangle around the desired area
– Window Snip: Select an open window to capture
– Full-screen Snip: Capture entire screen
3. Click New. Your screen will fade and you can select the area to screenshot based on the mode you chose.
4. The captured image will appear in the Snipping Tool window. Use the pens, highlighter and eraser to annotate if needed.
5. Click the Save icon to save your screenshot as an image file.
The key advantage of Snipping Tool is the ability to choose exactly what part of your screen to capture. You can also annotate and edit the screenshots within Snipping Tool before exporting them. However, it lacks more advanced features like scrolling capture, text recognition and animated GIF creation.
Snip & Sketch – An Upgraded Snipping Tool
In 2018, Microsoft introduced Snip & Sketch to replace Snipping Tool with more features. You can access it the same way by searching from the Start menu. Here are some of the upgrades Snip & Sketch offers:
– More highlighter and pen colors
– Ruler for alignment
– Click effects like shadows and outlines
– Delayed screenshots
– Direct sharing to apps like Mail or Word
Overall, Snip & Sketch builds on Snipping Tool and makes capturing, marking up and sharing screenshots faster on Windows 10 and 11. For most basic to intermediate screenshot needs, it has the right set of features.
Using Third-Party Screenshot Software
For power users who need to take a high volume of screenshots, annotate extensively or create tutorials, third-party screenshot software provides the most advanced capabilities. Some popular options include:
**Snagit** – The leading screenshot tool for business use, Snagit offers sophisticated features like scrolling capture, text recognition, GIF creation, screen recording, image effects and sharing.
**Lightshot** – Light, fast and free, Lightshot excels at quick annotation and sharing screenshots to illustrate issues or communicate visually.
**Greenshot** – Similar to Lightshot but open source, Greenshot is highly customizable for advanced screenshot workflows.
**ShareX** – ShareX is free, open source software with a huge range of capture, edit, share and automation features for power users.
When choosing third-party screenshot software, consider your use cases, budget, sharing needs and whether advanced functionality like scrolling capture, text extraction or automation is required.
Key Differences Between Snipping Tool and Snip & Sketch
Benefits of Using Snipping Tool in Windows
Although basic, Windows Snipping Tool has unique advantages that make it a handy screenshot utility:
**It’s free** – Included in Windows, there are no licenses or subscriptions required to use Snipping Tool.
**Intuitive interface** – The simple click and capture process makes Snipping Tool easy to use for beginners.
**Lightweight** – With a small footprint, Snipping Tool works fast without hogging system resources.
**Good for basic edits** – You can annotate screenshots right within Snipping Tool before exporting.
**Multiple capture modes** – Its selection of free-form, rectangular, window and full-screen snips provides flexibility.
For users that don’t need advanced features, Snipping Tool strikes the right balance of ease-of-use and functionality when taking screenshots on Windows.
Comparing Top Screenshot Tools
There is a wide range of screenshot software available for Windows, from basic to advanced. Here is an at-a-glance comparison of some of the top options:
The right tool ultimately depends on your use cases, budget and platform (Mac vs PC). Evaluate whether advanced functionality is necessary or if a simple free tool like Snipping Tool is sufficient for your screenshotting needs.
Taking screenshots is a vital productivity skill for capturing images displayed on your Windows desktop. Using the Print Screen key provides the quickest full-screen grabs. For more control, Snipping Tool and Snip & Sketch allow flexible area selection along with basic image annotations.
However, power users working extensively with screenshots may benefit from advanced third-party software like Snagit, Lightshot or ShareX. These tools unlock sophisticated features while streamlining screenshot workflows.
Carefully consider your requirements and use cases before choosing a screenshot utility. But with the various options covered in this guide, you should be equipped to take effective screenshots however you need them on your Windows PC.