Friday, June 24, 2011

How to use ‘Print Screen’ button?

Many have asked me this question. In every computer key board, you will see this ‘Print Screen’ button. The basic functionality of this ‘KEY’ is to capture the snap shot (screen Shot) of the current screen you are viewing in your monitor and save it as an image file. It is like taking a photo of your monitor screen. Once you click this ‘Print screen’ button the screen image is captured and stored in the clip board (computer memory). Then you can use the ‘Ctrl + V’ buttons together to paste it into any image processing software such as ‘MS Paint’, ‘Adobe Photoshop’ or any other Office applications such as Word, Excel or powerpoint. Once you paste it into any of these applications you can save it and then use the image later for any purpose. Here are the steps to use print screen feature.

  1. To capture the entire screen image from your monitor exactly as it looks, then in your key board look for the ‘Prt Sc’ button and click it once.
  2. Then as mentioned above, open any applications such as MS Paint etc and paste it. You can paste by pressing ‘Ctrl + V’ button together or using the ‘Edit->paste’ menu option.
  3. You will see the exact screen image inside the MS Paint application as an image.
  4. You can now, re-size it, modify it if required and save it under any name you want for later retrieval.
  5. If you have opened more than one windows in the screen and you want to capture the snap shot of just one window and not the entire screen, then press ‘Alt’ key while pressing the ‘Prt Sc’ button. This will capture the image of the active window.

OK now you have mastered the art of print screen. But why do you need this. The most common use of this feature is to capture ‘Error messages’ in applications for your support engineers to see later.