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Published on 01.23.06 by Brent Trahan

How To Take A Screen Shot In Windows XP

Learn how to take a screen shot in Windows XP.

If you’ve read a few other guides on this site you might have seen some of the nice screen shots I’ve taken to help you see what I’m doing. Taking screen shots can be very useful. You can use them like I do or you can use them to capture error messages to help a computer tech solve your computer problem faster and easier.

Taking a screen shot is very easy. Look at the top right of your keyboard. There is a button called Print Scrn or very similar. Look at the bottom left of your keyboard. You should see a Ctrl and Alt button.

If you want to take a screen shot of your entire screen press the Ctrl button and while holding down the Ctrl button, press the Print Scrn button.

Windows has just saved a copy of your screen and saved it into memory. Now you need to get it out of memory and into some kind of imaging software so that you can save it as a picture. In this example I’m going to use Microsoft Paint. Open Microsoft Pain by clicking start, point at All Programs, point at Accessories, then click on Paint.

Once Paint is open click on Edit (located at the very top left of the Paint window) and click on Paste. A message might pop-up telling you the image is larger than your pallet. Just tell it you want to paste it anyway.

Now your screen shot is in Paint. All you have to do now is save it by clicking File then click Save As. I recommend saving the file as a JPEG. It saves lots of space on your hard drive. You can save it in JPEG format by clicking the drop down box to the right of Save as type and selecting JPEG when saving the file.

You can also take a screen shot of any error or window only by pressing the Alt key and while holding down the Alt key press the Print Scrn button. This type of screen shot will capture the error message or window only. Make sure the error or window you are taking a screen shot of is “in focus” before capturing the screen shot.

Hint: Click “in focus” to find out what it means.

That’s about it. You can paste the screen shots you take in almost any software that can handle images. Other common software that will accept the screen shots are Microsoft Word, WordPad, Corel WordPerfect, Photoshop, and many others.

Still need help? Ask your computer question now.

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One Response to “How To Take A Screen Shot In Windows XP”

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  1. Arshee says:

    If you have a Mac type of computer and installed windows xp on it, how do i make it take a screen shot without pressing the prnt scrn button… because the prnt scrn button doesnt exist on the keyboard at all. please email me if you can or reply here for finding a another way thank you.

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