Ever ask an expert or blogging tips author for help with your blog? Usually you start with "I followed the instructions but it's still not working." That's when the helper might reply "Send me a snapshot of that part of your screen so I can see what's wrong."
Don't gasp for air, ask how to do that or take out your digital camera! To take snapshots, all you need is the PrtSc key and MS Paint. Nothing to download, register or pay for, since these elements are built into your Windows PC.
What is a screen snapshot? - It's an image of your computer screen that you capture and save as a graphical file.
How to capture your snapshot - The Print Screen key in the top right-hand of your keyboard copies the screen into the Windows clipboard. Once there you can paste it where you want. There are two methods:
- Capture the entire screen- The PrtSc key snaps everything including all applications you're running, the desktop and the launch bar at the bottom of your screen.
If your key has a function at the bottom (SysRq in my case) then need to hold down the Shift key to access the top function.
- Capture only the currently selected window- The Alt and PrtSc is more discreet, snapping only the working window. You can hide those gaming sites or work related stuff. Be sure to highlight any sections you want before the snapshot! Hold down and release both keys.
How to deliver your screen snapshot
Once you have the image in the clipboard you can paste it into a word processor or your graphics software to create a mail attachment. MS Paint is simple to use for this purpose.
Open MS Paint: Press Start, Programs, Accessories, Paint. This shows a blank canvas where you can paste the captured screen. Then save the file to your desktop. Compose an email and attach the snapshot file.
There are many instances where a picture can be "worth a thousand words." Keep this simple method handy so communicate when asking for help or when creating a tutorial. The captured screen can also go into a Word document or PowerPoint, which can then become your attachment.
You can paste the screen shot into other packages that let you edit the image (crop, add text, clip selected sections, etc.) like Ms Picture Manager. Then create a file attachment.