Getting screenshots in Windows

The first step to creating documents with images is to capture screenshots. In Windows, this can be done using the “Print Screen” key. If you don’t know what the “Print Screen” key looks like, take a look at it on the Wikipedia page. It is usually in the upper right part of the keyboard, next to the “Scroll Lock” and “Pause/Break” keys which most people never use any more.

Open the window you want a screenshot of, and navigate to what you want to capture. Press the Print Screen key on the keyboard. This will capture the entire screen, but not the cursor. Pressing the Alt key while pressing the Print Screen key will capture the active window, but if you want to capture open menus you will need to use just the Print Screen key since pressing the Alt key will close any open menus.

Nothing will appear to happen when you press the button, but don’t worry, it’s on the clipboard. Next, open the Paint program, which usually resides in the Accessories submenu of the Programs menu in the Start menu:

Windows Start Menu Accessories Sub Menu

Paste the screen image from the clipboard (using the command in the Edit menu, or using the Ctrl-V key combination). You may see a message that the image is too big, asking whether to enlarge the bitmap; go ahead and do it. There are two things to note. First, unless you have a high resolution screen, and Paint opened to full screen, the image will not fit in the window. Second, there will be a heavy dashed line around the whole image:


Click anywhere inside the image; the cursor will turn into a 4-way arrow. You can drag the image to shift it up or down on the “canvas” (the canvas is the white area the picture is in). For example, if you only want the screen part of a window, shift the image up and to the left until the parts that you don’t want are out of view:


Next, resize the canvas: Click the “select box” button at the top of the tool bar. You will notice the heavy dashed line around the outside disappear. Go to the bottom right of the canvas (use the scrollbars, if necessary). Look carefully for a small dot. Carefully (and artfully!) position the cursor on the dot. When the cursor turns into a double arrow, click and drag the cursor to reduce the canvas to enclose the area of the image you want:


Now use the Selection Box tool to select the part of the screen you want to “fly out” and enlarge.


Once you have made the selection, use the copy command to put it on the clipboard (either “Copy” in the Edit menu, or the Ctrl-C key combination). Now save the file as a jpg image (much smaller file size than a bitmap, and works just as well in a document).

Create a new file (from the File menu) and paste the selection you just copied. It will automatically align at the top left corner. If the canvas is larger than the pasted image, resize the canvas so the canvas is the same size as the image. Save the file as a jpg image.


Now you are ready to put the images into the handout document.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *