Question of the Week
I want to upload a snapshot of my laptop screen to my website. How can I create the snapshot and turn it into an image?
— Rinchen, aspiring web designer
Well, one foolproof way — though undesirable — is to stand with a digital camera in front of the screen and take a snap... Luckily, there are neater ways to take a screenshot. If you are using Windows XP and above, simply clicking on the the PrtScr (Print Screen) key captures a crisp image of the entire screen to the clipboard. Look for this forgotten key at the top-right area of the keyboard. On different keyboards the key label might be PrSc, Prt Scn, etc.
Now that the image is in the clipboard, you can paste it inside various applications, such as a Word document or a PowerPoint presentation. You can even paste it into the rather antiquated Paint application. Pasting the image to a PowerPoint slide is probably the most useful, since you can right click on the just-pasted image and select Save as Picture to export the screenshot to an image file in various formats (JPG, GIF, PNG, etc). You can also use PowerPoint’s photo editing capabilities (crop, resize) to edit the image before saving.
Tip: If you need to capture only the active window, as is often the case, clicking Alt-PrtScr (holding the Alt key while clicking PrtScr) will do the trick.
Readers are encouraged to submit technology-related questions to firstname.lastname@example.org