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How to Create Screen Shots in Windows XP

Page history last edited by Mr. Todd 12 years, 1 month ago

Tips and tricks for the perfect Windows XP Print Screen

adapted from Windows Help Central - http://www.windows-help-central.com/windows-xp-print-screen.html

Here's everything you need to know to make a perfect Windows XP Print Screen.


Just press the "Print Screen" button, which is usually located to the right of the F12 button (see illustration below).

Windows XP Print Screen

Doesn't look like anything happens when you press the button?

Ok, it may seem as if nothing happens when you hit the Print Screen button, but Windows already made a picture of your screen and copied that to the Windows clipboard.

This happens in the background, so you won't notice anything. The image is there though, available for you when you need it.


Next, simply load whichever application you'd like that can handle images (Word, Photoshop, Publisher, Paint) and then select "Edit" from the application menu and choose "Paste" (you can also press the CTRL-V key combination on your keyboard). The picture of your screen magically appears in the application.


You can even use this technique to capture a particular strange behavior of your computer in a picture and mail it to someone who can help you. Or maybe you want a screenshot as proof of an online transaction or money transfer.


What if you only want a shot of the active window and not the whole desktop?

The Windows XP Print Screen functionality can handle that. Press and hold the ALT-key and then press the Print Screen key. Try and paste that image in your word processor and you'll see that only the active window was captured in the screenshot.  This means you don't have to worry about cropping the image after pasting.


Windows XP Print Screen in a graphics file format

When you paste your screenshots in your word processor or desktop publishing program, you generally won't be able to save your images in a graphics file format like .jpg or .gif. They are saved in that program's format.

Why is that important?

If you want to use your screenshots in other documents later on, you need to store them on your hard drive in a graphics file format. You need an image editing program like Photoshop or Paint to do that. Paint has very limited capabilities and isn't very suitable for advanced image editing.  Photoshop has endless possibilities for graphics.  This is why it is used by most graphic/image editing professionals.


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