Help - How do I create a screenshot?

Quite often, problem determination and resolution is considerably aided by the taking of screenshots (the capture of all or part of a particular computer screen) which can then be subsequently included in a post.

The following is intended as a helpful guide to this process:

1. Taking screenshots on a Windows PC

  • For Windows Vista, Windows 7 and Windows 8 users, a free utility is included as part of the operating system. Called the Snipping Tool, it can be found in the Accessories folder (Start>All Programs>Accessories>Snipping Tool) on Vista or Windows 7, and for Windows 8 users instructions can be found in this link. This is a very easy-to-use utility that allows the user to take a screenshot of part or all of the screen....simply ensure that what you are trying to capture is visible (i.e. not hidden behind another window), then launch the Snipping Tool and take the shot. See here for Microsoft's own instructions on how to use this tool.
  • Note that on some versions of Windows Vista the Snipping Tool is not automatically available, however it can be activated as outlined in this post.
  • When you have made the capture, simply save as either a JPG or PNG file type for attachment to your post (see this separate post).
  • For XP users, there are probably many freeware screen capture tools which operate in a similar way, such as IrfanView or another example from FastStone. Additionally, the Snipping tool is available for XP users by downloading The Experience Pack for Tablet PC from Microsoft.
  • Occasionally you may be asked to take a screenshot of a tooltip or context sub-menu, both of which will disappear when you try to launch the screen capture tool. In this instance the easiest way to deal with this scenario is to setup the screen as required with the appropriate information visible, then press the Print Screen key on the keyboard. This will post a copy of the full screen to the system clipboard (pressing Alt+PrintScreen will copy just the active window to the clipboard). To retrieve this, start up any picture editor (Paint, which again is included in the Accessories folder, works fine for this purpose), then when it has launched click on the application's Paste button and the full screen grab will be opened in the application's window. You can then either use the crop function of your image editor or the screen capture application, e.g. Snipping Tool, to cut out the section you need and save as before.

2. Taking screenshots on a Mac

  • There are a variety of key combinations which can be used, the output from which will be a PNG file saved to the desktop:
  • Shift-Command-3 takes a shot of the full screen. If you have multiple monitors it will take a shot of each one and they will show up as separate files saved to the desktop.
  • Shift-Command-4 gives you a cursor which can be used to drag over a section of the screen.
  • Shift-Command-4, then press space. Lets you choose a particular window. Mouse over it, then click to select; screen shot ends up on the desktop as PNG as per the others.

Once completed, the screenshot(s) can be attached to your forum post and instructions for doing this are available here.