Screenshots are just images of what is displaying on your monitor. These images can be very helpful for capturing error messages or other things on your computer you’d like to record. No special screenshot taking programs are required despite what many will try to convince you of. It’s a function built into Windows.
There are two ways to take a screenshot. One will take a picture and include everything you can see on the monitor the other will take a picture of only the active window (the top most window that you have actively selected/you’ve clicked on most recently).
Here is a screenshot of my desktop to better explain the Active Window:
The entire image was taken by pressing the Print Screen button and then pasted into Paint.NET and saved. This is my entire desktop.
The Notepad with the red border is the active window. You can tell because the title bar (top of the window) is blue. If you pressed Alt+Print Screen, you would get a screenshot of just this window and it would look like this:
Back to the first image, the Notepad window with the green border is an inactive window. Until you click on it or minimize/close the current active window, it will continue to be the inactive window and there is no way to get a screenshot of just this window without selecting it first.
1. Get whatever you want to take a picture of viewable on the screen.
2. Press the Prt Scr button to take a picture of the entire screen or hold Alt and press Prt Scr to take the active window.
3. This will take the image and put it on your Clipboard (where things go temporarily whenever you copy/paste or cut/paste). Note: If you copy/paste anything or take another screenshot, it will overwrite the image that you just took with no way to retrieve the original image. Vice versa is true as well. If you cut/paste something to move it and then take a screenshot, the cut/paste object will be overwritten.
4. Open an image editing program like Paint. Then go to Edit, Paste.
5. Save your image or modify it as needed.
Paint or any other image program will work. I highly recommend Paint.NET. It’s free and more comparable to Photoshop than anything else.
If you want a graphics program that specializes in taking screenshots, I recommend: Hardcopy.