#313 1000 Words Worth of Pictures

Sometimes showing someone exactly what you see on your screen is the quickest, easiest and best way to communicate what you need them to know. It seems like I take screenshots virtually everyday for a wide variety of reasons. Whether you need them as often as I do, or just every once in awhile, it’s always nice to have a good way to capture and share what you see.

Here are a few good ideas about how you can use screenshots:

  • Capture error messages
  • Document procedures
  • Enhance training documents
  • Take a snapshot of a website
  • Include any of the above in a PowerPoint presentation
  • The possibilities are virtually endless

It’s been quite awhile since we’ve talked about screenshots around here so I thought we would take a quick look at how you can take screenshots with stuff you already have.

Old School Method

I *THINK* most of us know that you can take a picture of your screen using the Print Screen button on your keyboard right? While it’s super quick it isn’t perfect by any stretch. For example if you have more than one monitor, that will include all of them in the image you capture.  What many folks may not know if that if you use the ALT key with Print Screen you will capture only the active window.


You can read more on Print Screen from Microsoft here.

Two Newer Options

Windows 7 has a built-in option for this called the Snipping Tool. This method gives you a few more options such as being able to capture only certain parts of the screen/window and some basic annotation options.

Read more about the Snipping Tool here.

PowerPoint 2010 has a new feature that lets you quickly grab a shot of any open window or do a screen clip of anything on your desktop.


Learn more about the PowerPoint option here.

Top of the Line: SnagIt

If you do a lot with screenshots and/or need additional features such as annotation, editing, cropping, resizing, etc. etc. you owe it to yourself to buy a copy of SnagIt. I’ve been a big fan of SnagIt for years and it is well worth the $49.95. You can grab a 30 day trial if you’d like to take it for a test drive. There are too many features to mention so I’ll just point you to their feature list and invite you to leave a comment with any questions, etc.

What about you?

Do you take many screenshots? What do you use? Do you have any questions? Leave a comment and let us know.