How to take a Screenshot on Windows, Mac and Linux

August 2016

The article describes the use of the Print Screen or Screen Capture function on various platforms.
It describes the Print Screen function, which is used to capture the display currently on the monitor. It shows this function for Windows, Mac OS X and UNIX and Linux, and describes how a screenshot can be copied to a clipboard or printed directly. There are certain requirements for making changes to the screenshot which are described here. Though the Windows Paint application is often used for this, you can also opt for the Adobe Photoshop for further enhancement and modifications.

What is Print Screen?

The Print Screen/Screenshot/Screen Capture function is used to capture the current display on your monitor/screen and either copy it to your computer clipboard or send it directly to the printer.

Requirements: To make changes to the screenshot, you will need a graphic editing program that is able to display the screen capture. Windows Paint is commonly used for this, but if you want a more advanced program which can make further modifications, you can also try Adobe's Photoshop or similar software. You should have sufficient RAM memory to be able to send the screen print to the clipboard.


The command key is usually found on the keyboard and labeled as Print Screen, Prt Scr, Print Scrn, Prt Snc, Prt Sc or Prnt Scrn. By default, this key is found in the upper right corner of the keyboard, next to the Scroll Lock and Pause Break keys.
  • 1. Once the screen you want to capture is displayed, press the "Print Screen" key once.
  • 2. Open your graphic editing program.
  • 3. Either use the command Ctrl+V to paste the screen capture, or use the programs options to paste it in the provided space.


Make a screen capture with a Mac OS X is different from Windows because the keyboard is different. On Mac OS X, you can take a screenshot of an entire screen by pressing Command Shift 3 or Command Shift 4. On Microsoft Windows, pressing "Print Screen" captures a screenshot of the entire desktop.
  • 1. Press and hold the Apple key+Shift+4.
  • 2. Once you release the keys, your mouse cursor should have changed to a + symbol
  • 3. If this is the case, press the space bar once to turn the + symbol to a camera icon.
  • 4. You can now use this camera to choose what you want to capture by mouse clicking once on the desired section of the screen.
  • 5. The picture file will automatically save on your desktop.
  • 6. You can now make all the desired changes in your graphic editing program (crop, change the size, color, add text and graphics etc).

Depending on the screenshot that you have taken, a screen print of your desktop could look like this:


On all Android systems you should simultaneously press the Home and Power button to take a screenshot.
The camera shutter sound will indicate that the screenshot has been properly saved. There are some specific ways to do it depending on Android versions : There are some apps, that can help you taking screenshot, like "No Root Screenshot It" or "Screenshot UX".


On iPhone, you just need to press simultaneously the power button and the home button to take a screenshot :
How to take a screenshot on iPhone / iPad


For Linux/Unix, choosing the Print Screen option will capture the whole screen, while pressing Print Screen+Alt will capture the section of the screen where the mouse is pointing. If you press the Print Screen key, the Save Screenshot dialogue will appear.
  • 1. From the Menu bar, select Applications, then Accessories, then Take Screenshot.
  • 2. The Save Screenshot dialogue will then appear. You can now choose which section of the screen you want to capture.

Depending on the screenshot that you have taken, a screen print of your desktop could look like this:

Screen capture software

There are some quick and effective programs that allow you to capture and edit your print screen. They have the major advantage of facilitating screen capture that requires scrolling down. Some of these programs are available through the following links:

See also :

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