How to Take a Screenshot on a Computer

September 2016

A screenshot, or the Print Screen function, is used to capture the display currently on your monitor. Most computers allow you to capture the image on the screen fairly easily. This tutorial will walk you through how to take a screenshot on Windows, macOS, and UNIX/Linux computers.


Take a Screenshot on Windows

On Windows, the command key to perform the function is usually found in the upper-righthand corner of the keyboard and labeled as some variation of Print Screen. Once the display that you want to capture is on your screen, press this key once. This will take a screenshot of the entire screen.

Open your graphic editing program (like Paint, for example), and either using the command Ctrl + V or the program's manual options, paste the image in the provided space.

You can then edit it to your liking or simply save it.

Take a Screenshot on Mac

On macOS, you can take a screenshot of your entire screen or just a portion of it.

To capture the entire screen, press + Shift + 3. The captured image will be saved to your desktop.

To capture a selected portion of your screen, first press + Shift + 4. Upon releasing the keys, your mouse cursor should change into a + symbol. You can now use the tool to choose what you want to capture by clicking and dragging to create a box around the desired section of the screen. The captured image will be saved to your desktop.

You can now make all the desired changes in your graphic editing program (like Preview, for example), including cropping, size and color changes, text and graphics additions, etc.

Take a Screenshot on Linux

For Linux/UNIX, pressing the Print Screen key will capture the whole screen, while pressing Print Screen + Alt will capture the section of the screen where the mouse is pointing. This will be followed by the appearance of the Save Screenshot dialogue.

Screen Capture Software

There are also quick and effective programs that allow you to capture your screen and edit the resulting image. The biggest advantage of using these is that they make it easy to perform screen captures that require scrolling down.


Some of the best ones are Quick Screen Capture , Screen Hunter, and Hyperionics.

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