What does that button do?

Screen capturing is in essence, taking a photo of your computer screen, and it might be my favorite computer function.

I use screen capturing all the time to report technical problem at work, or to show friends, family, and clients how to perform tasks on their computer. There are many different and creative ways you can use this function.

Performing this task is a little different on a PC versus a Mac, but I will explain both.

On a PC it is ridiculously simple to do if you have a full size keyboard.

Step 1 – Look down at your keyboard. On the right side of your keyboard, you will see the number pad. Look to the left of the number pad, above the arrow keys. You should see a collection of six to nine buttons that you rarely ever touch. One of them says, “Print Screen,” or something close like “Prnt Scrn.”

Step 2 – Push the “Print Screen” button. Your computer has now copied the the image of the screen.

Step 3 – Open up Microsoft Word, Paint, or Adobe Photoshop.

Step 4 – Right click, and select “Paste.”

Things are a little less intuitive on a Mac, but still extremely simple. The hardest part is remembering what buttons to hit.

In all of these button sequences, it is important to hold all of the buttons down at the same time.

Press Command (the button with the apple on it), the shift key, and the number “3.” If you have your speakers on, you will hear a little camera shutter click sound.

If you want to capture part of the screen, press command, the shift key, and the number “4.” A cross-hair will appear as your cursor. Use the cross-hair to click and drag the box to select the area of the screen you wish to feature.

If you want to capture a window, like the web browser window you are looking at now, press command, the shift key, and the number “4” and the space bar.

There you go, you have successfully performed a screen capture. If you wish, you can edit the image in any way your heart desires.

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