Every now and then, you might need to take a screenshot on your Windows 10 computer. It might be an error message that you want to capture as a screenshot, or if you just bought something online, it might be a good idea to take a screenshot of the transaction details.
For whatever the reasons, Windows 10, just like its predecessor, allows you to take screenshots. In this guide, I will show you the different keyboard shortcuts and how you can use a built-in utility called the Snipping tool to capture cool screenshots.
1. Capture the whole desktop (copy to clipboard)
You have seen it on almost every keyboard since time immemorial. Yet, you probably did not know that it is a dedicated key to capture screenshots. Yes, you guessed it right! It is the good old Print Screen key!
If you hit the Print Screen key, a full snapshot of your desktop is copied to your clipboard. In order to view it, open your favorite image-editing tool, for example, Microsoft Paint or Photoshop and paste it (Ctrl+V).
2. Capture the whole desktop (auto-save it to folder)
This is my favorite method of taking screenshots in Windows 10 as it automatically saves it to your computer.
Hitting the Print screen + Win Key key simultaneously will capture your full screen and save it in PNG format. All your screenshots are located in the folder
screenshots inside your
3. Capture active window (copy to clipboard)
Using this method, you can capture only the active Window on your screen by pressing the combo Alt+Print screen. This might come in handy, especially when you want to show to someone a specific application Window leaving your messy desktop out of it.
4. Capture screenshot using the Snipping tool
So far, we have seen how to capture screenshots using only keyboard shortcuts. While these are quick and easy to remember ways of taking screenshots, this might not be flexible enough depending on your needs.
What if you want to save your screenshots to a different format other than PNG? Or maybe you want to capture only a small section of your screen and highlight items? That’s where the snipping tool can be handy.
You might have been familiar with this screen capturing tool since it was introduced all the way back in Windows Vista.
Apart from bug fixes, the only added feature in Windows 10 is that it now comes with time-delay auto-capture option. This is really handy when you have to capture items that involve mouse movement like, for example, a drop-down menu or a tooltip.
Once you open the snipping tool, when you click on the
New button, you can choose from 4 different ways of capturing a screenshot.
- Free-form Snip: This means you can drag your mouse and make any crazy, freehand shape.
- Rectangular Snip: It lets you make a rectangular selection of your screen.
- Window Snip: Capture any Window you want, cropping out the rest of your screen.
- Full-screen Snip: Capture your entire desktop.
As you can see, using the Sniping tool to capture screenshots is more powerful and flexible than using keyboard shortcuts.