Taking screenshots in Windows 10 or Windows 11 is not a difficult task. There are several ways to take screenshots on your Windows PC, which we will discuss in this article. Microsoft itself has introduced a few applications and techniques for taking a screenshot, within the Windows operating system. However, taking a screenshot does not always mean, taking a snapshot of the whole screen. You can even take a screenshot of a particular portion or zone of the screen, using special techniques or applications. There are several third-party apps, which will also help you to take screenshots on your Windows PC.
Let’s first discuss the shortcuts used in Windows operating system and apps such as snipping Tool and Snip & Sketch, and then we will discuss other third-party apps for taking screenshots on your Windows desktop or laptop computers.
Shortcuts used for taking Screenshots in Windows operating system.
1. Print Screen
This technique or shortcut is very common to the users who are using Windows computers for a long. The Print Screen button (Sometimes it’s labeled as PrtScn or PS) is situated after F12 horizontally right, in the case of a normal keyboard. And in the case of the Laptop keyboard, it’s located in combination with the F10 key. You have to press the Fn key + F10 key, to activate the print screen option.
Once you press the print screen button, the screenshot of the whole screen gets copied into the clipboard. You then have to paste the image by opening any application software such as MSPaint or Word or Excel or PowerPoint or Photoshop and so on. And if you don’t require the screenshot of the whole screen then you may crop the image within the application software where you have pasted the clipboard image.
2. Windows Key + Print Screen
This technique is somewhat similar to the first one, however, there is a small difference. If you use the Windows Key + Print Screen, you don’t have to use any application software to save the image file. The image of the screenshot will get automatically saved in the Screenshots folder under Pictures.
3. Alt + Print Screen
By pressing only the Print Screen button the screenshot of the whole screen gets copied into the clipboard. However, if you only want to take a screenshot of the active window, you have to press the Alt. + Print Screen buttons together. Once you do this, the screenshot of the active window will get copied into the clipboard. Again you have to do the same step, as mentioned in point no. 1, that is paste the clipboard image into any application software to save it any popular image format such as jpg or BMP or png and so on.
4. Game Bar Screenshot (Windows Key + G)
The game bar is mainly used to stream the live games, however, it can be used to take a screenshot, whether you are in the middle of the game or not. The game bar is activated by pressing the Windows key + G button together. You can click on the screenshot or may use the shortcut buttons Windows key + Alt. + Print Screen to take the screenshot.
You may directly use the shortcut buttons Windows key + Alt. + Print Screen, to take the screenshots directly. Although the screenshot images will be saved in the “Captures” folder under the “Videos” folder.
5. Windows Logo + Volume Down keys together for Microsoft Surface device
If you are using the Microsoft Surface, you have to hold the Windows Logo touch button and the physical volume down button on the side of the tab to take the screenshot. The screenshot will be generated and will be saved in the Screenshots folder under the Picture folder.
Windows inbuilt application for screen grab in Windows Computer
6. Snipping Tool
Snipping Tool is an application developed by Microsoft and was introduced in the Windows OS bundle, from Windows Vista onwards. However, the Snipping Tool has been phased out and is replaced with the new Snip & Sketch tool. Still, it opens up in Windows 10. If you are familiar with this application, you can still use it for taking a screenshot on your Windows PC. You will find the Snipping Tool from Start Menu > Windows Accessories >Snipping Tool.
Now let’s see, how to take screenshots on your Windows PC with the Snipping Tool. The interface of the Snipping Tool looks as shown below. In the interface, you will find mainly three menus, one is for the New task, the next one is the Mode and the last one is the Delay. Within the Mode menu, you will find the options, what type of screenshot you want to take. Whether in free-form or in a rectangular form or full window or full-screen. And from the Delay menu, you can set the delay time for taking screenshots. After the screenshot is taken, the image will open up in the Snipping tool editor, where you can give a touchup to your screenshot image, with the pen and highlighter tools. It has the option for editing the image in the Paint 3D application.
7. Snip & Sketch
Snip & Sketch was introduced from Windows 10, as a replacement for the old Snipping Tool. You will find the Snip & Sketch under the Start Menu or you may use the shortcut key Windows key + Shift key + S. Once the Snip & Sketch app opens up, the screen dims slightly and a menu hangs on the top border of the screen. From the menu, you can select where you want to take a rectangular snip or freeform or window type or full screen. Select as per your requirement and your screenshot is ready.
Once the screenshot is taken, the screenshot image file will open in the snip & sketch editor. Within the editor, you will be able to pen, pencil, and highlighter tools to annotate the screenshot image. And when all these tasks are done, you can simply save the image file.
Third-party external application for screen capture in Windows system.
8. TechSmith’s Snagit
Snagit is a brilliant screenshot-taking application. However, this application is not free. If you want to use this application, you have to purchase this application. Please refer to the pricing page for more detailed information regarding its cost and it has support for both Windows and Mac OS. With the Snagit application, you can take a screenshot as well as record screen videos. It has lots of selection options. You can open the application or may use it directly by pressing the print screen key button. If the Snagit application is installed into your system, then on pressing the print screen button, Snagit will get activated.
Most interesting is its Scrolling Window selection option. It will automatically scroll a window and take a screenshot of the whole page.
After the screenshot is taken, the image file opens in the Snagit editor. You can use different filters and tools to annotate and edit the image and save it.
Greenshot is another screenshot application for your Windows PC, which is completely free to use. You can download the executable file from the Greenshot website. After the installation is done, the Greenshot application is ready to manage your screenshot. However, by default Greenshot application has set up shortcuts or hotkeys for taking screenshots in different modes. Such as Print Screen for capturing a specific region, Ctrl. + Print Screen for capturing full screen, Alt. + Print Screen for capturing a particular or selected window, Shift + Print Screen for capturing the last region, and Ctrl. + Shift + Print Screen Key for capturing Internet Explorer. If you wish you can change the default hotkeys setting and add as per your choice.
After taking the screenshot with the Greenshot application, the software will prompt you for the option, what to do with the screenshot. Whether to save it directly or open in Greenshot image editor, or open in office packages, or copy to clipboard or print directly and so on.
The Greenshot image editor is loaded with lots of features to annotate and edit the images as per your requirement.
CloudApp is a simple and powerful screenshot as well as screen recording application. This software is available for Windows, Mac, Chrome, Linux. It’s available in the Apple store, Microsoft Windows Store, and Chrome Webstore. You need to first signup before you download the application, and you can even create a team with the email Ids of your team member for sharing the screenshot images for quick reference or support. However, you can skip these steps.
Once it is installed, the CloudApp icon will be shown on the right side of the Taskbar of Windows, sometimes within the hidden icons. Click on the icon, and you will get the options, whether to take a screenshot or record screen or create a GIF or annotate or do something more.
When you click on the More button, you will be able to view the default hotkeys for different actions. If you wish, you may change the hotkey settings as per your choice.
After taking the screenshot the image will get uploaded into the cloud storage of CloudApp and opens up in your default browser, from there you can easily annotate or edit or download the image as per your choice. You can directly use the option Annotate, to annotate the screenshot image in your local CloudApp editor.
CloudApp is not completely free, there are different paid plans along with a free plan, which has certain limitations. Please refer to the pricing page for more information.
Thus, taking a screenshot does not simply mean taking the image of the full screen, there are several angles of capturing the screen. And the more important part is the editor, where the annotation of the image is done, with different features and tools. To know which application suits you the best, you have to check out all the applications and their features. According to us, TechSmith’s Snagit application interface seems to be more user-friendly and easy to use. However, your opinion may differ from ours. Please let us know, which application do you prefer to use or suits you best and why?
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