About Computers for Newbies & Everyone Else

April 13, 2010

Advanced Screenshots

Filed under: Columns — Tags: , , , — Ron @ 5:43 am

I had quite a few emails after the screenshot column last week about the print screen key.  Thanks for emailing me and please keep them coming!  A couple of them inspired this column.  Send them to me any time… they often make great columns. You will not usually see extremely specific questions answered here since they do not affect nearly as many people.

One very astute reader asked why I said you had to hold down the "Prnt Scrn" key for a second or so.  They stated that they only had to press theirs for a split second and it would copy the screen.  The reason I said longer than a split second is that some (usually older) PCs required that. However, on newer computers you can usually press the key quickly.  Try yours both ways to see which works for you.

The DoubleClicks Facebook Fan-pageNext, a couple of readers stated having seen that I sometimes added arrows, text, boxes,  circles, etc. to screen shots on my site.  They wanted to know how to do that.  OK, I do not use the "Prnt Scrn" key all by itself.  I actually use a program called SnagIt ( Go to the Techsmith website and scroll down to the bottom left of the page you will see the link for the product.  It is $49.95 but will also allow you to record videos of your screens.  For me it is worth the cost of a license when they upgrade only once every several years.

There are also several other free screen capture utilities out there.  Use your favorite search engine ( and for me) to see what you can find. is also good. I have used it for making videos of screens as well.  Be advised, screen videos are sometimes complicated to create.

For stills you can even use a program like Microsoft Word.  If currently own Word, you can add effects like arrows, lines and many more to any graphic for free.

With Word, you first copy and paste the screenshot into a Word document using the "Prnt Scrn" and "Ctrl + V" keys we talked about last time.  Then you can size it as you desire with the sizing handles.  Once that is done you may use some of the advanced features under the "Insert" commands.  Play with them to see all of the available options.

You will be creating your own graphics in no time.

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