Friday, April 4, 2014

Screenshots Made Easy

For years I have relied on the most often used way to take a screen shot (ctrl + Print Scrn) and it is also the most frustrating method.  Ctrl+PrtScrn forces me to take a screen shot of the entire desktop but a majority of the time I want just a small region of the screen.  And to edit that screenshot I would have to paste it into Paint and edit it.  You know the story.  I have found three other ways to take screenshots that you might find yourself using from now on.  All three are FREE, easy to use, may already be on your computer and will save you so much time.

1)   (Windows 7 or later) The snipping tool is a free program already installed on the computer.  Go to the start menu and search or find the program "Snipping Tool."  This will give you the ability to screenshot a region of the screen instead of having to take a screenshot of the entire desktop.  You can then save or copy the screenshot for use in other programs.

2) (Windows XP, 7 or later)  PicPick was at first an alternate to print screen for computers that I use running Windows XP because XP does not have the Snipping Tool installed.  However it has turned out to be my go to screenshot tool on Windows 7 computers as well.  The main reason is that you can set up a keyboard shortcut for taking a screenshot.  Under the options menu you can create a hot key (mine is ctrl+shift+z) to bring up the screenshot crosshairs.  Another benefit to PicPick is that is also automatically opens your screenshot in its own version of Paint for you to edit it.  Their program has many other options available that Paint does not such as pixilation.

3) (Mac OS)  Skitch is my alternative to PicPick for the Mac.  It does not have as many options as PicPick but it does have a keyboard shortcut for taking a screenshot (⌘+Shift+5) It also opens the screenshot in its own program that you can edit it from.


  1. TechSmith Snagit is a prettly slick chrome extension that allows you to choose what part of the screen you want to "snag". Saves automatically to Google drive and gives you the url to share if wanted.

  2. I have recently discovered PicPick as well. Previously, I was using a combination of SnippingTool (which is still useful since it is built in to Windows 7's default complement of tools, and thus can be used by anyone [running Windows 7] without requiring a download/installation process) with an add-on tool that I still like called Paint.NET ( What I like most about PicPick is the ability to capture scrolling web pages to a single image. While such images are not often usable in other documents without intermediary editing, the ability to capture such images is immensely useful for documentation of settings such as those found in the Google Apps admin panel.