Microsoft

From the forums: Capturing the current window with [Alt][Print Screen]

In this thread from the Training forum, find out the easy way to capture the screen image you want.


A picture is worth a thousand words, especially when you’re training. If you’re documenting a process for your students, including screen shots is a great way to reinforce the lesson. If you want to capture the current Windows screen, you can just press the [Print Screen] key, and then press [Ctrl]V to paste the screen image into a word processing document or other file.

But what if you don’t want to capture the whole Windows desktop? That’s the question TechRepublic passport owner RHiegen recently posted in the “Other Apps” training forum.

Capture just the active window
RHiegen wrote: “How do I capture part of an image on the screen? I don't mean using print screen key, but only a little region of the screen.” TechRepublic passport owner Pat Schmidt posted the solution: “You can capture the "active" window by using the [Alt][Print Screen] keystroke. This keystroke doesn’t copy the entire screen, just the portion occupied by the active window.”

This tip is one most veteran Windows users take for granted, which is one reason why it’s such a great lesson for your beginning Windows users. The problem with capturing the whole screen with [Print Screen], of course, is that the image may contain a lot of extraneous junk.

Editing out that junk is a bigger challenge than many beginners want to tackle. So the next time you’re teaching a beginning Windows class, make sure to show your students the difference between [Print Screen] and [Alt][Print Screen].

Trade TechPoints for answers
You earn TechPoints every time you visit TechRepublic.com. To find out how many TechPoints you have, click the My TechPoints link in our left navigation bar. To share your experiences with [Print Screen] or other screen-capturing tools, please post a comment below or send me a note.

A picture is worth a thousand words, especially when you’re training. If you’re documenting a process for your students, including screen shots is a great way to reinforce the lesson. If you want to capture the current Windows screen, you can just press the [Print Screen] key, and then press [Ctrl]V to paste the screen image into a word processing document or other file.

But what if you don’t want to capture the whole Windows desktop? That’s the question TechRepublic passport owner RHiegen recently posted in the “Other Apps” training forum.

Capture just the active window
RHiegen wrote: “How do I capture part of an image on the screen? I don't mean using print screen key, but only a little region of the screen.” TechRepublic passport owner Pat Schmidt posted the solution: “You can capture the "active" window by using the [Alt][Print Screen] keystroke. This keystroke doesn’t copy the entire screen, just the portion occupied by the active window.”

This tip is one most veteran Windows users take for granted, which is one reason why it’s such a great lesson for your beginning Windows users. The problem with capturing the whole screen with [Print Screen], of course, is that the image may contain a lot of extraneous junk.

Editing out that junk is a bigger challenge than many beginners want to tackle. So the next time you’re teaching a beginning Windows class, make sure to show your students the difference between [Print Screen] and [Alt][Print Screen].

Trade TechPoints for answers
You earn TechPoints every time you visit TechRepublic.com. To find out how many TechPoints you have, click the My TechPoints link in our left navigation bar. To share your experiences with [Print Screen] or other screen-capturing tools, please post a comment below or send me a note.

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