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Document That Problem

Have you ever run into a problem with your computer that happened to bring up an error message? I’m sure you have. You’re really lucky if you’ve never had to deal with that. Well, when that happens, wouldn’t it be nice if you could just capture that error message and send it to someone else so they could help you figure out what’s wrong? It sure would have saved me quite a few times! Well, lucky for us all, there’s a way. Here’s how!

Find the Print Screen and Alt buttons on your keyboard and you’ll be all set. The PrtScr button is located on the right hand side of your keyboard right next to the Scroll Lock key. (It’s also right beside the F12 key on most keyboards). If you hit the Alt and PrtScr keys at the same time, your computer will take a “snapshot” of the active window (which would be the error message). Now, if you want to get a shot of the whole screen, push the Shift key along with the PrtScr key and you’ll have it.


Once you have that image captured, you can paste it in another program and then send it to your “computer expert” for advice. You can put it in MS Word, Notepad, Wordpad or even in an e-mail. It’s up to you. Once you have the program you want to put it in open, just hit Ctrl + V to paste the screenshot (or you may have to go to Edit, Paste). Along with the image, you can type out a description of what you were doing when the problem occurred. That will be especially helpful if you’re sending it to someone else to look at. With both the screenshot and the description, they should be able to lead you in the right direction to get things fixed. Having all of that information documented helps if you have to call on some professional tech support as well. You gotta love that!

~ Erin