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Screenshot: What’s That?

Friday, September 7th, 2007 by | Filed Under: MS Office Help

Screenshot: What’s That?

There’s a good chance you’ve heard someone mention the term “screenshot” before.

Did you know what they were talking about or did you write it off as more computer jargon?

Well, if you wrote it off, let’s just pull it out of the “mysterious computer jargon” file and put it into your active vocabulary list!

Basically, a screenshot is just like a picture. It’s a picture of your computer screen at the exact moment you take the shot.

Believe it or not, that’s all there is to it.

Now that you know what it is, do you ever find yourself wishing you could put a screenshot into a Word document, Excel workbook or PowerPoint presentation?

I know I use them all the time and not just for this newsletter.

As a teacher, I use them a lot when creating instructions for student projects or to create handouts to use during staff training.

It never occurred to me how much I’d use screenshots until I learned how.

At any rate, if you want to use screenshots, you have to know how to make them. So, let’s get to it!

  • To take a screenshot of your entire monitor, simply hit the Print Screen key on your keyboard. (Try looking for it near the F12 key. It will probably say Prt Sc).

  • Next, go to the program where you’re trying to put the picture and paste it (Ctrl + V).

That’s it! Now you have a picture of your screen, as it was when you hit the Print Screen button.

Now, let’s suppose you have a lot of stuff on the screen and you only want one program from the many displayed. What do you do then?

  • Simply click into the window you want the shot of to give it focus.

  • Then hit Alt + Print Screen.

  • Now, go to the program where you need the screenshot and paste it in.

This second one works well when you want a nice picture of a program without the taskbar across the bottom.

If you’ve pasted your screenshot into Word or Excel (let’s say to use as part of an instructional memo or something), you’ll find it’s treated like any other picture you insert. You can resize it, crop it, adjust its brightness and contrast, etc. You know, basically all the adjustments you’re used to having with clipart.

The Picture toolbar will automatically open when you paste the screenshot in, which makes for easy editing.

When I pasted a screenshot into MS PowerPoint, the screenshot automatically came in full size, taking up the entire slide. I had the ability to click on the screenshot and resize it, but I could just as easily leave it full sized and use the drawing tools to highlight the reason for the picture. And, as expected, when the screenshot is selected, the Picture toolbar opens automatically.

What a great teaching tool in a presentation! Imagine, a slide that shows your audience exactly what they’re looking for and where to find it, without the hassle of switching programs in the middle of your presentation.

There you have it. Perfect pictures and you don’t even have to get them developed!

~ April

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