Thursday, April 11, 2013

How to take a screenshot?

This particular thing about how to take a screenshot is invariably one of the commonest asked query among all those who are newly introduced to computing &/or web browsing. Here I will discuss a little bit about what it is & how you do it without having too much trouble.



What is screenshot?

A screen dump, screen capture (or screen-cap), screenshot (or screen shot), screengrab (or screen grab), or print screen is an image taken by the computer user to record the visible items displayed on the monitor, television, or another visual output device. Usually this is a digital image using the (host) operating system or software running on the computer, but it can also be a capture made by a camera or a device intercepting the video output of the display (such as a DVR). That latent image converted and saved to an image file such as to .JPG, .BMP, or .GIF format is also called a screenshot.



Why take screenshot?

Screenshots can be used to demonstrate a program, a particular problem a user might be having, or generally when display output needs to be shown to others or archived. For example, after being emailed a screenshot, a Web page author might be surprised to see how his page looks on a different Web browser and can take corrective action. Likewise with differing email software programs, (particularly such as in a cell phone, tablet, etc.,) a sender might have no idea how his email looks to others until he sees a screenshot from another computer and can (hopefully) tweak his settings appropriately.

How to take screenshot?

Essentially there are 2 particular ways to take screenshots in most common operating systems. Either you have to use the in-built functionality of your operating system or use a program to do the job for you. The in-built functionality, as expected of them, are always less hazardous, easy to learn & basic. So one must always look for a good program to do the advanced screenshot taking or editing.

Taking screenshot using in-built functions:



"Print Screen" button as they are shown in above pictures are the hero of taking screenshots using in-built functions of your desktop or laptop operating systems.

On Windows & Ubuntu(a popular Linux OS) the user can just press "print screen" button & the whole visible area will be screen grabbed & saved into clipboard. The capture can be pasted to any of user's chosen application(e.g. Microsoft Paint, Adobe Photoshop, GIMP etc.) for editing or to save as it is. Alternatively in both cases the user may use "Alt + Print Screen" buttons to save only the "Active Window". The rest of the procedure will be same.

For Mac OS user the combination of buttons are different. They can use "Cmd + shift + 3" buttons & the screenshot of whole visible area will be saved as .png file in user's desktop. Alternative pressing "ctrl + Cmd + shift + 3" will save the capture inside clipboard to let the user work with it in any of the chosen application before saving.

Taking screenshot using programs or applications:

There are loads of applications to edit & with advanced screen capturing capabilities for each operating system. I will briefly describe a few popular ones here.

Windows snipping tool: Microsoft's Snipping Tool comes pre-installed in Windows Vista and Windows 7. A capture must be initiated by first launching the program. From there user can select a screen capture type or press "Escape" and the PrintScreen button hot key. Full screen, active screen, rectangular area, and freehand area selections are supported. No auto-save, auto-scroll or delayed capture. Output is displayed in the editor window and sent either to email or an image file. The editor is limited to two tools--a freehand highlighting tool and a freehand line drawing tool. There is no printer output function.

Screenshot Captor: Screenshot Captor is a freeware windows screenshot taking utility. It supports multiple monitors, multiple screens, full screen, window, rectangular area, and fixed area captures from either hot keys or from the programs menu. The cursor can be included or excluded. It can take a self-portrait too. The software can acquire images from a scanner. Once captured the program can automatically do the following to the image: keep, save, print, move to the clipboard, display in the built-in editor, email, or upload to hosting services. The built-in editor is rich with features. Users may not find it necessary to use an image editor. Only noticeable downside is it requests for free registration on start up.

Shutter: Shutter is an in-built freeware linux scrren capture tool. It is a feature-rich screenshot program. You can take a screenshot of a specific area, window, your whole screen, or even of a website – apply different effects to it, draw on it to highlight points, and then upload to an image hosting site, all within one window. Shutter is free, open-source, and licensed under GPL v3.

Jing: Jing is a free MacOS screen capture tool. It only supports rectangular screen captures. However, it can also capture a video of activity within the selection. Delayed capture, hotkeys, auto-save, and scrolling windows are not supported. Output to clipboard, file, and Screencast.com. Includes an image editor but not a video editor. Requires registration with Screencast.com.

Obviously the list might become endless if I keep on listing the applications here. I think the topic with the current content has served its purpose & will help our friends & readers for a long time. However, it will be really appreciable if some of you share more in depth reviews of the tools you use or recommend.


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