This is a simple guide that will help you to understand the options that are available to take a screenshot. You would take a screenshot when you are in any of the following situations:

  1. You have a problem with your system and you would like to take a screenshot of the error message so that you can send it to the technical person.
  2. You just played your favorite game and wanted to capture your high score and publish it on Facebook.
  3. You are a web developer/designer who just wanted to quickly send a preview of your work to your client.
  4. You are a testing an application and just found a bug that you want to capture and send it to the developer for reference.
  5. You may just want to take a screenshot to put a guide on how to do stuff just like the one here.

Whatever the reason may be, all you need is a tool that can help you to grab a screenshot of your system. Let us quickly see the options available in windows for you to take a screenshot.

Windows Default Shortcuts to Take a Screenshot

The PrtSc or the PrintScreen key in your keyboard allows you to take a screenshot of your entire screen and places it in your clipboard. You can now open your favorite Image editor and Paste (CTRL+V) the screenshot.

Use Alt + PrtSc shortcut key in your keyboard to capture the window that is currently in focus, use this when you don’t want to take a screenshot of the entire screen.

The above two shortcuts work only till Windows 7, if you are using Windows 8 you should try using the shortcut key Windows + PrtSc key. 

Windows Inbuilt Snipping Tool

Snipping Tool is a cool little utility that is inbuilt in Windows 7. Type Snipping Tool in the Search Programs and Files option under start menu to locate the snipping tool or you can even try a Program launcher to quickly find it.

Windows Snipping Tool

You can use Snipping tool to capture screenshot in four different ways. Click on the drop-down icon beside the New button to choose one of the below options.

  • Free-form Snip – Just like you use a marker, you can circle or mark any portion of your screen to take a screenshot.
  • Rectangular Snip – Capture any part of the screen in a rectangular format.
  • Window Snip – Pick the window that you want to take a screenshot.
  • Full-screen Snip– Captures the entire screen.

Take a Screenshot using Greenshot

Greenshot is a feather weight screenshot tool that could help you to take screenshots at lightning speed. I personally use Greenshot and it is my favorite screenshot tool. Let me quickly point you some of the cool features of Greenshot.

  • Download (1.25 MB) and install Greenshot.
  • You can see that Greenshot is placed in your taskbar. You can right click on the icon in your taskbar and click Preferences… You can configure your own shortcut keys under the Hot Keys section.

Greenshot Hot Keys

  • You can also open an existing image or take a screenshot and apply effects like Border, Shadow, Torn Edge, Gray scale, etc.
  • You can also perform other basic stuff like crop, rotate images, highlight, and add text.
  • When you take screenshots of your application or screen if you want to hide/blur certain information then you can use the Obfuscate option, quite handy option to hide sensitive data.
  • You can also export images to applications like outlook, excel, word, Imgur, etc.

Gadwin PrintScreen

  • Gadwin PrintScreen is yet another simple utility that helps you to take a screenshot and export it to a file, email or print it.
  • Download (12.5 MB) and install Gadwin Printscreen. There is a professional version and freeware, pick the freeware for now.
  • Extract the zip file and run the setup.
  • Once the installation is completed you can start the application from the Start Menu.
  • A small widget as shown below should be displayed to you and you can start capturing the screenshots.

Take a screenshot using Gadwin Printscreen

  • Gadwin Options lets to your add shadow effect, add watermark, etc.
  • You can also define post capture actions like Image File format, File naming convention, path where screenshot has to be saved, etc.

Picpick Portable

Picpick Portable as the name indicates is a portable application that requires no installation.

  • You can download (7.10 MB) the application and just run the executable to extract the contents to a folder that you specify.
  • Pickpick Portable comes with an image editor that has intuitive user interface. Just like the other screenshot tools that we discussed this also supports image effects that could be applied to your images.

Apply watermark using picpick

  • Pickpick Portable also comes in with a Pixel Ruler that can help you to measure the size of desktop objects and images.
  • It also has a Whiteboard that you could make use of for presentations.

Full Page Screenshot using Firefox

  • Launch Firefox.
  • Press F12 which will bring up the developer toolbar.
  • Click on the Toolbox Options wheel icon.
  • Now under Available Toolbox buttons, select the Take a full page screenshot check box.
  • As soon as you selected the check box a camera icon will be available as shown in the below screenshot. Now when you click on the icon, it will take a full page screenshot.

how to take screenshot using firefox

So what tools do you use to take screenshots? Found this article useful? If Yes, spread the knowledge. If No, let me know what could be done to improve. I am open to suggestions.