How to Capture Screenshots on PC: A Guide to All Methods

Screenshots are an essential feature, allowing you to keep a visual record of the information displayed on the screen, whether it’s an important document, a captivating image, or a system error. In this article, we will explore the different methods to take a screenshot on a PC, whether you’re using Windows, Mac, or Linux. Follow these simple steps to master the art of screen capture!

Take a screenshot on PC (Windows, Mac, or Linux)

Whether you’re on Windows, Mac, or Linux, there are several methods to capture what’s displayed on your screen. Here’s a step-by-step guide for each operating system.

Method 1: Use the Print Screen key on your keyboard

On Windows:

Here’s the easiest way to capture the entire screen on Windows:

  1. Press the key (or or or) on your keyboard.Impr. écranImprPrtScnPrint Screen
  1. The image on your screen is then copied to the clipboard.
  2. Open an image editing program (Paint, GIMP, or Photoshop), word processing program (Word, LibreOffice Writer, etc.), or presentation program (PowerPoint) and paste the image into it, using the + key combination, for example.CTRLV
  3. You can then edit your image as you see fit before saving it in the format of your choice.

To take a screenshot and save it automatically on Windows, follow these steps:

  1. Press the + keys on your keyboard at the same time.WindowsImpr. écran
  2. Your screen will dim briefly, and the screenshot will be automatically saved to the Pictures folder > Screenshots.

To take a screenshot of the active window on Windows, follow these steps:

  1. Press the + keys on your keyboard at the same time.ALTImpr. écran
  1. The screenshot of the active window is then copied to the clipboard.
  2. Only the active window will be captured.

On Mac:

To capture the entire screen on Mac, follow these steps:

  1. Press the + + keys at the same time.Maj⇧Commande⌘3
  2. The screenshot is automatically saved to the desktop.

To capture the active window on Mac, follow these steps:

  1. Press the ++4 keys at the same time.Maj⇧Commande⌘
  2. The mouse cursor changes to a small target.
  3. Press the space bar on your keyboard and click on the window you want.
  4. The image is also saved on the desktop.
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Alternatively, you can also open macOS’s built-in screenshot tool. To do so, follow these simple steps:

  1. Press the + + keys at the same time.Maj⇧Commande⌘5
  2. A small toolbar opens at the bottom of the screen with the different capture modes:
    • Capture the entire screen
    • Capture Selected Window
    • Captures the selection
    • Record Full Screen
    • Save the selected part
  3. Select the mode you want, then use the mouse cursor to capture.

📝 Note: From the “Options” menu, you can change the default directory for screenshots on your Mac or set a timer.

On Linux:

To take a screenshot on Linux, the key usually works the same way as it does on Windows, but this can vary depending on the distribution. Some desktop environments, such as GNOME or KDE, have their own screenshot tools.Impr. écran

Method 2: Using the Windows Snipping tool

The Screenshot tool built into Windows 11/10 offers a convenient and versatile solution for capturing screenshots. It’s especially useful for accurately capturing specific portions of your screen.

On Windows 11/10:

To open and use the Snipping tool on Windows 11 or 10, follow these steps:

  1. Press the + + keys at the same time. This grays out your screen and displays a small toolbar at the top.WindowsMajS
  1. In the toolbar, you can choose from several capture modes:
    • Rectangular: Draw a rectangle to capture a specific area.
    • Freeform: Provides the ability to draw an arbitrary shape for snapping.
    • Window: Captures the active window.
    • Fullscreen: Captures the entire screen.
  2. After selecting the mode, use your mouse to set the area to be captured.
  3. Once captured, it is automatically copied to your clipboard. You can paste it ( + ) into any image editing or word processing application to save and edit it.CTRLV

Method 3: Use LightShot software for Windows and Mac

LightShot is a versatile and user-friendly screen capture software available for both Windows and Mac users. This free software stands out for its ease of use and built-in editing features.

  1. Download the LightShot software from the developer’s official website.
  2. Install the software on your computer.
  3. Once installed, LightShot replaces the default key functionality on your keyboard. To start a screenshot, simply tap .Impr. écranImpr. écran
  4. After tapping , your screen will dim slightly, allowing you to select the area you want to capture using your mouse.Impr. écran
  5. Once the area is selected, LightShot offers a variety of editing tools right on the capture screen. You can add text, arrows, use drawing tools, or highlight specific parts of your capture.
  6. After you’ve made your edits, you can choose to save the image directly to your computer, copy it to the clipboard, or even share it online via various built-in options.
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Take a screenshot in your web browser (Chrome, Firefox, or Edge)

Capturing a specific part of your web browser screen can be extremely useful, whether it’s to share information found on the Internet or to document technical issues. Here’s how you can take screenshots directly in the most popular web browsers (Chrome, Firefox, or Edge).

  1. Start by installing the Nimbus Capture extension on your browser.
  2. Once the extension is installed, you will see the Nimbus Capture icon in your browser’s toolbar.
  3. Click the icon to open the capture menu. You can choose from several options:
    • Full-Page Capture: Capture the entire content of a web page, even beyond what’s visible on the screen.
    • Visible Capture: Capture only the currently visible part of your browser window.
    • Capture Selected Part: Manually select a specific area of the page for capture.
    • Capture a self-timer: Take a screenshot after a set amount of time, useful for capturing drop-down menus or other interactive elements.
  4. After capture, Nimbus Capture provides annotation tools. You can add text, arrows, shapes, blur certain parts, and more.
  5. Save your screenshot.

Of course, it’s not the only extension that can take screenshots in your web browser. You also have FireShot which is a great alternative and available on many browsers such as ChromeFirefoxEdgeSafari, and Opera.

Other Screenshot Software

In addition to built-in methods and browser extensions, several third-party software options offer advanced and customizable features for screenshots. Here are some of the best tools available:

ShareX

ShareX is a free and open-source screenshot tool for Windows that is renowned for its versatility and many features. It not only allows you to take classic screenshots but also enables you to record videos and convert those captures into GIFs. ShareX offers extensive customization options, including keyboard shortcuts, post-capture editing tools, and the ability to upload images directly to online storage platforms.

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Greenshot

Greenshot

Greenshot is another lightweight and easy-to-use option for both Windows and Mac. This tool is ideal for those who are looking for a quick and efficient solution for screenshots. Greenshot allows you to capture a window, a region, or the entire screen and offers basic editing features like adding text, arrows, and highlighting.

Screenpresso

Screenpresso is a screen capture tool for Windows that stands out for its ability to capture scrolls, which is perfect for recording web pages or long documents. It also offers built-in editing features, easy sharing of captures, and the ability to record videos of the screen.

Ksnip

Ksnip, available for Windows, Mac, and Linux, is an open-source screenshot tool that focuses on simplicity while offering flexible editing options. It allows for rectangular, elliptical, window, and free region screenshots and includes annotation tools to enrich your captures.

Each of these pieces of software has its own strengths, whether in terms of features, ease of use, or compatibility with different operating systems. So, we’ll let you explore these alternatives and choose the one that best suits your needs.

Conclusion

As you can see, there is a multitude of options for taking a screenshot on a computer. Each operating system offers an effective built-in method, but to meet specific needs or access advanced features, you can turn to third-party screen capture software.

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Mohamed SAKHRI
Mohamed SAKHRI

I'm the creator and editor-in-chief of Tech To Geek. Through this little blog, I share with you my passion for technology. I specialize in various operating systems such as Windows, Linux, macOS, and Android, focusing on providing practical and valuable guides.

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