Windows XP Print what’s on the screen or make a screenshot using the … print screen button



This is one that’s not as obvious as it should be. Every keyboard has a “print screen” button – usually it’s in the group over above the insert/home/pageup/delete/end/pagedown block. Sometimes (especially on laptops) it’s shared with something else. But…. most people will notice if they press “print screen” on a windows pc… not much seems to happen. (On my KDE/Linux desktop it pops up a program called ksnapshot…) If the print screen key is shared with another function (say on a laptop) you may need to press the function button at the same time as the print screen button to get the following to work.


One way, you can check if you do need to press the function (fn) button at the same time is to look at the color coded text on the fn button and where the “print screen” text is. IF they’re the same color, press the function key and hold down while you press the print screen button. Of course, if you’re not using a laptop… ignore most all the above and press the “print screen” button. uhmmm nothing happened. Ah, but it did… windows just took a “snapshot” of everything you see on the screen and is saving it for you. All we have to do now is find a place to put it.

Click on the start button and go to “all programs, accessories, paint” (or you can also go to run and type mspaint and click ok). Click the edit menu and then click paste. You should see your “screenshot” appear in the paint window. The screenshot that windows does is not very fancy, it just grabs the entire screen when you press the print screen button. (Then you can paste it into whatever image editing program you use.) After it’s been pasted into mspaint, you can print by going to file, print. (Of course, other programs may give you fancier options for dealing with your brand new screenshot.).

The Ksnapshot program I use under linux is a bit fancier in that it can capture just the active window (firefox maybe), or the entire desktop, or it can take a screenshot after a user-defined delay. I’m sure there are addon programs to windows that may make this process easier. But now you know how you can make a screenshot under windows xp to print what’s on the screen using the print screen button.

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