Print Anything You See on Your Screen – Video Tip

Many times a computer user may need the ability to print what they see on the screen, but can’t access a Print command.  Using the underutilized Print Screen button on the keyboard can rectify this situation.

The Print Screen button is usually located just to the right of your F keys and above the Insert, Home, Delete key section.

In the ol’ days of DOS, pushing this button would indeed send a paper flying out of your printer with the contents of your screen printed on it.  Today, however, when you push the button, nothing appears to happen.  Appearance is not as it always seems…your computer takes a ‘snap shot’ of whatever is currently visible on the screen and stores it in the Windows Clipboard when you press the Print Screen button.

To access this ‘snap shot’:

  1. Open your favorite word processor (if you are using Word, sometimes it needs to be open before you hit the Print Screen button). WordPad works great for this tips.

  2. Click Edit from the menus

  3. Click Paste from the menus

  4. Now print as you normally would via File –> Print from the menus.

If you only want to print out part of the screen,  you can either crop it in your word processing program (if the program supports that function) OR you can paste your screen shot in an image editing program or even Microsoft Paint to further modify the screen snap shot.

Go on, give it a try.  You are sure to find a use for this interesting and useful tip. Believe it or not, this function has been built into all versions of Microsoft Windows since 1995!

 TIP WITHIN A TIP:  Push the Alt key plus Print Screen to capture just the ‘active window’. For example an error message box or a dialog box.


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  1. Jane Groff June 27, 2017 Reply

    I know you relocated to Arizona from Grand Junction. I was raised in an unincorporated
    town 10 miles north of Phoenix called Sunnyslope. It has been incorporated to Phoenix now.
    I have enjoyed all your emails giving information on how to enjoy my computer with tips and
    shortcuts for so many years. You are the BEST! I have used the one you mentioned here and
    thank you for reminding me where I probably learned about it several years ago was from you.
    Thanks again for keeping me updated with information new and old.
    Jane …Montrose Colorado

    • Author
      Rick June 27, 2017 Reply

      Thanks Jane! Appreciate the feedback and am glad you are out there. Spread the news about!!

  2. Charles Simcox June 27, 2017 Reply

    Hi Rick:

    I use I guess what you call a “snipping tool” in Linux Ubuntu frequently with a shift+print screen. My guess is that is is part of Ubuntu as I don’t ever remember adding it.

    Than click the :copy to clipboard” in the little window & cancel than paste it in word processor.

    Don’t know if that is in any other OS?

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