How to Make a Screenshot (Screen Capture)

We often cannot see exactly what you are seeing on your computer, and you may be asked to provide a screenshot of what's on your computer screen so that we can get a better idea of the issue.

There are many ways to take screenshots, using browser plugins, screen capture software or functionality built into your operating system. This article will describe some of these options.


Screenshots Using Your Browser

The simplest way to capture anything you are seeing via your browser is with software that works through or with the browser itself. These are called addons, plugins or extensions, depending on your browser, and there are numerous ones available. An issue to bear in mind is that addons by design change the functionality of your browser, and can allow tracking of your browsing habits and in the worst case scenarios even allow malware or ads to be inserted onto your computer. For this reason, we do not recommend a particular screenshot addon, and strongly recommends researching any addon before installation.


Manual Screenshots

Windows

Taking a screenshot on Windows is very straightforward using the following instructions:

Capture the entire screen to clipboard (all Windows versions)

When the image you want to capture is on your screen, press the Print Screen key (usually found in the upper right hand corner of your keyboard) to capture a screenshot of your entire display.

Capture only the active window to clipboard (all Windows versions)

You can alternatively select a particular active window and press Alt + Print Screen (both keys at the same time) to capture an image of just that window.
Keep in mind there will be no noise or any other indication the screenshot was taken, but the resulting image will be saved as a PNG file to your clipboard.

Capture the entire screen to Screenshots folder (Windows 8)

Windows 8 users can click the Windows + Print Screen to automatically save a full-screen screenshot within the Screenshots folder of your picture directory.

Open the image in a graphics program

All versions of Windows include MS Paint, but whichever program you prefer can be used. Paste the screenshot into the program by selecting Edit > Paste, or press Ctrl + V on the keyboard to paste your screenshot.

Edit and save: perform any edits you want (such as cropping the image to a specified area) and click the main File option in the top-left corner to select the option to save. Click the gray Save button in the bottom right-hand corner when finished. Either a .png or .jpg/jpeg format is suggested for any screenshot you intend to send to us.

Snipping tool (Windows Vista/7/8)

The Snipping Tool is a useful Windows utility with more options than the basic keyboard shortcut screen capture. It is included in all versions of Windows from Vista onwards. Instructions for use and answers to frequent questions about this tool are available at Microsoft's website. (External link, opens in a new tab.)


Macintosh (OS X)

Capturing screenshots is very straightforward on Macs using key combinations.

Capture your entire screen

Press Command (⌘)-Shift-3. The screenshot is added to your desktop.

Capture some of your screen

Press Command (⌘)-Shift-4, then drag the crosshair pointer to select the area. Hold Shift, Option, or the Space bar while dragging to resize your selection. (To cancel, press Escape (esc) before releasing the mouse button.)

Capture a specific window

Press Command (⌘)-Shift-4, press the Space bar, move the camera pointer over the window to highlight it, and then click. This works with open Finder windows and most application windows (some applications will not allow capture).

To capture a partial screen or a window selection to the Clipboard instead of a desktop file, use Command-Shift-Control-4.

In OS X 10.6 and newer versions, screenshots are saved as PNG files on your desktop and named "Screen shot (date and time).png."

You can open and modify your screenshots with Preview or other image editing apps. You can open an image with Preview by double-clicking the image, or by dragging and dropping the image on the Preview icon in the Finder or Dock.

In Mac OS X v10.6 and later, your screenshots are saved as PNG files on the desktop. They're automatically named "Screen shot (date and time).png."

Screen Capture Programs

Many different programs can be installed to help you capture and format screenshots. As with browser addons, we do not recommend specific programs and suggests you be very vigilant when installing any program from an unknown source to your computer:

Windows

A free and well-reviewed option is ShareX. This open source program is primarily aimed at power users, developers and testers, can upload to online services like Picasa and Flickr and is highly customizable.

Another somewhat simpler option is Greenshot, another well-regarded open source program designed for easier use and a lighter footprint on your computer.

OS X

Although OS X has good screenshot capability built in, one option to consider is Lightshot, which is designed as a lightweight screen capture utility. It allows users to capture, edit and share to social media sites from within the program itself.

Linux

Just like OS X, Linux has good built-in screenshot capabilities, but an alternative is KSnapshot. This program offers multiple capture modes, a delay timer (so you can position your mouse in the shot) and other useful features.


Sending Your Screenshot

Once you have your screenshot, you may contact us via phone or Live Chat to provide it to us (or include it as an attachment in a reply to an existing ticket). Alternatively, you can upload the file to your public_html folder and tell us the name of the file for our administrators to review.

Please contact us via phone or Live Chat if you have any questions or require assistance.