BetterPhoto.com - Become a better photographer today!
EMAIL:
PASSWORD:
remember me:     
     


How to Capture a Screen Shot

Whether you're on a PC or a Mac

by Richard Lynch

Taking Screen Shots on PC/Windows

Screen shots on a PC can be taken without a special screen shot utility using the built-in Print Screen function. You can take a shot of the entire screen, or use the ALT key to confine the screen shot to the fore-most window (may be a program window or dialog/alert). Using Print Screen will capture the content of the current screen in the clipboard. You'll want to create a new image after you take the screen shot so that Photoshop or Elements will size the image for you, and then paste the content of the clipboard.

Here are the steps:

1. Set up the screen so that what you want to shoot is in front of other palettes, images and programs. Be sure the palette/window is over the program window (for example, a palette can be detached from the palette well, but it should not be on a second monitor if you have a two monitor setup).

2. Press the Print Screen button on the keyboard. This will capture the screen and place it on the clipboard. Hold down the ALT key before pressing the Print Screen button to confine the screen shot to the foremost window.



3. Create a new image file in Photoshop or Elements to paste in the screen shot you have collected on the clipboard. Elements Users: Choose File>New>Image From Clipboard. Photoshop Users: Choose File>New. A New Image dialog will appear with the dimensions of the screen shot in the clipboard. Click OK on this dialog and then press Ctrl+V to paste.

4. Save the image.

This will create a new image and paste the content of the clipboard to it. You may need to crop the image (using the crop tool) so that the result is confined to the area of the screen that you want (e.g., a single palette). When cropping, be sure that the options for the Crop tool do not show a height, width or resolution. If they do, clear the fields with the Clear button.

Some utilities will do a better job of helping you confine your screen shots to a single palette or toolbar, but the method here is fine for the purposes of my classes. Screen shots are very helpful for conveying the content of your layers palettes, developing short tutorials, and other creative purposes!


Taking Screenshots on a Mac

Screen shots on a Mac can be taken without a special screen shot utility using the built-in Grab function. You can take a shot of the entire screen, or use click and drag or automated screen selection to confine the screen shots to other portions of the screen (e.g., a program window or dialog/alert). Using Grab will capture the content of the current screen and save it as a file on the desktop named Picture #.png.

Here are the steps:

1. Set up the screen so that what you want to shoot is in front of other palettes, images and programs. What you want to shoot a screen of can be anywhere on your screen(s).

2. Press the Command+Shift+4 buttons on the keyboard. This will initiate the capture mode.

  • Clicking on the screen will take a capture of the entire screen.

  • Clicking and dragging a marquee will take a screen of everything within the marquee.

  • Pressing the Shift key once will turn on the automated mode which will highlight a palette or screen under the cursor; clicking over the highlighted palette/window will take the screen.


  • Pressing the Space bar a second time will return to the normal mode.

  • Pressing ESC will escape the utility without completing a shot.
This set of steps will create a new image. You may need to crop the image (using the crop tool) so that the result is confined to the area of the screen that you want (e.g., a single palette). When cropping, be sure that the options for the Crop tool do not show a height, width or resolution. If they do, clear the fields with the Clear button.

Some utilities will do a better job of helping you confine your screen shots to a single palette or toolbar, but the method here is fine for the purposes of my classes. Screen shots are very helpful for conveying the content of your layers palettes, developing short tutorials, and other creative purposes!


Take Your Photography to the Next Level!

BetterPhoto.com's online courses are by far the best way to hone your photographic skills. You'll love the direct interaction with master photographers, the personal feedback, and the flexible method of instruction. See the school schedule...



About Author / Instructor / Photographer, Richard Lynch
Photography Instructor: Richard LynchRichard Lynch has written 9 books on Photoshop and image editing. His expertise was born following interests in photography and design, honed as the editor and designer of a photography book publishing house and perfected by working with his own images. His photographic techniques and Photoshop work are steeped in darkroom tradition and photographic theory. He has spent more than 20 years adapting the darkroom to solid digital techniques, and is confident that he can make any image more than it was when it was shot using the digital darkroom.

American born and a US resident, Richard currently lives in Romania where he runs photo tours. He teaches courses for digital photographers and hobbyists in photography and Photoshop online and in the classroom. His articles have been in a variety of publications online and in print, including Popular Photography, PCPhoto, Advanced Photoshop, Digital Photography Techniques, and Photo Techniques. His books tend to fall outside of the series typical series algorithm. His latest book, The Adobe Photoshop Layers Book (http://aps8.com/taplbcs4.html), was the first and only book devoted specifically to Photoshop layers when it first came out in 2007. A completely new edition of the layers book was released for 2012.

In his ‘spare’ time, Richard experiments with both modern and vintage equipment (like manual-focus lenses, extension tubes, modifications), and devises new and better schemes for image editing (often in the shower). His creative prose has been published in a variety of literary magazines and online. A culinary background and interest in malt beverages led him to competitive beer brewing, and has won awards for his brews in national competitions in the US. Richard enjoys target shooting, a skill not unlike photography, and has a strong knowledge of pellet guns and rifle optics born of his interest in camera lenses and plinking little plastic army guys. He lives to follow his interest, sneak in a little fun, and is in possession of more camera and computer equipment than anyone realistically needs – but he can justify all of it.

See his website: photoshopcs.com

Contact Richard


Copyright © 1996-2014 BetterPhoto.com, Inc.® All Rights Reserved.