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SW 402: Information Literacy for Social Work : How to Take Screenshots

Introduce and reinforce the skills you'll need to be an information-savvy Social Worker and/or successfully complete the ILOP.

What is a Screenshot and How They're Useful

A screenshot is a picture of your computer screen. It is useful for documenting strange error messages and for illustrating exactly where on a page that small, hard-to-see button is.

They take the guesswork out of many computer- and web-orientated conversations. In short, they give us the advantage of visual communication in a highly visual world.

Screenshots on Windows XP and Windows Vista

To take a screenshot while you are working on Windows XP or Windows Vista, follow either of the options below:

  • Hold down Control AND Print Screen to capture the entire screen
  • Hold down Alt AND Print Screen to capture only the selected open window

Since you are working on Windows, the image is copied to the "Clipboard," as described above. Again, you won't see the image until you open a program such as email, Word or Powerpoint and paste it into the document.

Screenshots on Windows 7

To take a screenshot while you are working on Windows 7:

  1. From the Start menu, search Snipping Tool and click to open. The Snipping Tool will open and your cursor will turn into a plus sign.
  2. Click and drag your mouse across the area of the screen you want to capture. Your image will appear within the Snipping Tool window.
  3. To save your image, go to File > Save As and choose a name and location for your saved file.

You can either copy and paste it into an email/Word document/PowerPoint/etc, or simply drag and drop it into your open document.

Screenshots on an Apple

To take a screenshot while you are working on a Mac, follow either of the options below:

  • Hold down the Shift key AND the Command/Apple key AND 3 to capture the entire screen
  • Hold down the Shift key AND the Command/Apple key AND 4 to produce crosshairs, which allow you to select whichever part of the screen you would like

On a Mac, the screenshot image is automatically downloaded to the desktop, usually named something generic like, "Picture1.png". You can either copy and paste it into an email/Word document/PowerPoint/etc, or simply drag and drop it into your open document.