photo RSMAtnWebAdRed13.jpg

The Computer Corner


By Charles Miller

Taking a Quick Screenshot Can Save Your Computer Repairperson Hours of Headaches

More than three decades ago, if a computer user wanted to print a hard copy of what appeared on their screen, they could simply press the [PrtSc] key. That key is still there on PC keyboards.

The print screen feature still works today, but it is a little less obvious than simply pressing the [PrtSc] key. There are different ways to do this, depending on whether you use a Mac or Windows PC or a mobile device. In every case, printing the screen on paper is a two-step process. First save an image of the screen, then print it.

Window users start by pressing [Shift PrtSc], but nothing happens. Next, open up a word processor or start an email. Click on Edit/Paste or press [Ctrl V] on the keyboard, and like magic, the image of your screen will be pasted into your document or email. If you do not need to capture the whole screen, the same technique works for printing a single window by pressing [Alt PrtSc].

There is no print screen button on Mac keyboards, but saving a copy of your screen is even easier on Mac than Windows. Simply press [Cmd Shift 3], then look on your desktop and you should find a new image file. Pressing [Cmd Control Shift 3] captures the image to the clipboard so that it may then be pasted into a document or email as in Windows. Pressing [Cmd Shift 4] permits using the mouse to select only a part of the screen.

You may also print the screen of your smart phone or tablet. Once you know what secret buttons to press, your device will create a screen shot and save it among your other pictures. Confusingly, there seem to be as many ways of doing this as there are different models of mobile devices. The most common method is to hold down the [Volume Up] button and the [Power] button at the same time, but there is simply no standardization of this procedure across different phones. This means that to learn which secret keys you should press, you will need to go online to search out the documentation for your specific phone or tablet.

So why would anyone want to bother learning any of this? Because a picture is worth a thousand words.

Three times this week alone I have received phone calls from clients saying, “A message on my computer said something’s wrong.” When I ask them if they can enlighten me as to what “something” might be, the answer I usually hear is “I dunno” or “I don’t remember.” If the caller had taken a moment to snap a screen shot, that almost certainly would have facilitated my being able to investigate where the error message originated and what might be done about it.

Charles Miller may be contacted at 044 415 101 8528 or email FAQ8 (at)


Comments are closed

 photo RSMAtnWebAdRed13.jpg
 photo RSMAtnWebAdRed13.jpg

Photo Gallery

 photo RSMAtnWebAdRed13.jpg
Log in | Designed by Gabfire themes All original content on these pages is fingerprinted and certified by Digiprove