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Vail Tech Bytes: How do you print screen shots, Web pages?

Jessie Williams
Tech Bytes
Vail, CO Colorado

Have you ever wanted a way to take a snapshot of the content you’re viewing on your screen or wished there was a way to print a Web page without getting all the ads and clutter along with the content?

In this week’s Tech Bytes I’m going to go over a couple of neat tricks and programs that will help you accomplish both of those goals, whether you’re on a PC or Mac.

Tips for taking “screen shots” in Windows



Keyboard Shortcuts

The most basic way to capture an image of the contents of your screen is to hit the Print Screen (PrtScn) button on your computer. While it may not look like anything happened, the computer has taken a snapshot of your screen and copied it to your clipboard.

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To view the screen shot, simply open up an image-editing program and choose “Paste” from the “Edit” menu. From there you can edit and save the image. You can also paste the shot directly into most word processing and e-mail programs.

If you only want to capture a shot of an active window, and not your whole screen, hold down the Alt key while pressing the Print Screen key.

Built-In Program



If you use Windows Vista or 7, look for an application called “Snipping Tool,” which will help you do the same thing, with some other extra features built in.

Downloadable Program

If you want to take this a step further, I recommend giving SnagIt (www.snagit.com) a try. It’s a great program that allows you to capture portions of your screen, videos and even scrolled pages, and then view and edit the image right within the program. It then has a number of simple-to-use output features that allow you to save or send the final image to any of the Microsoft Office programs, Flickr, or by e-mail or instant message. There’s a free, one-month trial available, and the purchase price is $49.95.

Tips for capturing “screen shots” on a Mac

Keyboard Shortcuts

To take a screen shot of the entire contents of your screen, hold down Command + Shift +3. This will capture the image and save it as a file on your desktop.

Command + Shift + 4 brings up a selector tool that allows you to draw a box around the specific content you want to capture and then saves to the desktop. If you add a space bar to the end of that sequence, it will let you select a window to save.

Add the control key in the middle of any of the above sequences, and instead of saving the image to a file, it will copy it to the clipboard for you to then paste into an image- or document-editing program of your choice.

Built-In Program

Inside of the Utilities folder in the Applications folder on most Macs is an application called Grab. Grab works much like the Windows Snipping Tool – and screen shots are taken by choosing an option from the “Capture” menu in Grab.

Downloadable Program

I was really excited while writing this very column to learn that SnagIt has just launched a Mac version that is currently in Beta testing. Until now I haven’t found a great all-around screen capture tool for Mac, but I do use a free (with donations encouraged) program called Paparazzi! (www.derailer.org/paparazzi/) that is helpful for capturing full Web pages.

Print cleanly from Web pages

Last but not least, I wanted to highlight a neat bookmarlet I recently found that makes printing clean pages from the Web easy as pie. If you ever come across a Web site that has great content, say a recipe or song lyrics, but a lot of extra images and content sections that you don’t want to waste ink printing, try out The Printliminator (css-tricks.com/examples/ThePrintliminator/). There’s a handy how-to video on the page, and essentially it lets you click on any part of the Web page that you don’t want to print, and like magic it disappears.

Jessie Williams is the owner of Second October Media, http://www.secondoctober.com, a Web development and graphic design firm in Edwards. Have a tech question you’d like answered? E-mail her at info@secondoctober.com.


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