So, You Want To Screen Capture, Huh?

By Joe Burns

     Here's a quick tutorial about screen captures, thus the title (well... duh)! If you're not sure what a screen capture is, then think about the pages you've seen lately. Maybe some of them have had specific sections of the desktop or a program made into an image. It was almost as if they CAPTURED part of the screen as an image. (Capitalization for EMPHASIS -- it's just another of the many things I do to help.)

     Well, the person did capture part of the screen. Thus the name "screen capture." (I intend to use the phrase "thus the" at least two more times in this work.)

Be Careful of Violating Copyright Laws!

     What I'm about to show you is going to give you the ability to copy anything your computer displays, like those little Microsoft icons, among other things. But remember, those image are copyrighted. Make sure you either give credit when using the image or ask permission. Yes, you can just copy and post, but that doesn't mean it's legal. Thus the heading above. (That's once!)


Here's how you do it...

1. Get PaintShop Pro

     That is the program I will outline here. So, go get it and install it on your computer. It is shareware, which means you will be asked to send in your bucks after a month or so. But for now just grab it. The best place to download it is at http://www.shareware.com.

2. Open the Program

     You'll get a screen that says you're starting your 30-day trial. Click OK. Now there should be a screen up there with a bunch of brightly colored buttons in the upper left-hand corner. There are also Menu items. One of them is Capture. Click on it and choose Setup. It should look like this:

     That will get you this dialogue box:

3. Set Up Your Screen Capture

     That box above will allow you to set up how you want your capture to take place. The far right groupings denote what will be captured. I almost always leave it on Full Screen. The only other one I find helpful is the Area selection. That allows you to draw crop lines around the area you want to capture. For now, stay with Full Screen.

     Going to the other side -- those buttons are fairly obvious. Click to include the cursor or not or to make multiple captures.

     The area in the middle is what you're interested in to initiate the capture. That is where you set up what key will grab the screen. I have never used the right mouse key. As you can see above, I like the F11 button. But feel free to choose. You can also delay it, but I've never understood why.

Click OK to set your wishes in motion.

4. Start the Process

     Okay, now you have the Hot Key set up. In order to do the capture, go back to the Capture menu item and choose Start. It should look like this:

     The PaintShop Pro program will now minimize and become a small graphic down at the bottom of the screen.

5. Capture

     When what you want is on the screen, hit your Hot Key or your right mouse button. PaintShop Pro will come full screen again, but now the screen is there as an image. Crop out what you want. Now you have it as an image. Save it as a .gif or JPEG and put it on your page.

     All three images above were made this way.

 

     That'll do it. Enjoy and be sure to not break any laws by posting copyrighted stuff without credit or permission. It can really get you into trouble. Thus the second warning. (And that's twice!)

 


     But wait... (Posted 7/24/97)
     Here's another method of grabbing a screen from Arnar Thor Oskarsson, Web Designer; Selfoss, Iceland

Joe,

     With some window open (Netscape, your desktop, whatever), press the "Print Scrn" button on your keyboard (on my keyboard it's the one on the right side of the F12 key). Open some drawing program (Windows95 native Paint will do), click "Edit," then "Paste"... BINGO! ;-) I know this just freezes a picture of the whole screen, and if you save it as .bmp in it's original size, you're going to get a HUGE file, but it's a neat trick nevertheless. Feel free to use this on your excellent page if you like.

Greetings from Iceland,

Arnar


     But wait... (Posted 7/24/97)
     Here's a bit more information from Arnar Thor Oskarsson, Jose Manuel Dias

Joe, In your tutorial about "screen capture" there is an addendum by Arnar Thor Oskarsson that mentions the use of the "Print Scrn" key to make a capture of the screen. He also mentions that the key only "freezes a picture of the whole screen", but there is a way to capture only the current active window in the Windows 95 environment. For that, use "ALT" + "Print Scrn" (press the ALT key and at the same time the Print Scrn key), and you put an image of the active window in the clipboard; from there you can paste it in any place you want.
     Thank you very much, Joe, for an excellent site. An indispensable bookmark in my browser.


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