Taking a screenshot is a common task with computers. Sometimes referred to as a screen dump, snapshot or screen capture – a screenshot is an image that is created from a software program or the operating system. It allows you to capture an image of what your computer screen (or just a section) looks like at a given point in time and then send that image to others, it can be saved as an image file such as a GIF or JPEG, manipulated, or printed.
There are several ways to capture a screenshot, often each of these methods depend on what computer operating system you are using and what you intend to take a screenshot of. Below is a listing of all the different ways to create screenshots.
Microsoft Windows users and most other operating systems:
The simplest way to take a screenshot is to press the print-screen (sometimes shortened to PrtScn or something similar) key on the keyboard. This takes a screenshot of the full screen and places it into the computer clipboard (temporary memory). Once in the clipboard, paste that screenshot into Microsoft Paint or other image editor.
Pressing and holding the ALT key while pressing the print screen key will take a screenshot of the current active window, instead of the full screen.
Microsoft Windows Vista (not home basic) and Windows 7 users can use the Snipping Tool (Start -> All Programs -> Accessories -> Sniping Tool) to more effectively take screenshots.
These are some more detailed instructions:
1. Set up the screen the way you want it. Remember that unless you use Alt + Print-Screen (which captures only the current Window) the WHOLE screen will be captured so it will save the task bar and any other things you can visually see on your screen.
2. Press the Print-Screen key on the keyboard to capture the image. Often nothing visual will happen at this point.
3. Open up an image editor or another program that can support images (Microsoft Word or many email applications will work fine). If you’re not sure what to use, use Microsoft Paint (Start -> Programs -> Accesories -> Paint).
4. From the ‘Edit’ menu, choose ‘Paste’ or press Ctrl+V as a shortcut.
5. Save the image and then either attach it to an email or print it out depending on what you need to do with it.
For more Information:
What is a browser?
Lets start at the very beginning. A very good place to start:
A browser (also known as a web browser or internet browser) is a software application for retrieving and viewing information from the Internet. You’re probably reading this page through a browser.
It is NOT the operating system that your computer runs on like Microsoft Windows or Mac OS.
It is NOT a website or section of the internet like www.google.com or www.facebook.com
There’s more than one?
Many people I talk to use Microsoft Internet Explorer (also known as IE) simply because it comes built into Microsoft Windows and they don’t know about the alternatives or are too lazy to be bothered.
There are alternatives. I’ll list a few of them below. And you should check them out. In most cases they are more secure, faster and easier to use than Internet Explorer. And many have extra features that will suit your needs better than Internet Explorer.
All browsers are not created equal but the are created similarly. The all have a basic set of core features you will find in any browser – ability to view most pages, bookmarks etc. Most have a common interface with the menu at the top, address bar just below that, then a large area for viewing websites and a status bar at the bottom.
Pick and Mix
It is entirely possible to have more than one browser installed, working and in use at the same time. In some cases it is even possible to have various version of the same browser installed at the same time.
Many people do this as some pages work better on one browser than another.
And web designers often have multiple browsers installed for testing how their web pages are displayed on different browsers.
You do have to pick a default browser and most will remind you if they are not the default. But you can change your mind over time and make other browsers the default in the future. And having Chrome as the default, won’t stop you from also running IE and Firefox whenever you feel like it.
Keep it secure
Because they are used for accessing the internet, browsers are often the most widely targeted entrance way into your computer from virus writers and malware. Most developers keep their browsers updated regularly and release patches as vunerabilities are discovered. But you need to keep the browser up to date or ensure that it is being updated. Most browsers have this ability built in is usually run automatically. But it pays to make sure you are up to date and to and get an anti-virus program to improve your security.
Internet Explorer isn’t all bad and some of the latest versions have caught up on the competition and even over-taken them on certain areas. If you are sensible about your browsing habits and keep it up to date, it should work acceptably for you.
That said, I have found, and various websites and blogs will back me up, that it can be very slow and sometimes frustrating to get it to work on certain sites. Microsoft also has a history of being slow to patch vulnerabilities and trying to set the standards in the hope that everyone will follow them, rather than supporting the standards that are already in place.
Firefox has long been the browser of choice among those ‘in the know’. It has many of the popular features. It is fast, secure, has tabs, a pop-up blocker, great in-page searching and very good standards compliance.
It also boasts a great framework for customising the browser with themes and adding third-party extensions that can extend the features of the browser.
These add-ons are brilliant, usually tiny and quick to install. They allow you to do more with your browser and make it much more flexible to your tastes. You can alter anything from the look and feel of the browser through to it’s management of bookmarks, downloads, proxy information etc.
The extendability of Firefox can also be a negative though. The add-ons trade extended function for speed and it can slow down dramatically if you install many of these extensions.
If you want a simple, secure, easy to customise alternative, you can’t go too far wrong with Firefox.
Chrome is Google’s entrant into the browser wars. It was designed to shake things up and challenge other browser makers to lift their game. Because if there are more people using the internet and getting a better experience from it, then it’s a win for Google.
It has a spartan appearance with as little clutter as possible. Most of the appeal of Chrome comes from under the hood. The engine that it uses for displaying web pages is quick, and with java and web applications – even quicker. It also runs each tab in a separate process. Which won’t mean much unless you’re a geek, but translates to Chrome being harder to crash because if one tab crashes, it only takes out that tab, not the whole application.
As well as being a kick in the pants to other browser developers, Google wants to develop Chrome as a solid platform for launching internet based applications. These are becoming more and more popular and Google wants to have a big say in the environment in which these are run.
Like IE is the default browser for Microsoft Windows, Safari is the default browser of the Mac Operating System that runs on Apple computers. However, there is now also a Windows version as well.
Apple is well known for making good looking applications. And Safari is no exception. It includes the cover flow and looks very impressive when flicking between tabs. However, because it has only recently made it into the world of Windows some say that they haven’t quite nailed the Windows look and feel and that some pages will appear odd in Safari.
It doesn’t however, appear to have these issues on the Mac OS and has a wide following there for being a default browser with very few major flaws. The later versions also have provided welcome and long coming support for extensions.
Opera is a browser that had a lot of potential but doesn’t seem to have much focus. It has heaps of features and is often leading the way in terms of new trends. It was the first browser to introduce tabs for example. And now has mobile versions for smart phones and the Nintendo DS among devices.
Some say it is not particularly good at rendering some websites because it uses its own custom rendering algorithm. This means that developers, and sometimes users, need to have Opera workarounds for various sites. Some also find the interface complicated and cluttered.
But that may be the way you like to work and if having all the latest bells and whistles is vital, then check out Opera.
Flock is essentially Firefox with a whole bunch of social networking features bolted on. It means you can check your facebook, Yahoo, Twitter feeds and chat with friends in the same application that you use for browsing. It’s built on the strong Firefox base so most of the framework for this browser is solid.
Whether you like this browser will come down to whether you are comfortable giving up a simple interface and some of your screen real estate for social networking features.
These are the main contenders at the time of writing but that doesn’t mean there aren’t many more. Check out Wikipedia’s complete list here for a more comprehensive list.
The best browser for you will depend on who you are. There is no “one browser to rule them all”. What do you want from the internet and how you use it? Try some of them out and see what you like. If one browser does everything you need and has no drawbacks for you, then use that. If you want to pick and mix the best features between 2 or more browsers, then do that.
What do I use?
I generally use Firefox for my day to day browsing. I use Chrome if a website isn’t playing nicely in Firefox or I want a hit of speed. I have all of these browsers installed (with the exception of Flock) for my web design work and to keep up with current trends.