If you’ve ever wanted to take a screenshot of your desktop on your Windows PC or Mac, this tutorial will show you a couple of ways you can do so.
The first two methods are built into the operating systems themselves, while the third (and most robust) method requires that you install a program.
Print Screen (Windows)
Most Windows PC keyboards include a Print Screen (“PRTSC”) key. When you press this key, an image of your entire screen will be copied to your clipboard. You can then open up your favorite image manipulation program (Paint, Photoshop, GIMP, etc.), create a new document, and press Ctrl+V to paste your screenshot into the document.
Then just crop, edit, and save to your liking!
Note: If you are using multiple monitors, the PRTSC function will take a screenshot of both monitors. If you want more control over your screenshot, check out Jing below.
Print Screen (Mac)
The Print Screen function on OS X is similar to that of Windows, but it provides a few additional options.
There are three built-in methods to take a screenshot on your Mac:
Method 1: Press Command+Shift+3. An image of your entire screen will be saved to your desktop.
Method 2: To capture a select portion of your screen, press Command+Shift+4, then click and drag your cursor to select an area of your desktop. Once you release your mouse, the screenshot will be saved to your desktop.
Method 3: To capture a specific application window, press Command+Shift+4, then press the space bar. Then simply click on the window you’d like to capture. The screenshot will be saved to your desktop.
Jing (Windows Or Mac)
My favorite way to take screenshots is by using a free program called Jing. It adds a small orb at the top of your screen that’s always there; when you hover over it, it expands to let you take a screenshot of your entire desktop, a single window, or a custom selection of your choice. After you’ve taken a screenshot, you can add effects like arrows, frames, highlighting, and text—all within the Jing interface. After you’re happy with your screenshot, you can save it to your hard drive or upload it instantly to Screencast.com so you can easily share it with others.
Jing also supports video screencasting, if you need to record a video of your desktop.