How to take screenshots like a pro

Not only magazine editors make screenshots galore, gamers, teachers, IT people and guest speakers also benefit from good screenshots. After all, with such a recording of your screen you can indicate which actions someone should follow or what a certain interface looks like.

Screenshots on your computer

Tip 01: Windows tools

You don't need any special software at all to quickly take a screenshot in Windows. Simultaneously press the Windowsbutton and Print Screenbutton (or PrtScn) on your keyboard to capture a full screen. Windows 7 copies the result to the clipboard, so you can paste the screenshot into a document or file using the key combination Ctrl+V. Also read: How to do it: Take screenshots on all your devices.

In Windows 8.1, the file is automatically saved in the folder C:\Users\[username]\Images\Screenshots named Screenshot(sequential number).png. Don't want to capture the entire screen, but only the active window? Then use the key combination Alt+PrintScreen. Again, Windows 7 just copies the image to the clipboard and Windows 8 saves it again in the aforementioned Screenshots folder.

And to just copy a screenshot to your clipboard without saving it, just use the PrintScreen button. Then you can paste it into any program you want.

With the standard tool Snipping Tool from the start menu, however, you have a few more options. Here you can choose which shape your clipping should have: for example, rectangular or a free-to-draw shape. After taking the screenshot, you can save it, send it by e-mail, draw directions, highlight pieces of text or erase parts.

Tip 02: Freeware PicPick

Do you want more options than what Windows offers as standard? Then you should give PicPick a chance. Surf to and click through to Download to install the software. In the home screen, you can: Screen Capture indicate exactly what you want to capture. In addition to a full screen, an active window or a specific region, there are also somewhat more advanced options. This is how you can with Windows Control very easy to define buttons and bars.

To capture entire web pages, the option is Scrolling Window ideal and via Fixed Region you can first set a certain size, for example 600 x 450 pixels. This is especially useful if you want to take a series of screenshots with exactly the same dimensions. Also useful are the extras under Graphic Accessories. Thanks to magnifier For example, you get a magnifying glass in the picture to work very accurately and Pixel Ruler gives you a virtual ruler. You can stamp the screenshot via PicPick Editor. You can also add text. Do you want to blur certain parts? Then first make a selection and then choose blur or Pixelate. Satisfied? Then you save the screenshot or share it via Dropbox, Google Drive, OneDrive,, Facebook, Twitter and Skype.

Zoom effect in Photoshop

Do you want to emphasize something specific in a screenshot? This can be done in a beautiful way by means of a magnifying glass. Especially for Photoshop (Elements) users, there is the free assistant Loupe from the British creative community Premium Pixels. After you have downloaded the psd file, all you need to do is replace the screenshot from the sample file with your own screenshot. Flip the menus allowed and base image open in the layers window and replace the layers img and img large by your own files. The end result is very neat.

Tip 03: Green shot

The open source application Greenshot is also recommended for Windows users. Greenshot's strengths? It nestles in the system tray and is virtually invisible. You simply click on the button with green G in the bar or use the usual shortcuts. Capture a region, window, web page (with URL preservation) or entire screen and then edit the result by adding text, numbered labels or stamps, highlighting with a highlighter or making parts unrecognizable. Finished? Then you share the screenshots via a number of services including Dropbox, Flickr and

Tip 04: SnagIt for pros

Do you need a truly professional tool? Then you need SnagIt 12 for Windows or SnagIt 3 for Mac. This software from TechSmith costs $49.95 (approx. 46 euros), but is absolutely worth the investment. After all, you get all the tools at your fingertips to create, edit and share professional screenshots and screencasts.

For example, it is possible to save web pages as PDF while preserving URLs, you can easily capture Windows menus and there is a timer function. Also in terms of editing, TechSmith offers a lot of interesting functions. You can add speech bubbles, arrows, stamps, frames and sequence numbers, it is possible to blur parts and there are special effects that give screenshots a 3D effect, add shadows, change the perspective or use reflections and color filters. The possibilities to share your creations are also endless. Facebook, Twitter, Evernote, Google Drive, Microsoft Office applications, your own ftp server ... it's all possible. Thanks to the trial version, you can try the software completely free of charge for fifteen days.

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