snap8 screen caputreAfter extensive research – we talked to several people – we found that most people don’t know how to capture what they see on the computer. This is shocking but true.

Why would you want to do that in the first place? Well, if you can capture the screen image or any part of it, you can print that out, email it, use it yourself, or post it to Facebook. Somewhere in all that there may be a copyright involved; so it you think there is, don’t do it without permission.

You can capture anything you see on your computer screen. No exceptions. And there are lots of different tools for doing it. What’s more, you can add comments, include extra directions on a map, do long explanations with arrows pointing to appropriate spots. So let’s get everybody in gear.

The easiest way is to just select “Save As” after right-clicking an image. That’s it, you got it. You can also use the “snipping tool” in Windows 7 and later. After snipping, go to the file menu and select “save as.”

PCs both old and new have a “Print Screen” button on the keyboard. Sometimes it’s labeled Prt Scr, but you get the idea. Press “Alt” and then the “Print Screen” key. You just captured an image of what’s on the screen; unfortunately, you don’t see anything and will likely think that nothing whatsoever has happened. This has thrown many people, including us in the early days.

In order to see the print screen capture, open the “Paint” program that comes with all PCs. (In older PCs, find it under “Accessories.”) Select “paste” and the screen capture will appear. The equivalent Mac program is “Paintbrush,” which can be downloaded for free. To do a screen capture on the Mac, press “Cmd” and the “Shift” key, then tap the number 4. For phones, it’s usually a matter of holding down two buttons. Search on “screen shot on an Android or iPhone” for details.

If you want to go beyond the free programs, Bob recommends “CaptureWiz Pro,” $40 from Joy likes the new “Snap 8,” from, which has a tool for stripping the background from your image and placing it somewhere exotic, like New Jersey. Both have free trials.

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