When writing a product review or just a simple email, I often need to capture an image from a website, a .pdf document or create a still picture from a video. Here are some quick tips on how to do that on a Windows PC.
To copy a complete screen, make sure it’s “active” or highlighted and use the combination “Alt” + “PrtScr” to save to the buffer / clipboard. Or if you want to capture your complete desktop, just hit the “PrtScr” (without any other keys). This is similar to a “Ctrl” + “c” for copying text or other selectable items. Click the mouse in the destination area and paste the image with “Ctrl” + “v”. What was visible in the browser is now copied to your document or email.
The Windows “Snipping Tool” is great for capturing a rectangle of whatever you see on the screen. This gives you a .png (Portable Network Graphics) file that you can either copy to a document or save as an image. Microsoft has a short usage explanation guide.
Maria Campbell shared this one in her article on Front End Developer Tools: A free Chrome browser, Fireshot, lets you take selected area or full webpage screenshots. You can capture, edit and save them to PDF/JPEG/GIF/PNG, upload, print, send to OneNote, clipboard or email. One nice feature is that when drawing a capture rectangle, the image size is clearly displayed so you know just how large the final capture will be.
If you need more features and editing capabilities, want to capture video and sound (e.g. Skype calls, video gaming, on-line tutorials), or create animated .gifs we can recommend two low-cost utilities. These are also available for free trial periods to test out before you buy: