There are several ways you can take a screenshot on your laptop. Major computing platforms including Windows, macOS, and Chrome OS natively give you the option to take screenshots and save the content on the screen for future use. There are many shortcuts that you can get accustomed to for taking screenshots on your laptop. You can quickly edit the screenshots you capture to crop out the useless parts and hide personal details. There are also many ways to directly share the screenshot with others, such as over email.
Apple, Google, and Microsoft have provided distinct ways through which you can take a screenshot on your laptop. There are also third-party apps that can help you take a screenshot and edit them. But you can also just use your computer’s built-in mechanism to do it.
In this article, we will give you a step-by-step guide on how to take a screenshot on your laptop. The instructions include different steps for Windows, macOS, and Chrome OS platforms to make it easy for you to capture screenshots irrespective of the make and model of your device.
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How to take a screenshot on a Windows laptop
First, we cover the steps you need to take to capture a screenshot on a Windows laptop. Microsoft has provided support for the PrtScn button to capture screenshots on Windows for quite some time. However with modern computing in place that uses graphical interfaces, Windows computers have received a preloaded Snip & Sketch app. This brings a Rectangular Snip option to let you drag the cursor around an object to form a rectangle, a free-form Snip to capture the screenshot in any shape you like, and a Window Snip to take screenshot of a particular window from multiple windows available on your system. The app also has a Fullscreen Snip option to capture the entire screen as a screenshot. The steps to take a screenshot on a Windows machine are given below. You can also skip to next section for the steps you need to take to capture a screenshot on a MacBook or any other Mac machine.
- Press Windows logo key + Shift + S together. You’ll see the snipping bar on your screen.
- Select among Rectangular Snip, Freeform Snip, Window Snip, and Fullscreen Snip.
- For Rectangular Snip and Freeform Snip, select the area you would like to capture using the mouse cursor.
- Once captured, the screenshot is saved to your clipboard automatically. Click on the notification you get after capturing the screenshot to open it on the Snip & Sketch app.
- You can make customisations and use tools to adjust your screenshot, such as crop or zoom.
- Now, click the save icon on the app to save your screenshot.
If you are an old-school Windows user, you can, of course, use the PrtScn button to save a screenshot of the entire screen on to your clipboard. You can then paste it to the MS Paint app or any other photo editor app, customise it, and save it as an image on your computer. You can also press PrtScn button along with the Windows logo key to capture and save your screenshots directly to the Pictures library on your computer.
How to take a screenshot on a MacBook or other Mac computer
Unlike a Windows computer, Mac machines don’t have a preloaded app or support for capturing screenshots using a dedicated button. Apple’s macOS, however, also has a native way to take a screenshot on MacBook and other Mac computers. Below are the steps that detail how you can do that.
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- Press Shift + Command + 3 together to take a screenshot of the entire screen.
- A thumbnail will now appear in the corner of your screen to confirm that a screenshot has been captured.
- Click on the preview of the screenshot to edit it. If you don’t want to edit it, you can wait for the screenshot to save to your desktop.
If you don’t want to capture your entire screen, you can press and hold Shift + Command + 4 keys together. This will bring a crosshair pointer that you can drag to select the part of the screen you want to capture. You can also move the selection by pressing the Space bar while dragging. You can also cancel by pressing the Esc key.
Apple also lets you take a screenshot of a window or a menu on Mac by pressing the Shift + Command + 4 + Space bar together.
By default, macOS saves screenshots to your desktop. Apple, however, allows users to change the default location of saved screenshots in macOS Mojave and later versions. It can be done from the Options menu in the Screenshot app.
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How to take a screenshot on a Chromebook
Google’s Chrome OS also has shortcuts that you can use to take a screenshot on a Chromebook. You can press Ctrl + Show Windows to take a screenshot of the full screen. You can also take a partial screenshot by pressing Shift + Ctrl + Show Windows together and then clicking and dragging the area you want to capture.
Chrome OS on tablets lets you capture screenshots by pressing the Power button and Volume down button together.
Once captured, screenshots on Chrome OS are also copied to the clipboard — just like Windows. You can paste them to an app to save them for future use.