February 8, 2023

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Screenshot: Meaning, How to Take a Screenshot & Uses

A screenshot, also referred to as a screengrab or screencap, is a picture showing a computer’s or phone screen’s contents. Screenshots allow users to capture what they see on their screen and share it with others or save it as a reference. 

It can be extremely helpful to capture, save and share screenshots. They help prove arguments, archive the past, or explain the steps needed to be taken to use a product. For instance, you can screenshot your computer or phone screen flashing a weird error message and send it to your technician or IT department. Or, you can screenshot snippets that cannot be printed easily. Keep scrolling to learn more about screenshots. 

How to Take a Screenshot?

  • Windows – Take a screenshot on your computer by pressing the PrtSc button on the keyboard. This will take a screenshot of the entire screen, and the image will be saved to the clipboard. To screenshot an active window, press Alt + PrtSc. You must paste (Control + V) the copied photo on Paint, Word, or other image editing program to view, edit and save the screen capture. 
  • macOS – Take a screenshot of the entire screen by pressing the Command + Shift + 3 keys. The captured image is automatically saved on the desktop. To capture a selected part of the screen, press Command + Shift + 4. For more screenshot options, press Command + Shift + 5. If you wonder how to delete screenshot on Mac, you can find the captured image on your desktop. Delete the file and then empty the Trash. 
  • Android – On an Android phone or tablet, you can capture the screen by pressing the power and volume down buttons simultaneously.
  • iOS – Press the volume up + sleep or wake buttons on the iPhone X and newer to capture the screen. On the iPhone 8 and newer, press the home + sleep or wake buttons to capture the screen. 
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Additionally, you can use screen capturing programs like Camtasia, Screenflick, SnagIt, etc. These programs offer several benefits, such as:

  • Automatically names and saves screenshots to specific folders 
  • Offers a host of markup tools that add arrows, callouts, text annotations, and shapes to screenshots
  • Auto-scroll function to easily capture long documents or web pages 

The Different Uses of Screenshots 

  • Records movements on the screen for comprehensible presentations 

If you want to take a client or team member through a step-by-step process, using a screenshot is a good idea. Explaining processes with screenshots is easier and takes less time than emails because it is more visual. 

Screenshots break down the steps into a simple flow so that the client or team member can easily understand what they must do. 

Recording the screen’s movements is helpful when you are giving a tour of the company website, demonstrating products, or creating how-to videos. 

  • Back up issues with a screen capture 

If you encounter an issue while working on the Internet, capturing the screen is the best way to create a record of the problems you face. This will help you record everything on the screen accurately, so it is easier to show the technical expert or coworker. You might not know the specific jargon to describe the problem you have encountered on the screen, and that’s when screenshots come in handy. 

The technical expert or the IT department can use the screenshot to understand the issue you are facing and provide you with tips to solve it. 

  • Used for training remote teams 
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Today, companies are increasingly using video capture as instructional materials. Since most employees work remotely, screen and video captures are used to train them. So you no longer have to send long texts or emails to your coworkers. Instead, you can send step-by-step screenshots, which will also be better for their understanding. 

A sequence of screenshots can help break down the complex processes and make it easier for the new coworker to follow and implement them. Moreover, screenshots help train new employees to handle problems when they face them. 

  • Collaborate with others 

If you want input from your team members regarding the new website page you have designed, it would be best to send them a screenshot. Whether it is a brochure, logo, or graphic design, you can capture the screen and quickly share it with your colleagues. This saves you from having to write a lengthy email with edits. A screenshot is enough, and then you can get instant feedback. 

The Bottom Line 

Screenshots come in handy and allow you to capture everything you see on the screen. You can share or edit the image before sending it so your personal details are blurred. You can use screenshots to collaborate with your team or to share something funny you came across on the Internet. So don’t forget to learn how to take screenshots on your phone and computer.