Unlike Windows Vista, Windows XP doesn’t have a great screen snipping tool. That being the case, it’s still possible to take Screen Shots, Screen Capture, or Screen Snip in Windows XP; it’s just not as easy OR sexy.
Using the process below, I’ll demonstrate a few ways to capture virtually any image you see on your screen, whether you want to snip your entire screen or just a single window. Windows XP is all you need, no additional tools or applications are required (however in the next article I will demonstrate the process from a few of my Favorite Screen Shot/Snipping Tools. Some free, some not free).
1. The first step is to know what it is that you want to capture, in this case, let’s capture our Solitaire score.
Now that you have a picture of something on your screen that you want to save, locate your keyboard button labeled Print Screen (also sometimes called Prnt Scrn.) Look for this button on the top-right corner of your keyboard.
2. Press Print Screen and your computer will save an image copy of your entire screen to what is called the Clipboard.*
2.a – If you DON’T want to capture the full screen, Select the window you wish to capture and Hold Down the ALT key while simultaneously pressing the Print Screen button. This action will capture ONLY the selected Window.
*Unless you have a custom program installed, the Clipboard will only hold one copied item at a time.
The next thing to do is to save the image to your hard drive. The most common and most simple way of doing this is using MSpaint.* Typically there is a shortcut in your start menu called “Paint” and clicking on it will open the program. On the other hand, a sure way of doing this is following step #3
3. Click Start and then click Run. Once the Run window is open, type mspaint in the open text box.
*There are many other programs capable of this action, however, they must be purchased and installed separately (Microsoft Outlook, Microsoft Word, etc…). MSpaint is included and installed with Windows for free.
4. Click Edit in the menu tab, then click Paste
Keyboard TIP: You can also use a keyboard shortcut by pressing holding the Ctrl key and simultaneously pressing the V key on your keyboard to paste the image into MSPaint
5. Click the File menu tab, then click Save.
6. Select a File Name and File Type, (I highly recommend choosing .jpeg/.jpg for file size purposes) and Click Save
TIP: In this example, I clicked on the Desktop Icon to save the file to a familiar location on my computer. You can, however, choose to save the file anywhere you desire.
All done! You now have a Groovy Screen Snip, or Screen Shot saved to your computer!