4 Ways to Take a Screenshot in Windows 11
A screenshot is a useful aid for explaining complex topics. As the adage goes, a picture is worth a thousand words, after all. And we at MUO have to take a lot of screenshots to ensure our articles are as easy to follow as possible.
Whether it be a screenshot of the whole screen or just the screen-clip of a specific area, you have numerous options available. In this article, we’ll cover the different ways you can capture screenshots in Windows 11.
1. Take Windows 11 Screenshot With Snipping Tool
The Snipping tool is a free in-built tool first introduced by Microsoft in the year 2002 as PowerToy, a set of free utilities intended for Windows power users. A lightweight program with minimalist design, this is the best in-built app if you’re in a rush and want to "cut out" a quick screenshot of a specific area.
To capture your screen with the Snipping Tool, navigate to Start menu search bar, type in ‘snipping tool,’ and select the Best match.
The Snipping tool app will be launched. Now click on New, and you’ll be taken to the screenshot overlay.
At the top of the Snipping tool overlay, you’ll see different ways to capture your screenshots: Rectangle Snip, Freeform Snip, Window Snip, Fullscreen Snip, and more.
Choose your preferred screenshot method, select the area that you want to capture, and release the cursor. Your screenshot will be successfully captured.
On the app’s main screen, you also have a feature to delay your screenshot. Navigate to Time before snip option (clock icon), click on No delay, and you’ll get a drop-down of different options to choose from.
2. Use Keyboard Shortcuts
If you don’t want to boot up a tool every time you want to take a screenshot, try one of these keyboard shortcuts for a faster time.
Take a Screenshot With the PrtSc Key
If you want a quick and easy screenshot, press the PrtSc key. That’s it—a screen clip of your entire Windows 11 will be captured. However, note that the PrtSc will simply capture and save the image in the clipboard, instead of saving it as PNG screenshot image.
This method comes handy if you want to attach a screenshot image in an email, or, if you’d like to edit the image first before saving it.
And when you want to convert this image into a proper screenshot, you’ll first have to open an image editing app, paste the screenshot there and then save it.
Take a Screenshot with Win + PrtSc
Use this shortcut when you want to screen clip the entire Windows 11 screen. Simply press the Windows key along with PrtSc, and like with all Windows screenshots, when you’re done, you’ll find the screenshots saved in the Pictures folder, inside the Screenshots folder.
Use the Alt + PrtSc to Capture the Current Window
If you’re someone who likes to have multiple tabs and programs open on your screen, the above methods of clipping the whole screen might not be a suitable method for you. Not if you’re looking for that particular effect itself, at least.
To get around this issue, you can use the Alt + PrtSc shortcut. This awy, you’ll only get the screenshot of an active Window, instead of multiple tabs open on your screen.
3. Take Screenshots With the Xbox Game Bar
Xbox Game Bar is another free tool from Microsoft, introduced back in 2016 along with the Vista update.
Although Microsoft originally introduced the tool to help gamers record their game plays, they’ve also added a dearth of additional features in it, including screenshot capabilities.
To get started, press the Win + G. This will open the Game Bar overlay on your screen. Alternatively, you can also type in ‘game bar’ in the Start menu search bar and select the Best match from there.
From there, navigate to the Capture section in the top-left corner and click on the Take screenshot option (the camera icon); your screenshot will be captured, and you’ll also get a notification on the right side of your screen, indicating the same.
By default, the screenshot will be saved to the Videos/Captures folder.
4. Take Screenshots With Third-Party Apps
As good as the Windows in-built screenshot tools are, sometimes, good isn’t enough. Thankfully, though, there’s no shortage of handy, third-party options for Windows users. Here, we’ll focus on two open-source apps: ShareX and GIMP.
ShareX was first released in October 2007 as a free and open-source screenshot tool for Windows computers. Since then, it has slowly and steadily risen in popularity. In fact, we’ve even covered it in our best Windows screenshots app article a while back.
We’ve gone into its features in length in the above guide, so here we’ll just stick with setting up the app and taking your first screenshot with it.
First off, go to the official ShareX website, download and install the app from there.
When you launch the app, you will find different shortcuts that will screen clip your computer on the main menu, as per your choice and requirements.
On the left-hand side, you’ll find multiple settings to try out from. For instance, if you click on Tools, you’ll find a multitude of editing options to pick from: Color picker, Screen color picker, Image editor, etc.
Similarly, there’s an option of After capture tasks, which lets you preset the things you’d like to do with your screenshot after they’ve been captured.
Would you like to save the file, or do you prefer to save it on a clipboard? Or, instead of saving them at all, maybe you’d like to open the image in an editor instead?
You can do all of this, and more, right from the main menu of ShareX.
GNU Image Manipulation Program, short for GIMP, is another free, open-source app that can help you take screenshots in Windows 11. Although, because of its demonstrable advanced features it’s often touted as more of an editing tool, you can’t go wrong with setting it up as your default screenshot method, especially if editing is big on your requirements.
If you’d like to learn more about editing with GIMP, check out our guide on introduction to GIMP editing.
To get started with GIMP, head over to the GIMP downloads section to download and install the app.
- Now launch the app and from the main menu, navigate to File > Create > Screenshot.
- On the next window, choose the settings you’d like to go with and click on Snap.
Also, make sure you’ve delayed the screenshot just by a few seconds. This lets you switch screens and bring on the window you actually want to capture; otherwise, you will end up with a screenshot of the GIMP app itself.
If everything looks good, you can save the screenshot from File > Export As, choose a location, set the image name and type, and click on Export. Your screenshot will be saved successfully.
Taking Screenshots in Windows 11
Screenshots are a useful aid if you have to explain a difficult topic to your audience. Be it some Windows error, some reference for a presentation, or something similar, a screenshot will instantly deliver the picture of what you want to say, which might otherwise take multiple paragraphs of texts.
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October 14, 2021 at 11:49AM