How To Take A Screen Shot: Windows, Mac OS X And Linux

If you need to capture an image of your screen so that you can post it to the Web, here’s how:


  1. Hold down the Alt key and press the Print Screen key. On most desktop PC keyboards, Print Screen is on the top row of keys, to the right of the F12 key.
  2. Open Paint: Start –> All Programs –> Accessories –> Paint.
  3. Choose Edit –> Paste.
  4. Choose File –> Save As …
  5. The Save dialog box comes up.
    1. From the Save as type: pull-down menu, select JPEG.
    2. Select a save location and give the file a meaningful name.
    3. Click Save.
  6. Quit Paint. The screenshot JPG is located wherever you saved it, with whatever name you gave it.

Mac OS X

  1. Hold down the Command and Shift keys, then press the 3 key. The screen shot is automatically saved to your desktop as a PNG.
    1. Some free image hosts only allow JPGs to be uploaded.
    2. You can either convert the PNG to a JPG using iPhoto or a similar image-editing program, or change to JPG the format OS X uses for saving screenshots. To permanently change the format of OS X screen shots to JPG:
      1. Open Terminal: Applications/Utilities/
      2. Enter the following at the prompt: defaults write type jpg
      3. Log out, then log back in again, for the change to take effect.


  1. Most Linux distros come with imagemajick. To take a screenshot with imagemajick via the command line: import -window root screenshot.jpg. The screen shot is located in your home directory.
  2. You can also use GIMP to take a screenshot: File –> Acquire –> Screen Shot.


  1. I held down the Alt. key and pressed the Print Screen key, but Home is the same key as the Print Screen key and when I do this, it takes me back to my home page. What do I do?

  2. hey, Doug V> got the picture of a webpage in paint but I can’t get rid of it. Every time I hit paste in paint, there it is. Sorry for whining, I just spent an hour + then got your ip (?) off of the web page> yeah, it was yours, I’m trying to learn from the best! Any help would be great! JIMA

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