by: Joseph G.
; edited by: Michael Hartman
; updated: 4/17/2012
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Taking a screenshot in windows for the first time can be a difficult proposition. In this guide, we'll give you the skinny on how you go about taking one. Oh sweet screenshot guide, here you are.
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The Mystique of the Screenie
Taking screenshots has been possible for computer users for quite a long time. Back in ye olden days, the easiest way to take a screenshot was with the Print Screen button, and to a large extent, this is still the way to go about it. But the exact procedure which is needed to get a screenshot often is not as easy to discern as one would hope, as the process for taking one isn't very straightforward.
Well let all the frustration slide - in this article, we will explain how you can go about getting a screenshot of your desktop, your favorite game, or whatever other image you wish to preserve into eternity (or until the next time you get a new hard drive).
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How to Take a Screenshot
The first step is to get the image into the clipboard. This is similar to copying text in a word processor or on the web. Once you've copied the text, it is then on the clipboard, ready for you to paste it wherever you wish to. With a screenshot, you do this by pressing the "Print Screen" button. On some keyboards, this button is labeled as the "Pr Scr" button, or some similar shortened abbreviation.
Pressing the Print Screen button saves the entire image on your monitor in your clipboard. The image is then ready to be pasted into the proper program.
You can also take a screenie of only one specific window on your desktop. You do this by selecting the window, and pressing the ALT and Print Screen buttons together. The image in the clipboard will then be of only the content in that single window.
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Paste the Cut Image & Save It To a Directory
The next step in the process of taking a screenshot in Windows XP, is to paste the data which is now in the clipboard into an image manipulation program, such as MS Paint or Photoshop. You can do this by creating a new file in your image manipulation program, then selecting Edit > Paste. This will paste the image into your program.
The final step is to save the new image, in whichever directory that you choose. You now have your screenshot.
It's worth noting that you may have to do a bit of work in your image manipulation program to make the size of the image appropriate for the size of the screenshot. In some cases you can do this when you create a new image. It's also possible to increase the work area on an image later in the process, allowing for enough room to fit the screenshot.
So, that's how you take a screenshot in Windows XP!