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How to screenshot? Why do users need to take screenshot? Is there one universal way to screenshot on different platforms? Let’s try to figure it out.

How-to screenshot

One way or another, but every person who uses a computer or any other modern gadget, whether it is a mobile phone, tablet or laptop, in the end encounters certain problems: the inability to configure the necessary program; the desire to end the annoying error message, now and then popping up on the screen; incorrect display of your favorite site and so on. The list of “troubles” that cause difficulties for in/experienced users can be huge.

In solving the difficulties that have arisen, people are forced to resort to the help of friends, specialists, or regulars in thematic forums, whom you sometimes just need to tell about the problem and for a more effective and efficient solution send back up with a screenshot. So how to screenshot on Mac, Windows, and Linux?

How to take a screenshot on Mac OS X

A Mac OS X user can create several types of screenshots using different types of Mac screenshot shortcut.

Full screen screenshot to your desktop.

The key combination for creating such screenshots is as follows: Cmd + Shift + 3. The screenshot will be saved on the computer’s desktop with a name like “Screenshot 2019-04-06 at 17.23.04.png”.

Screenshot of a part of the screen.

A screenshot of a separate part of the screen is perhaps the most popular type of screenshots. After pressing the key combination Cmd + Shift + 4, the user should select the desired area of ​​the screen. The finished screenshot will be available on the desktop.

Screenshot of the active program window.

In this case, the finished screenshot will also be saved to the desktop. To create a similar screenshot, press the key combination Cmd + Shift + 4 + Space.

Screenshots on macOS Mojave.

Starting with Mojave, Apple adds one more combination for taking screenshots, namely: Command(⌘) + Shift(⇧) + 5.

This universal tool allows you to either select the desired area, the entire screen or window as well as record a screencast of the screen.

Save screenshots to clipboard.

You can save screenshots to the clipboard, then paste, for example, in any graphics editor by adding Ctrl button to the combinations above.

Taking a screenshot Windows 7 guide

The standard way of taking a screenshot on any Windows operating system is practically the same and Windows 7 is not an exception. However, this operating system has such an interesting tool, as Snipping Tool. Let's take a closer look.

  1. To get started, open this program. To do this, go to the Start menu/Accessories/Snipping Tool.
  2. When you start this program a small window will appear on the screen with the following buttons located on the menu: New; Cancel; Options.
  3. Click on the New button, which contains the drop-down list. Here are the following tools: Free form snip; Rectangular snip; Window snip; Full-screen snip.
    • If you select the “Free Form” option, you can choose with the mouse the desired area of a different shape for a screenshot.
    • If you choose the option “Rectangular” it means that by using the mouse, you can make a direct-selection.
    • The “Window ” option allows you to make a screen of an active window now. To capture the entire screen use the option “Full-screen snip”.

How to take screenshot on Windows XP

Let’s start with the question of how to screenshot on a Windows XP computer.

  1. To create it, press the Print Screen button sometimes it is called Prnt Scrn (on the top-right corner of your keyboard) and the screenshot of the entire screen will be saved to the clipboard.
  2. If you want to capture the screenshot of the selected area, hold down the ALT button and press simultaneously the Print Screen button. Thus you will capture only the selected area. Please remember to select the desired area beforehand.
  3. Next, select one of the standard products. To do this, click on the Start menu button and go to the All programs folder. For the list of the available programs there choose and click on Paint.
  4. In the open window, go to Edit in the menu tab. This item is located in the upper part of the working window of the program. Then select Paste.
  5. After that, the screenshot will be moved to the Paint window from the clipboard. And even though the Paint is a fairly simple program still you can perform some basic editing.

Creating screenshot Windows 10 guide

Windows 10 has a lot of functional capabilities as in the general plan, as well as in creating screenshots.

  1. You can screenshot on PC by using a familiar combination of the Windows + Print Screen buttons. In this case, the system automatically saves the file with the extension of PNG in the Screenshots folder. To open it, click on the My Computer tab, and then Images.
  2. Another way is to use Windows + H buttons. In this case, the picture is stored in the cloud. In the right part of the screen, a side panel will open, where you can choose the option to use for the taken screenshot.
  3. To make and edit the screenshot press Print Screen button. In this case, the image will be saved to the clipboard. Open the standard Paint and with the combination of the buttons Ctrl + V, put it in the open window of the program. If necessary, perform some editing and save it.
  4. How to screenshot an active window? It is possible by using the combination of Alt + Print Screen. When these buttons are pressed at the same time, the screenshot of the active window will be made at the moment of pressing. A very convenient way of not taking a picture of the whole screen. This option will help those who got used to working with a large number of open windows.
  5. To take a screenshot, you can also use the standard Snipping Tool program. This method was described earlier in “Taking a screenshot Windows 7 guide” paragraph.

How to screenshot on Android devices

To take a screenshot of Android smartphone or tablet, just like on a computer, press certain combination of buttons. This is a universal way for all versions of Android, starting from 4.0. So how to make an Android screenshot?

Press Power and Volume Down buttons at the same time and hold them a little in this position. After 1-2 seconds, you will hear the shutter sound of the camera. It means the screenshot is ready. After that, the system will automatically save it in the directory / Settings / Screenshots or / Pictures / ScreenCapture of the device’s internal memory.

This method works on phones and tablets of any manufacturers no matter if it is Nexus, Fly, Motorola, Sony Xperia, ZTE, Huawei, or etc. The only condition is that the device must have an Android version 4.0 or higher installed, the rest is not important. However, some manufacturers of mobile devices, seeking to make life easier for their users, are developing additional ways to take screenshot.

How to take a screenshot on iPhone

This method is called universal because it works on the vast majority of Apple devices, namely iPhone 8, iPhone 7, iPhone 6, iPhone 5, 5s, 4, 4s, 3. The exceptions are first-generation iPhones, iPhone X and higher.

  1. To take a screenshot of the iPhone screen, just press the combination of the Lock button plus Home, hold it and release for a second. During the creation of the screenshot, the device emits a sound that resembles a click on the shutter of the camera and the screen “winks” (to be more precise, the screen turns white for a second - it simulates a flash). The finished picture is saved in one folder with photos taken by the camera.
  2. As for iPhone X and the latest iOS phones, you should press and hold the Sleep button and Volume up button for a while. After that release them. A thumbnail of the iPhone screenshot is displayed in the lower-left corner of the display. If you click on the icon, you can edit the picture. If you press and hold the picture, you can share it.

How to take a screenshot on Linux

In fact, Linux is not a standalone operating system. This is some basis on which dozens of other similar and completely different operating systems and Linux distributions are built. However, very often all distributions use the same shells. There are no standard tools for creating screenshots in the operating systems of the Linux family, but working environments provide their own utilities for these purposes. Consider the most common Linux desktop environments:


When you press the Print Screen button in the KDE working environment, the KSnapshot program opens, which allows you to take and save a screenshot to disk or to the clipboard, and also transfer it to a graphical editor for further processing.


The GNOME shell allows you to take screenshot of the entire screen (by pressing the Print Screen button) or part of it (by pressing the Alt + Print Screen combination) by using the gnome-screenshot utility. The resulting image can be saved or “dragged” to the desktop or to a graphical editor.

Xfce 4

In Xfce, screenshots are created in a similar way to GNOME and KDE, but with one difference - the xfce4-screenshooter utility is used for this purpose.

Special programs to screenshot on PC

Special programs for creating screenshots are divided into paid and free. The advantage of them over the standard variants is the great variety of additional features. For example, editing an image, adding arrows, frames, and other special effects. Each of the programs has its advantages and disadvantages. Let’s take a look at some of them.


Lightshot screen capture

It is a free and intuitive program that allows you to take screenshot of a computer or laptop screen. The program allows the user to select the area of the screen you want to take. The resulting screenshot can be edited, add inscriptions and marks to it. Downloading a screenshot to the cloud is also available to provide access to other people.


Jing screen capture

Jing is an easy free tool for quickly creating screenshots and recording video from the screen, which makes it possible to quickly upload a newly created snapshot or recorded video to the Internet and immediately share a link to this image with a friend, work colleague or client. So if you want to know how to screenshot and have the ability to share via the Internet take a closer look at Jing.


Fraps screen capture

Fraps is one of the best programs that allows you to record videos and take screenshot from the game. The utility is popular among gamers due to its many advantages. Among the advantages of the Fraps utility are the presence of a free version, which is not much different from the paid one, the ability to configure hotkeys for each action performed, the ability to install FPS video at your discretion, minimum system resources, very easy to use, etc.


Joxi screen capture

Joxi is another free screenshoter with the ability to edit and save received screenshots to the cloud. In terms of functionality, this application is very similar to LightShot, however, Joxi has one important function - the ability to share the received screenshots on social networks.


Sangit screen capture

A very popular screen capture program. It has a huge number of settings and all kinds of options, for example, the ability to take screenshot of a specific area, the entire screen, a separate screen, scrollable screens, converting one image format to another, convenient editor that allows you to accurately crop the screen, make an overlay of arrows, watermarks, change the size of the screen, etc.

How to take a screenshot in a browser

In some cases, you can take screenshots with built-in tools, and in others, you will have to install special extensions or plug-ins.

Built-in Google Chrome functionality

In the latest versions of Chrome, a built-in functionality has appeared for creating a screenshot of the entire page.

  1. Open the necessary site and call the Developer Tools panel. To invoke it, simultaneously press Shift + Ctrl + I.
  2. In the upper part of the panel, look for 3 vertical points - an additional menu.
  3. Select the “Capture full size screenshot” item. The image will be saved in the download folder.

Built-in Firefox functionality

New versions of FireFox also have the ability to quickly create a snapshot of a full page.

  1. On the top panel, next to the site address, find three points and select "Take a screenshot" from the context menu.
  2. The next step is to choose the option of the image - part of the page or in full.
  3. Next, save the result.

FireShot. Perhaps the most powerful and multi-functional add-on for screenshots of the site in the Mozilla Firefox browser.

Fireshot addon

Awesome Screenshot. Add-on for Mozilla, Chrome or Safari, which allows you to take a screenshot of the site or the visible area and make some notes on it.

Awesome Screenshot addon

Webpage screenshots, qSnap or Joxi are several extensions available for Opera and Chrome browsers.

qSnap addon

Web services for taking screenshots of site pages

Nowadays there are a large number of different services that will help to take screenshot of any page without any complicated actions or even test for cross-browser compatibility.


Comparium interface screen

Comparium is a simple online service for checking cross-browser compatibility. The service performs testing in most popular browsers and their versions and different operating systems, namely Windows, macOS and Linux. The service can run tests in parallel saving time for other tasks. All the taken results are reported automatically to your email. Simply add in the URL and the results won’t take much time.


CrossBrowserTesting interface screen

Paid service for checking cross-browser compatibility of online sites, supporting many browsers, operating system versions, screen resolutions and types of mobile devices. By making combinations of the available options, you can verify the correct functioning of your website on almost any device with any screen resolution in any browser.


Browserstack interface screen

Another paid service with a 30-minute trial and the ability to install local software for testing cross-browser compatibility, supporting 7 popular browsers of different versions and many emulated mobile devices.


Saucelabs interface screen

In this multifunctional service, you can also check the cross-browser site online. There is a substantially limited trial version. A paid subscription makes it possible to use automation checks. The number of supported browsers, screen sizes, and devices is satisfactory - about 700 combinations.


Browsershots interface screen

It is a web service that takes screenshots of your site in different operating systems and browsers (more than 130+ browsers and platforms are available: Linux, Windows, Mac OS, Gecko, KHTML / WebKit). Moreover, it is possible to additionally set some options: screen resolution, color depth, enable or disable Javascript, Java, Flash.

Frequently Asked Questions: How to screenshot