taking and saving screen shots

(updated 12 March 2014)

A screen shot is a picture of your computer screen, in whole or in part. For example, a few screen shots I have used on my blog:

Screen shots are helpful when you need to incorporate what you see on web pages into essays, blogs, videos, and other documents you are creating. As with most things, Macs and PCs do this in slightly different ways.

Taking and Saving Screen Shots on a Mac

To take a screen shot of anything on the screen using a Mac, hold down at the same time:

SHIFT + Command Key + 4

The Command Keys, also known as the Open Apple keys, are to the right and left of the Spacebar, and look something like this:

command key on the Mac keyboard

This will bring up a cursor that looks like a large + sign. Move the cursor to the top left of the area of the screen you want to capture. Click, hold, and drag the cursor over the entire area. Release the click. You may hear a sound that sounds like a camera shutter.

An image will automatically be saved to your desktop (or wherever the default save is on your computer), called Picture #.png.

Screen Shots For PC and Mac Users

For PC users I recommend using a free application called, Jing (if you know of others, let me know so I can add them to this). Jing allows users to take screen shots and also take video of what they are doing on the screen. It is easy and fun to use. To create your screen shots, follow these steps:

  1. Go to Jing. Watch the introductory video and download it for free.
  2. When you are ready to make your screen shot, open Jing.
  3. Hover over and then single click on the Jing sun. Select the cross-hairs (the left most ray).
  4. Move the cross-hairs to the top left of the area you want to capture. Click and drag and a box will open over the area you want to capture.
  5. Select the image icon in the lower left of the box. A pop-up window will appear with the screen shot in it.
  6. Create a meaningful file name and save the image to a place on your computer designated for this class so you’ll be able to retrieve it easily later.


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