Productivity Tools

4 Simple Ways to Take a Screenshot

screenshot

Knowing how to take a screenshot is an important tool for all computer users. At times, you will want to quickly share information on your screen with clients, co-workers, and others. All computer platforms, from Mac to Windows to Chromebook, provide several ways to take a screenshot. Let’s go over four simple ways that you can take a screenshot on your computer using different tools. 

1. Use Print Screen

print screen

You can easily take screenshots directly from your keyboard with the “Print Screen” key. This key may be abbreviated on your keyboard to “PrtScr”, “PrtScn”, “PrtSc” or something similar. Pressing this key saves your screen capture to your computer’s invisible clipboard. From there, simply paste the screenshot into the document or messaging platform of your choice. 

Pros

  • Always accessible, since it’s on your keyboard; you also don’t have to memorize a string of hotkeys to use it.
  • Free with your computer

Cons

  • You can only take full-screen screenshots.
  • No annotation tools
  • Screenshots are not saved automatically; if you take a new print screen or copy something else to your computer’s clipboard before you paste your first screenshot, it will be lost.

2. Use Your Computer’s Native Tool

snipping tool

Most computers come with a native snipping tool that can take screenshots. On Windows, you can use Windows Snipping Tool to take screen captures, edit them, and share them with others. You decide how much of your screen you want to snip. You can choose a full-screen shot, an area of your screen, or a “free form snip” that can be any shape. From there, you can use basic tools to annotate your screenshot, save it to your local drive, and send it as an attachment or upload. On Windows 10, Windows Snipping Tool is being replaced by Snip & Sketch. Snip & Sketch provides the same screenshot tools, but with more mark-up options and the ability to share captured images directly over social media.

On Mac, you can take screenshots using hotkeys. You can take a full-screenshot by pressing shift + command + 3. You can also capture just part of your screen by pressing shift + command + 4 and then dragging the crosshairs to the portion of your screen you wish to capture. Screen captures are automatically saved to your desktop. On macOS Mojave and later, you can also access them on the Screenshot app, which you can open by pressing shift + command +5.

Chromebook also includes keyboard shortcuts for taking screenshots. Press Ctrl + Show windows to take a picture of your entire screen, or Shift + Ctrl + Show Windows to take a partial shot. If you have a computer that isn’t a Mac, PC, or Chromebook, check with its provider to see if it includes a native tool or keyboard shortcuts. 

Pros

  • No download necessary: Windows Snipping Tool, Snip & Sketch, and Mac’s Screenshot app all come pre-installed. Hotkeys are easily accessible on your keyboard. 
  • Free with your computer
  • Some mark-up tools for Windows users only. 
  • You can take partial screenshots.

Cons

  • You can only save your screenshots to your local drive.
  • No easy sharing via integrations or short links

3. Download a Free Screenshot App

lightshot logo

If your computer’s native screenshot tool doesn’t have what you need, you can download a free app. The most popular of these apps are Lightshot and Greenshot, though Greenshot is free on Windows only. Lightshot also includes extensions for Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer, and Opera.

Free screen capture apps typically include annotation tools and limited upload options. They typically include more options for screen capture, markups, and file-sharing than native tools. For example, Lightshot lets you upload your screenshots to their public cloud. Meanwhile, Greenshot includes integrations with Jira, Box, Imgur, and Microsoft Office for easy sharing.

Pros

  • Support for a variety of screenshot formats, such as full-screen, partial screen, and scrolling web page
  • May include basic integrations or limited cloud storage
  • Include a variety of annotation tools so you can thoroughly edit your screenshots. 
  • Some include browser extensions.
  • Free, may offer add-ons at a reduced price

Cons

  • Download may be necessary for some apps and features.
  • Cloud storage and integrations are still limited compared to paid options.

4. Purchase a Screenshot App

droplr

Finally, if you want the best features for your screenshot app, you need a paid tool like Droplr. It includes integrations with the best work productivity apps, secure cloud storage, and a full array of annotation tools. Droplr also includes screen recording and GIF creation, so you can pick from a variety of ways to share the information on your screen. Droplr is the best way to quickly take, edit, store, and share screenshots. If you are a business team or enterprise that uses screenshots to communicate about work, you should consider paying for one an app like Droplr. However, to access all of their features, you will need to pay a monthly or annual cost.

If you want to compare the top screenshot apps for pricing and features, you can check out our pricing calculator. If you have any specific questions about Droplr, you can explore our website or contact us on our website, LinkedIn, or Twitter.

Pros

  • Supports multiple screenshot formats, including full-screen, partial screen, application window, and scrolling webpage. 
  • Integrations with the best productivity apps and communication platforms allow for quick and easy sharing; some, like Slack, also preview files in-app. 
  • Robust markup tools on the app and through integrations with top image editors
  • Cloud sharing: Your screenshots are automatically saved to the cloud for most paid apps, saving space on your desktop. A short link is generated for each screenshot, so you can easily share your image on any platform by pasting the link. 
  • Most include secure cloud storage with various privacy settings and enterprise-level security, so you never have to worry about who can access your sensitive data.
  • Additional features such as screen recording, GIF creation, link shorteners, and file storage

Cons

  • Cost: The annual cost of these apps, especially for a company with multiple users, can add up over time. Different pricing plans depending on your needs help offset this cost. 
  • Since there are many options, it may be difficult to determine which tool is best for your team.

What is the best way to take a screenshot? 

screenshot

The answer to this question will depend on what you need. If you need to take a quick and easy screenshot, you can use “print screen” or your computer’s native app or hotkeys. If you’re looking to edit and share multiple screenshots but don’t want to pay for an app, then you should download a free tool like Lightshot or Greenshot.

However, if you’re a business or enterprise that frequently uses screenshots to communicate internally and/or externally, you should consider investing in a paid app like Droplr. These apps are the only way to guarantee that your screenshots are being stored and shared securely. They ensure that every member of your team is using the same platform to take and send screenshots. Finally, by making it easy to take and share screenshots, they let you communicate more rapidly, thus increasing your work efficiency and productivity. 

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