Learning Technology

How to get a screenshot of anything on your screen

January 8th, 2016 at 10:01

There are all sorts of reasons why you might want to create a screenshot. If something’s gone wrong and you need to contact the HelpDesk, it’s useful to send an image of your whole screen, or just an error message (or the lack of one!). You might want to save part of a video or recording for future reference (e.g., while watching an online lecture, for your notes). You might want to save something for your own inspiration (a great course design or presentation template, a craft item, a home decor idea).

Copyright is of course, all-important. It’s OK to save images for your own purposes but don’t repurpose, republish or distribute unless the copyright of the original web page including text and images permits this. So it’s not OK to screenshot an image because the owner has prevented download, and use it in your online course.

The simplest way to take a screenshot is to use the facilities built into to your computer. Tap the Print Screen [prt sc] button on PCs. On Macs use Command+shift+4 then click and drag around the area you want to take a shot of. On iPhone or iPad press and hold the Sleep/Wake button, then immediately press and release the Home button (the screenshot can be found in your Photos app). On Android press and hold the power and volume-down buttons together.

These actions take a shot of your whole screen, and you then need to use a photo or drawing editor to cut them down to the bit you actually want to send.  Using a specific app can allow you to take a shot of a small portion of the screen or even the full web page that you have to scroll to see on screen.  Command+shift+4 on Macs alreadyallows you to choose the area to screenshot

Greenshot is a free PC program that offers the same option . Once installed (it’s open source) whenever you click Print Screen you get the option to define an area on the screen – via click and drag – and to save the resulting image in a variety of ways, including as PNG, JPG or GIF for use online.

SnagIt by TechSmith  is one of the best to pay for. (About £20 for an Education licence)

Creating graphics for online use

If you need a graphic for your blog, online course or  Moodle module:  the quickest way to create it is to do it in Word or Powerpoint, whichever is the program you’re most familiar with graphics in.  Then use one of the above programs to screenshot that graphic, save it as a PNG, JPG or GIF and use it in your course.

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