Thursday Tip: Quick and Dirty Screen Captures

October 16, 2008

In a given year, I do well over a thousand screen captures to use in my training materials. There are several very good utilities on the market to assist in this area. Probably the most comprehensive is TechSmith’s SnagIt. Corel includes the Corel CAPTURE utility in the CorelDRAW Graphics Suite and it is a very powerful tool. I have both of those tools and yet I never use them.

If you want to capture the current screen, just press the PrntScrn key on your keyboard. That copies the screen to the clipboard. I then switch to Corel PHOTO-PAINT and select File | New From Clipboard to paste the image into PHOTO-PAINT and save to whatever format I desire. Hint, that is never JPG. I always use TIF or PNG. To capture only the current window, use Alt + PrntScrn. Sure, these shortcuts can’t do everything. Yet I still haven’t opened either of those other two applications in the last year. You might just find that you don’t need a separate application either.

Post Discussion


  1. Jeff Harrison

    hi Foster,

    Like you, I create tons of screen shots as well. I don’t bother with any programs for doing this – just the Windows default keys that have existed forever.

    Now… the next goal is to stop newbies from up or downsamplng screenshots. LOL

  2. Rikk

    I frequently need to capture scrolling windows or screens with active pop-up dialogs, right click menues or other context sensitive ethereals. Alt Prt Screen isn’t able to fill that bill. For that matter, neither will Corel Capture. I am uncertain anyone has ever gotten the scrolled window capture to work on X4. For me, I reach for Snag-it so often, it loads with windows so I have it available always. It is a great time-saver in grabbing only the window I want (beit program window or sub window (think object docker for example).

    I guess I am the other side of this coin…

    Used Snag-it today to capture the slide-sorter window with-in PowerPoint. I could have done it with Windows or Corel capture but I would have had to crop it in software anyway. Snag-it eliminated that step.

  3. Rikk

    Upsampling is a no-brainer but downsampling is darned handy.

    If my blog layout only allows a 386px wide picture and my captured element is bigger. I sure want to do the downsampling (resharpening) myself and not leave it to a browser.

  4. YB

    Same here! I use simple MS Paint to paste the captured image.


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Foster D. Coburn III

Foster D. Coburn III is author of 13 best-selling books on CorelDRAW and has been a contributor to numerous technology and graphics-related magazines. Foster has taken many projects, including this Web site, from the early design stage through to a finished piece. He has been a featured speaker at many graphics conferences. His first Web site was built in 1995 and he has been working exclusively in WordPress since 2013.

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