Any time you want to take a screenshot to troubleshoot a problem, make record for a project you're working on or simply share info with a friend or colleague, you have multiple methods to choose from. If you are using a Windows 8 system, the choices depend upon how much of the screen you wish to take a shot of and whether you are on a computer, a Surface tablet or Windows smartphone.
If you are on a desktop or laptop with a full keyboard, this is the best method for taking a screenshot of the entire screen:
1 – Press and hold down the "Windows" button and the "PrtScrn" button at the same time. You know you have taken the picture when the screen dims momentarily and then returns to the normal brightness.
2 – If you cannot find the "PrtScrn" button on your keyboard, look between the F12 key and the Scroll Lock key. Although computer keyboards differ slightly, it is usually found at the upper right.
3 – If you are running a dual monitor system, hitting these two keys will take screenshots of both at the same time.
4 – Find the screenshots you have just taken in your Windows Picture folder. You can find this by hitting the “Windows” key and “E” at the same time.
5 – Inside the "Pictures" folder, you can easily find the Screenshots folder and double-click on it to access all your screenshots.
6 – Open up whatever screenshots you wish to work with in any graphics editing program. All screenshots are saved in PNG/JPG file format so they are easy to edit.
AceThinker Screen Grabber Free is a great free program for you to take screenshots of Windows 8. It comes with a quite intuitive interface and will take you just a few seconds to get Windows 8 screenshots in Full Screen, Region or Window.
1 – Download, install and launch the program and specify the output picture format as JPG, PNG or GIF and choose a place to save the screenshots you take.
2 – Now you can choose Manual Screenshot or Automatic Screenshot to grab screenshots as you need.
For Manual Screenshot, there are 3 capture modes:
Full Screen: Capture the entire computer screen.
Region: Click, hold and drag to specify a region for taking snapshots.
Window: Select a window on the desktop to capture only the window area.
For Automatic Screenshot, you can only schedule screenshots with a customized interval in full screen.
3 – Simply click the red camera-like button on the right interface to start capturing the screen in Windows 8. And the files will be instantly saved to the folder you set.
Windows 8 also offers a snipping tool that can help you take screenshots of part of your screen.
1 – Navigate to and open up this tool from your Accessories file. This tool only functions when you are using Desktop mode on your computer or device. It is not compatible with Metro apps.
2 – If you cannot find your Snipping Tool on your computer, simply open up the start screen and search for "snipping tool" in the appropriate spot. Hit "Enter" and the computer will find the tool for you.
3 – Tap on the arrow adjacent to the "New" button in order to take a screen capture:
4 – Next, use your mouse cursor, stylus or finger to create the selection field that encompasses anything you wish to capture with the screenshot. Then, just click or tap on the screen or selection to take a picture. If you are using the full-screen mode, no clicking is necessary. The screenshot will be taken automatically.
5 – Take a look at the screenshot you captured in the next window and make sure it has everything you want in it. If you want to edit it for a presentation or sharing, this editing board gives you pens and highlighters to add interest to the image.
6 – Press the "Save" button, which is found above the screenshot window, select a location on your computer to save the file and give it a memorable name.
If you are using a Windows-based tablet that does not have an attached physical keyboard, it is possible to take screenshots using the buttons on the gadget itself.
1 – Find the "Windows" button and press and hold it.
2 – While holding the "Windows" button, press and hold the “Down Volume” button. The screen will get dimmer for one moment and then brightened back up again to indicate that the screenshot was captured.
3 – All screenshots you take on your tablet are saved in a "Screenshot" folder in the "Photos" widget.
The first step to take a screenshot on a Windows 8 phone is to figure out if you have a plain 8 or an 8.1. If you are not sure, navigate to the "Settings" menu and then go down to "About" and "More Info". The Windows version will be shown clearly in the "Software" section.
If you have Windows 8, all you have to do is hold down the "Windows" and "Power" buttons in order to take a screenshot.
If you have Windows 8.1, holds down the "Power" and "Raise Volume" buttons instead.
No matter which version of Windows you are running, all screenshots will be saved in the "Photos" app on your phone.