Copying all or part of the current screen into an image that can be printed or saved as a file. Knowing how to screen capture is essential. For example, when printing a Web page from a browser, the underlying code in that page may cause it to print in a jumbled manner. However, a captured screen always prints the way it looks because a single image is printed, and the original text, images, sidebars and ads on that Web page are no longer separate elements. See bitmapped graphics
and printer friendly format
A screen capture is sometimes the only way to print what is desired. But not only Web pages; snippets of anything on screen can be extracted and printed or saved to a file for future reference. See selection print
Capturing the Screen in Windows and Mac
Windows has keyboard commands to copy the screen into the clipboard, which is then pasted into an imaging program such as Paint in order to print it (see Win Print screen
). Starting with Windows 7, a stand-alone Snippit utility has been included, allowing the user to select the area of the screen to capture.
Mac keyboard commands copy the screen either to the clipboard or to a newly created file on the desktop (see Mac screen capture
). For both platforms, there are third-party capture programs, and some offer sophisticated editing tools.
Capture Beyond the Screen
Screen capture software may offer sophisticated capabilities. While the index on the left side of this Encyclopedia's Windows app was manually scrolled, TechSmith's Snagit (www.techsmith.com) captured the content.