Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Quick Tip: PrintScreen Only the Selected Window

Almost all of us know that the Print Screen (Prt Scr) key on our keyboard is used to take a screenshot of our entire screen in Windows. What most people don't know is how to capture the view of only the selected window. When I didn't know this trick I used to take screenshot of the whole screen by using the Print Screen key and then cropping it in any software (like Photoshop or MS Paint) which is obviously a tedious thing to do. But here's what you should actually be doing.

Make sure that you've selected a window, like Windows Explorer. or Notepad window or any software's window and rather than pressing the Print Screen key alone, try pressing the Alt key first and while holding the Alt, press the Print Screen key once and let it go. 

Once you've done that, just open any software like Photoshop or MS Paint and press Ctrl + V to paste the screenshot and that's it.


As an example, I'll take a screenshot of my Notepad window using the method explained above. 

1. Let me first show you what happens if I press the Print Screen key alone.

Screenshot of the entire screen

2. Now what I'll do is select the Notepad window and press the Alt + Prt Scr key combination which will save only the selected window's screenshot in my clipboard.

Take screenshot

3. Now I'll open Photoshop and paste this in by creating a new file by either pressing Ctrl+N or selecting File > New from the menu bar. And for this example, use the default settings for the New window dialog.

New Document in Photoshop
4. After this, just press Ctrl+V shortcut key or go to Edit > Pasteto paste the screenshot of your window. Below is my final result.

Final screenshot
In case you don't have Photoshop installed on your computer, you can always use MS Paint by following the same steps as mentioned above.

Below are some more screenshots I took just for demonstration purposes.

Run Dialog

My Computer Window

Photoshop CS6 Window

 And there you have it. No cropping, just the shortcut. This will surely save you loads of time. Do let me know what you think about this post in the comments section. Thanks for reading.