10 steps to a do-it-yourself screen shot

Bootstrap Design

Want to post an image of the webpage you’re talking about on your latest blog post?



Before you rush out and buy a copy of Snagit, TouchIllusion or some other high end screen grabbing software, consider this little do-it-yourself bootstrap design technique from Sue Chastain at About.com.



Here are Sue’s 10 steps to a do-it-yourself screen shot:


1. Select the screen you want to grab and hit the “Print Screen” button (look for it in the upper right hand part of the  keyboard)


2. Open an image editing program. (just as Sue suggests, I like Paintshop)


3. Paste the screen you’ve just saved into Paintshop


4. Enlarge the image if asked (You may have to do some resizing later! Check my own 11th step)


5. Use Paintshop to crop your image (This is only optional and kind of unnecessary since as Sue also observes under “Tips” if you press down the “Alt” key while hitting “Print Screen” you can select just the active part of the screen picking only the section you want that way)


6. Pull down the “File” menu and  select “Save As”


7. Then select the right folder (a graphics or photo file if you’ve got one)


8. Name your new file


9. Select a file type (GIF is the one to go with here over JPEG and others since some platform including WordPress are very finicky about what they’ll load)


10. Save it!


*My own personal 11th step: If you plan to use the screen shot for any kind of illustration  (on a blog, for example) open your newly created file in Adobe Photoshop, choose “Image Size” under the “Image” pull down menu and select a width of about 300 pixels. Any smaller and it will be too tiny to make an impact. Larger and it could be difficult to load. (Experiment and see what works for you, of course)


There are also some software packages out there like ScreenHunter that offer free base functions with paid upgrades. Shop around for the best features, but realize it doesn’t have to cost much to ad screen shots to your repertoire.


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