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Screen Capture, Screen Shots, and Screen Grabbers

I want to capture the computer screen and put it in a PowerPoint Presentation, how can I do this?

I want to grab part of the screen and put the picture in a handout. Is this possible?

What free or inexpensive software is available for screen capture?

cameraScreen capture or grabber software allows you to take a snapshot of the computer's screen or part of the screen. You can then paste the picture into a document or save it as a file. If you create presentations or handouts, you may want to copy pictures from the computer screen to put them into your project.

On this page, you'll explore:

The Basics

Both Mac (Shift-Apple-3) and Windows (PrintScreen) have options for capturing the screen, but you may want to explore some packages that let you store these files in different formats.

Macintosh Screen Capture

Besides the standard screen dump, there are other ways to capture the screen.

If you have Mac OSX, it's easy to use the built-in key commands for grabbing a screen.

If you have Mac OSX, you can also use the Grab Utility. This allows you to capture windows that are open.

grabbed screen

pointer type

Windows Screen Capture

The PRINT SCREEN key allows you to capture the Desktop or individual windows. You'll have to look for this key on your keyboard, it's placement varies with the type of keyboard.

To capture the entire screen:

To capture the current window on your screen:

Screen Capture/Grabber Utilities

Although the screen capture options built into Mac and Windows will serve most purposed, you may wish to use a commercial software package for more advanced applications.

Use the following shareware/freeware/demo websites to search for screen capture or grabber software:

Screen Capture/Grabber Software Downloads

Beyond the Basics

Once you've captured the screen, you may want to do some editing. This is particularly important if you plan to post your visuals on the web or people will be downloading your materials from the Internet. You want your files to be small in size, but easy to read.

Use the following articles to learn more about screen capture techniques:


Try the Screen Capture/Grabber Software
Download one of the screen capture packages and give it a try!


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