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11.5. How to get screen shots (Windows, MacOS, and Linux)

To capture an image from your screen, follow the procedure below for your operating system.

11.5.1. How to get a Windows screen shot

On Windows 2000 and later systems, press the PrintScrn button. This will take a shot of the entire screen. You can then use the paste function in your favorite photo editor to make a copy of this screen shot, crop out the part you want, and so forth.

11.5.2. How to get a MacOS screen shot

To capture an image of a specific rectangular area, press Apple-shift-4 (that is, while holding down the Apple and shift keys, press 4). The cursor will turn into a crosshair symbol. Move the mouse to one corner of the desired area, press and hold the left button, drag the mouse to the opposite corner of the area, and release the button. An icon named “Picture 1” (or other number) will appear in your desktop; this will contain the image of the selected area in PNG (Portable Network Graphics) format.

To capture an image of one window, press Apple-shift-4, and when the cursor turns into a crosshair symbol, press the space bar. The cursor turns into a picture of a camera. Move the mouse into the window you want to photograph, and that window will turn slightly gray. Click the left button and the image icon will appear on your desktop.

To capture an image of the entire screen, use Apple-shift-3.

11.5.3. How to get a screen shot under Linux

Gimp, a public-domain package similar to Photoshop, makes it easy to get a screen shot.

  1. Bring up Gimp. From the Start menu, select Graphics, then GIMP Image Editor.

  2. From the Gimp menu, select File, then Acquire, then Screen Shot....

  3. To capture an image of one window, select the radiobutton for a Single Window, increase the delay time under Select Window After...Seconds Delay, and click OK. After the delay you have specified, the cursor will turn into a crosshair symbol. Move the cursor into the desired window and click the left mouse button.

    To capture an image of the entire screen, select the radiobutton for the Whole Screen, increase the delay time under Grab After ... Seconds Delay, and click OK. After the delay you have specified, Gimp will take a snapshot of the whole screen.

  4. A window containing your snapshot will appear on your screen. You can use Gimp to crop the image, adjust color and contrast, and the other usual photo processing options. Most operations start by right-clicking on the image.

  5. To save the image to a file, move the mouse into the image window and right-click. Then select File, then Save.

    You can navigate to any directory by clicking in the Folder window. Click on “../” to go up one directory; to move down into a directory, click on that directory's name in the Folder window.

    Once you are in the right directory, type the name you want to give the graphics file in the Selection field, including the file type suffix such as .png or .jpg, and press Enter.