Tech Tip #2: The PrintScreen Key

As a working technology teacher, I get hundreds of questions from parents about their home computers, how to do stuff, how to solve problems. Each Tuesday, I’ll share one of those with you. They’re always brief and always focused. Enjoy!

I push ‘PrintScreen’ (or PrtScn) and nothing happens.

I have to teach this as a full-blown lesson in class because it is so counter-intuitive, even adults don’t get it.

  • When you push PrintScreen, it saves a copy of your screen to the clipboard. Now, you must tell the computer where to put it.
  • For example, open MS Word and a new document. Paste (using Ctrl+V or right click+paste or the icon on the toolbar–or Edit-paste) and a copy of your screen will appear as a picture.

It can be pasted into docs, emails, cards, wherever you’d like.  Just don’t forget to paste it!

Questions you want answered? Leave a comment here and I’ll answer it within the next thirty days.

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Jacqui Murray is the editor of a technology curriculum for K-fifth grade and creator of two technology training books for middle school. She is the author of Building a Midshipman, the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy midshipman. She is webmaster for five blogs, an Amazon Vine Voice book reviewer, a columnist for, Editorial Review Board member for Journal for Computing Teachers, IMS tech expert, and a weekly contributor to Write Anything and Technology in Education. Currently, she’s working on a techno-thriller that should be ready this summer. Contact Jacqui at her writing office or her tech lab, Ask a Tech Teacher.

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Categories: Computer hardware, fifth grade, fourth grade, free tech resources, homeschool, keyboard shortcuts, problem solving, Tech Tips | Tags: , , , , , | 9 Comments

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9 thoughts on “Tech Tip #2: The PrintScreen Key

  1. Pingback: Weekend Website #1: Jing « Ask a Tech Teacher

    • I love the Gadwin Print Screen Program. It’s a freebie, and I tie it to my Irfanview program for editing, and it is super easy!!

      K T

      • Hey Kevin, I haven’t heard of Gadwin. I checked their site–looks good. I use Printscreen 2000 but I don’t know if it’s even available anymore. It ties into the PrtScr key (as it appears does Gadwin). That’s my main objection to Jing–it doesn’t and sometimes it’s difficult to uncover that yellow ball.

        Thanks for the recommendation.

  2. Pingback: Weekend Website #1: Jing « Ask a Tech Teacher

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  6. JoAnn Clemens

    Ctrl + V is the keyboard shortcut to paste. I always have to use Ctrl + printscreen.
    Jing is a free screen capture too by tech smith. It adds some nice features like putting a frame around the area you want to highlight or an arrow to draw the eye to a particular spot.

    • Haha–I knew that! I even tell the kids ‘Ctrl+V for Vaste’ and they look at me like I’m nuts! I love Jing. Wish I could program it to activate with Prt Scrn instead of the little yellow ball that routinely disappears from my screen (who knows why?)

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