Tech Tips

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!

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

A: 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? Click this link, then fill out the form toward the bottom of the page.

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Jacqui Murray is the editor of a technology curriculum for K-sixth 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 Examiner.comEditorial Review Board member for Journal for Computing TeachersIMS tech expert, and a weekly contributor to Write Anything. Currently, she’s editing a thriller for her agent that should be be out to publishers this summer. Contact Jacqui at her writing office or her tech lab, Ask a Tech Teacher.

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

  1. Oh yes, I’ve been there! I think I only ended up discovering the use of this key by accident eventually. Now I use it a lot, especially for transferring a webpage’s image into a PowerPoint presentation – that’s one of my favorite ways to use it!

  2. I try to get people to use that too–especially when they have a tech error message. I tell them to use Print Screen and paste it into a document to email me. That way I don’t have to physically see their computer.
    PS. Shouldn’t that be Ctrl+V for paste?

    • It sure should be Ctrl+V. Thanks for catching my type, Barb. You know your tech! Yes–print screen is a wonderful way to see what the user sees. Too bad it’s almost counter-intuitive.

  3. Yes! I love this feature for doing presentations or introducing students to a new website. It is very useful, but MANY teachers are unaware of this handy technique.

  4. There are also software that prints the screen for you and saves it as an image. The software also allows you to edit your printscreen so you can underline stuff and such. Great for sending emails to tech support.

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