tech tips for writers

Tech Tips for Writers #116: How to Screenshot

Tech Tips for Writers is an (almost) weekly post on overcoming Tech Dread. I’ll cover issues that friends, both real-time and virtual, have shared. Feel free to post a comment about a question you have. I’ll cover it in a future Tip.

Q: I need to take a screenshot with my Chromebook.

Here’s the shortkey: Hold down the Ctrl key and press the Window Switcher key. The screenshot is placed on the clipboard and in the download folder. If you have trouble finding the Download file, click Alt+Shift+M to open the File Manager. Download will be one of the options on the left sidebar.

In case you use a different digital device, here are the screenshot shortkeys for other platforms:

  • Windows: it’s a tool included in Windows called the Snipping Tool
  • Mac: Command Shift 3 for a full screenshot; Command Shift 4 for a partial screenshot
  • Surface tablet: hold down volume and Windows button
  • iPad: hold Home button and power button at same time
  • Online: use a screenshot tool like Jing, Nimbus, or Snagit

More shortkeys:

Computer Shortkeys That Streamline Your Day

Create Shortkeys for Windows Tools

Jacqui Murray has been teaching K-8 technology for 15 years. She is the editor/author of over a hundred tech ed resources including a K-8 technology curriculum, K-8 keyboard curriculum, K-8 Digital Citizenship curriculum. She is an adjunct professor in tech ed, CSG Master Teacher, webmaster for six blogs, an Amazon Vine Voice book reviewer, Editorial Review Board member for Journal for Computing Teachers, CAEP reviewer, CSTA presentation reviewer, freelance journalist on tech ed topics, and a weekly contributor to TeachHUB. You can find her resources at Structured Learning.

25 thoughts on “Tech Tips for Writers #116: How to Screenshot

  1. Reblogged this on Just Can't Help Writing and commented:
    In addition to the very helpful hints in this post from Jacqui Murray, Mac users can try the Grab utility. The only real advantage I see to Grab is that it opens your shot in a separate window so that you don’t have to hunt for it on your desktop. However, this process is faster than opening Grab from your Go–>Utilities menu. Enjoy!

    Liked by 1 person

    • One thing every hates about the PrntScr key on the keyboard is that it throws the screenshot onto the clipboard–which lots of people don’t even know it exists. This is my long way of saying that opening the screenshot as a new window is a great idea.


  2. On my Mac, I’ve always used the Grab utility, which allows you capture a screen, window, or selection. The key commands in the post worked nicely, so that’s a new option. Thanks! The one advantage I see to Grab is that it opens your shot in a separate window; I had to hunt around my rather crowded desktop to find the screenshots taken with the key commands. Still, the more options, the better!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’ve been updating my K-8 tech curriculum. One of the biggest changes since 2013 (the last edition) is that schools are not as likely to have PCs–Windows–as their default computer. They are as much or more likely to have Chromebooks and iPads. As a result, I’ve had to figure out how to do all these tech tips in all devices. That’s actually been pretty fun to do.

      Liked by 1 person

    • The Print-screen makes a copy of the screen and puts it on your clipboard–which you then have to know how to access. Since that thoroughly befuddles over half the people, all the screenshot options have come out. My favorite was a program called Print Screen that worked through the PrtScr key–actually gave me options rather than throwing it somewhere. Sadly, it stopped working.

      Liked by 1 person

    • If you have kids (or nieces/nephews), it is probably what they use in school. Chromebooks are more popular than iPads today because they can access anything on the internet, are cheap ($190), don’t get viruses, are easy to maintain, play well between home and school, and overall make students happy. They aren’t Windows or Mac based (they’re Linux, but that’s invisible) so cross platforms with ease. Overall, a good choice if you mostly want a computer for emails, internet and social media.

      I can’t write my novel on my Chromebook because it’s too long–Google Docs tops out at something less than 400 pages.


  3. Yeah! I can do screen shots on my mac now!! My son had showed me how to do screen shots on my iPad but never realised there was a feature for the computer. Then to also learn of a partial screen shot – even better. I can see this being a very helpful feature. Thank you, Jacqui!

    Liked by 1 person

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