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How to take a Snapshot of an open window using Alt + Printscreen (prt sc) in Vista

In Windows XP, we were able to take a snapshot of any open window simply by clicking Alt + Printscreen buttons on the keyboard and then pasting the resulting snapshot into your favorite graphics program.

However in Vista, you have to press the Function Key + Alt + Printscreen buttons all together to get the same result.

To walk you through the necessary steps, I'm going to use the Windows Vista "Paint" program to paste the snapshot into.

  1. Pick the window you want to take a snapshot.  It could also be your desktop, if all your windows are minimized.
  2. Click the Function (Fn) + Alt + Printscreen (prt sc) buttons all at once.
  3. Now click the "Start" button in your taskbar to bring up the Start menu.
  4. Type "paint" into your "Start Search" section
  5. Click on "Paint" when it shows up at the top of the menu.
  6. When the program opens up, simply click Ctrl + V to paste the picture, or you can do it the long way by clicking "Edit" (second option at the top left) and then clicking "Paste".
  7. Now you can edit the picture any way you like, adding text, cropping, etc.
  8. To save the picture, simply click on "File - Save as".
  9. In the resulting dialogue box, where it says "Save as type", click on the arrow to the right for a dropdown list showing the different file types available such as jpeg, bmp, gif, etc.
  10. Click on the one you want to save as.
  11. Now change your file name from "untitled" to a name that's more meaningful to you.
  12. Click "Save" and it will automatically be saved in your "Pictures" folder by default.  Or you can click "Browse" instead of "Save" and browse to the folder of your choice in your computer, click on it and then click "Save".

If you don't want to use this method, just use the "Snipping Tool" that comes with Vista.


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Take a Snapshot in Vista using Function + Alt + Printscreen