Q. My job requires that I take pictures of screens to place in user manuals or into PowerPoint presentations. Can you recommend some screen-capturing tools that you use?
A. Capturing and saving a screenshot in Windows 8 can be as simple as a basic keyboard shortcut. In my job as associate professor at Ivy Tech Community College, I use screenshots quite extensively. Before Windows 7, this generally required several steps to copy the screenshot to the clipboard, then paste that shot into Paint or a similar application, and then another step to save it to storage.
When Windows 7 came along, there was the Snipping Tool, which did not really reduce the number of steps; it just rearranged them slightly: Start the Snipping Tool, drag across the image needed, snip it, and then save it to storage.
While Microsoft Windows 8 still has the Snipping Tool, it also has a new keyboard shortcut for capturing screenshots. If you click the keyboard combination of the Windows Key + Print Screen, Windows 8 will capture the current screenshot and save it automatically in the Pictures Library. If you are on a tablet, the combination is the Windows Key + Volume Down.
For those whose occupations depend on an efficient way to capture screens of all types (scrolling windows, long Internet sites, and other unusual captures), consider purchasing SnagIt from TechSmith. Along with Microsoft Office, SnagIt and the SnagIt Editor are two tools I use the most. To download a 30-day copy of SnagIt, visit TechSmith at www.techsmith.com.
Opinions are solely the writer's. April Miller Cripliver of Chesterton holds a doctorate in management information systems and is a computer hardware and software consultant. E-mail your computer questions to firstname.lastname@example.org, and specify your operating system and other pertinent PC information.