A Great Tool for Anyone Using A Computer

I’m going to reveal one of the best tools found on all computers that most people don’t even know about. It’s efficient, it’s simple, it’s incredibly useful. I won’t ask if you’ve guessed it yet because 95% of you probably won’t.

We call it “the screen grab”. It’s also known as Print Screen.

PC keyboards actually dedicate a key to it, “PrntScrn”. Mac users have to press a combination of keys to make it work (Check your system preferences on Mac- Hardware/Keyboard and Mouse/Shortcuts) The fastest, easiest is Shift-Control-Command-3 (press all at once) where, if you have sound turned on, you will here a simulated camera shutter click sound.

What is it, what is it good for, and what on Earth am I talking about?

The screen grab is the ability to “take a picture” of what is on your computer monitor. To “grab” that screen is a very useful tool. For graphics design, it is a fast way of collecting images.

By the way, If you think your images are protected from download on the web, guess again. I mean, legally using images is not the issue here- it’s the ability to get them. Grab the screen- it’s yours to take. Obey the law, do not use the image if you are not supposed to–Golden Rule applies always. Besides, there are many low-cost, royalty free stock photo sites out there, so use them. This is really for making visual notes for yourself and not building a stock photo collection from scraps.

Whatever you see on the screen, you can save as an image. We proof and edit from screen grabs many times a day. Sometimes we build entire concepts off of a screen grab that happens to have that “special” quallity we were trying to achieve. Need a fast reference of what you just created but want to skip the process of creating and saving a file to your desktop? Grab the screen. Want to save that view of your composite Photoshop file? Grab the screen and paste it in as a separate layer. Done. Fast. Now hit “Save” and move on. You have your interim sketch pasted in as a layer of your master PhotoShop Document (PSD) file.

Need to show that computer guy in California what you are talking about? Grab the screen, open an e-mail, place the cursor in the body of the e-mail where you would normally type the message and paste (Press Ctrl-v on PC, Command-v on Mac), click Send, and voila! You just sent them the exact view of what you are seeing.

Now they have to believe you—and why not? You know how to do a screen grab.

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