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.

Our clients say...

"Timothy Wood is a true master of visual communication. What sets his work apart is his attention to detail and his mastery in knowing exactly where and how to place those last couple of 'brush strokes' - a drop shadow here, a subtle outline there - that pull the entire concept together and make it pop."
—John Scilipote, Principal, Babyface Interactive, Inc.