Copy the window or screen contents

In the past, the PRINT SCREEN key did what it says — it sent the current screen of text to your printer. Now, pressing PRINT SCREEN captures an image of your entire screen, also known as a "screen shot" or "screen capture", and copies it to the Clipboard in your computer's memory. You can then paste (CTRL+V) the image into a document, e-mail message, or other file. If you want, you can print the image from the application that you pasted it into.

Desktop and inactive and active windows

Callout 1 When you press PRINT SCREEN, you copy the parts of the Desktop that you can see, the parts of the inactive window that you can see, and the entire active window.
Callout 2 To copy the image of what is in the inactive window, you need to make it an active window by clicking some part of the window.
Callout 3 When you press ALT+PRINT SCREEN, you only copy the active window.
What do you want to do?


Copy only the image of the active window

The active window is the window that you are currently working in. Only one window can be active at a time.

  1. Click the window that you want to copy.
  2. Press ALT+PRINT SCREEN.

 Important   The text you see on your keyboard might be PrtSc, PrtScn, or PrntScrn. The other text on the Print Screen key is usually SysRq.

ShowWhere is the PRINT SCREEN button?

The PRINT SCREEN key is usually located in the upper right corner of your keyboard. The key looks similar to the following: PRINT SCREEN key

  1. Paste (CTRL+V) the image into a Microsoft Office program or other application.

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Copy the entire image on the screen

  1. Open everything you want copy and position it the way you want.
  2. Press PRINT SCREEN.

 Important   The text you see on your keyboard might be PrtSc, PrtScn, or PrntScrn. The other text on the Print Screen key is usually SysRq.

ShowWhere is the PRINT SCREEN button?

The PRINT SCREEN key is usually located in the upper right corner of your keyboard. The key looks similar to the following: PRINT SCREEN key

  1. Paste (CTRL+V) the image into a Microsoft Office program or other application.

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Modify the image

  • Paste (CTRL+V) the image into a drawing application, such as Microsoft Paint, and by using the tools available in your drawing application, you can add circles around text or images you want to highlight or crop anything that you don't want to appear in the image.
    For more information about how to use your drawing application, see the Help in that application.

ShowHow do I open Microsoft Paint?

  • Click Start, click All Programs, click Accessories, and then click Paint.

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View Demo

Watch the following video to see how to insert an image of a window or your desktop into a document.

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Applies to:
Access 2007, Excel 2007, InfoPath 2007, OneNote 2007, Outlook 2007, PowerPoint 2007, Project 2007, Publisher 2007, SharePoint Designer 2007, Visio 2007, Word 2007, Access 2003, Excel 2003, FrontPage 2003, InfoPath 2003, Outlook 2003, PowerPoint 2003, Publisher 2003, Word 2003