| By Fred Langa |
When you want to grab an image off your screen, Windows’ own built-in image-capture tools will do the trick nicely most of the time.
And when the simplest methods don’t work, there’s extra help readily available — no matter what you’re trying to capture.
Capturing desktops, screens, and video frames
Reader Gary Smith is struggling with screen- and video-capture issues.
- “There are more and more screen-grabbers and video-grabbers, and it’s getting bewildering trying to know which to use or whether they conflict with each other or with other apps being used.
“I’ve looked around but don’t see this area addressed. Please advise.”
For example, with common types of Windows video playback, you can simply press the print-screen key. That key normally captures everything visible on your monitor screen (including the video frame displayed at the moment you hit the key) and stores it in the Windows clipboard. You can then paste the saved image to your favorite image-editing app — or even the lowly Paint utility — for cropping or other editing.
Here are three captures of a NASA MP4 video file showing the launch of Expedition 26 from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan last December. They were displayed by the current versions of Windows Media Player (Figure 1), QuickTime (Figure 2), and RealPlayer (Figure 3). All the screens were grabbed via the print-screen key (typically labeled PrtScn) and pasted into a common image-editing tool.