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Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Screen shots for Dummies using MS Paint

Screen Shots are very useful tools for illustrating instructions. It can also be invaluable when requesting for help as it helps one to explain one's problems. Here are some useful instructions and tips and tricks regarding screen shots.

Tools for making screen shots are photo editors like Irfanview (free and very useful), MS Paint which can be found under ACCESSOEIES in all computers running MS Windows. If you want fancy stuff, there is also the open source (and therefore free) GIMP which is as good as the very expensive Photoshop.

Screen Shots with Paint

Let us start with the basics and do a screen shot of, say, this page. What you need to do is to save a copy of the screen shot of this page into clipboard by pressing the key PRINTSCREEN or PrintScrn. Now move your mouse cursor over the START button MS Windows START button, move the mouse cursor to ALL PROGRAMS, then to ACCESSORIES, and finally to MS PAINT

How to open the program MS Paint from START button

Once the program MS PAINT is opened, go to the menu bar, click EDIT > PASTE and the screen shot you earlier copied into clipboard will be pasted into MS PAINT:

paste from clipboard into MS Paint

Now if you wish, you can use various tools to highlight parts of the screen shots to bring attention to them like I have done above. In the above, I first changed the color from the default black color to red using the color palette at the bottom of MS PAINT:

MS PAINT color palette

then click on the line drawing icon MS PAINT line drawing tool icon and just use the mouse to draw whatever you want.

You may want only portion of the screen shot. For this you will have to crop. I understand that this can be done with MS PAINT but I haven't tried it myself. I always use my favorite photo editor Irfanview.

More about that later.
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