Capturing screenshots in Windows 10 can come in handy for many things. Most need to capture snapshots to include in documents. Consequently, Windows 10 has its own screen capture tools. They are, however, a little limited; and some third-party screen capture software packages have much more extensive options. This is how you can take screenshots with Windows 10’s tools and third-party software.
Also see our article How to Take a Screenshot with Google Pixel
Taking Snapshots with the Snipping Tool
Firstly, you can capture basic snapshots with Windows 10’s trusty Snipping Tool. This enables you to capture selected regions in screenshots. Enter ‘Snipping Tool’ into the Cortana search box. Then select to open the Snipping Tool below.
The tool is fairly basic. Click the small arrow beside New to open a menu with Free-form Snip, Rectangular Snip, Window Snip and Full-screen Snip options. Select Rectangular Snip, hold the left mouse button and then drag a rectangle across the area of the desktop or window you need to capture. Then your snapshot will open in a Snipping Tool window as shown directly below.
There you can select a few basic annotation options. Click Pen to select a pen color and scribble over the snapshot. Or you can click Highlighter and hold the left mouse button to highlight specific details in the snapshot. Click File > Save As to save your screenshot.
The Snipping Tool’s Free-form Snip mode is more flexible than Rectangular Snip. This enables you to draw out any outline for the screenshot. As such, with that you can take snapshots with curved borders; but it’s not so great for capturing windows in shots.
Taking Full-screen Snapshots
The PrtSc key is better for capturing full-screen snapshots of the desktop, a game or video. Open a full-screen video or game and then press the PrtSc key. That will take a full-screen screenshot and save it to Clipboard. Open Paint and press Ctrl + V to paste the shot.
Alternatively, you can press Alt + PrtSc. That captures a snapshot of just the active window instead. This hotkey is ideal for capturing snapshots of selected windows as it excludes UI elements such as the Windows taskbar.
Taking Snapshots with ShareX
Windows 10’s screen-capturing tools are ok for basic screenshots, but if you need more extensive options check out ShareX for Windows 10. Click Download on the ShareX home page to save its setup and install the program. When the software is running, you can right-click the ShareX system tray icon to open the menu shown directly below.
The first thing to note about ShareX is that PrtSc is one of its own default hotkeys. Pressing that hotkey captures full-screen shots much the same. However, the screenshots will also include the cursor that’s otherwise excluded from shots taken with PrtSc in Windows.
With ShareX you can take region snapshots with rectangles, triangles, diamonds and eclipse shapes. To do that, select Capture from the ShareX menu and click Region. That will then open the Region tool below.
You can switch between the alternative snipping shapes by pressing the numpad keys one to five. For example, press four to select a triangle. Then left-click and hold the mouse button to highlight an area to capture in the screenshot. When you let go off the mouse button, the captured shot opens in the Greenshot window. Below is an example of a diamond snapshot taken with ShareX’s Region tool.
To take a snapshot of a software window on your taskbar, select Capture > Window. That opens a submenu that lists all your open software windows. Select a window to take a screenshot of from there.
Webpage capture is another handy ShareX option that enables you to take a snapshot of a full website page. Select Webpage capture from the Region submenu to open the window shown directly below. Then enter the URL of the page you need in the screenshot in the URL text box and press the Capture button. A screenshot of the page will appear in the window, which you can then add to Clipboard by pressing the Copy button. Press Ctrl + V to paste the shot into Paint. You can also take full-page website screenshots with extensions covered in this Tech Junkie guide.
Editing Snapshots with ShareX
ShareX has numerous options to further edit snapshots with. Once you’ve captured a shot, the Greenshot image editor below opens. This includes lots of handy annotation options for screenshots.
Text boxes and arrows are two of the best options you can annotate screenshots with. Press the Add textbox button on toolbar and then drag a rectangle on the snapshot. Then you can enter some text into the box, and select Line color and Fill color options on the horizontal toolbar to choose alternative box and font colors.
Arrows and text boxes are a great combination. Click the Draw arrow button, hold left mouse button and drag the cursor to add an arrow to snapshot. That can then be combined with a text box as shown in the shot directly below. Click the Selection Tool and select a text box or arrow on the screenshot to adjust their positions.
To further edit screenshots in ShareX, select Tools > Image effects on the software’s menus and select a snapshot to open in the editor below. Click the Add button there and then select Drawings, Filters or Adjustments to edit your snapshots with a range of editing options. For example, you can select any of the options in the snapshot below from the Filters submenu.
Capture Software UI Elements in Screenshots with Snipaste
If you need to capture more specific software UI details in snapshots such as a toolbars, buttons or the taskbar, check out Snipaste. What sets this screen capture utility apart from some of the rest is that it auto-detects UI elements for screenshots. Click the 64 or 32-bit button on this page to save its Zip folder, which you can decompress by pressing the Extract all button in File Explorer. Open the software from the extracted folder, and then you’ll find a Snipaste icon in the system tray.
Now click that icon to take a snapshot. When you click the Snipaste icon, move the cursor to a specific UI element such as a toolbar, tab bar or taskbar. A blue box will then highlight a UI element to include in the snapshot as below.
Left-click to confirm selection and open the toolbar in the shot directly below. Then you can select a few annotation options from there. For example, press the Text button and then click inside the blue rectangle to add some text to the screenshot. You can also select Arrow, Marker pen and Pencil options from the toolbar.
Click Save to file to save the UI screenshot. Or you can select Copy to clipboard to paste it into other software with the Ctrl + V hotkey. Note that you can also paste the screenshot onto desktop without any extra software as shown below by pressing the F3 hotkey. Press the Quit snipping button to close the toolbar without saving the screenshot.
To capture context menus in snapshots, or other menus, press the Snipaste Snip hotkey. For example, right-click the Windows desktop and press F1 when the context menu is open. Then you can take a snapshot of that context menu with the Snipaste tool as I’ve done below.
So that’s how you can take screenshots with Windows 10’s default tools and extra software. If you only need to capture basic screenshots, the Windows 10 tools will be fine. But if you need to capture more specific things in snapshots such as UI elements or website pages and edit them, add ShareX and Snipaste to your desktop or laptop.