Screenshots remain one of the most useful ways to capture and share information. It is a valuable tool that most of us use daily to share issues with colleagues, and interesting things we see with family and friends. As always screenshots are also useful for keeping information you think may be deleted.
If you have a new HP laptop, you may find yourself wondering how to best take screenshots. HP laptops run either Windows or Chrome OS. This article will focus on Windows. If you have a HP Chromebook read our article on How to Take Screenshots on a Chromebook.
There are several ways to take a screenshot on your HP Laptop and we must admit some of them are rather handy. Below we discuss each.
Using the Print Screen Key
If your laptop has a print screen key, sometimes abbreviated PrtScn or PrtSc, then taking a screenshot literally requires you to click one button. Yes, you got it, it’s the Print Screen button!
Once you’ve taken the screenshot, it will be copied to your clipboard and needs to be saved. To do this you can paste it into any image editor such as paint, GIMP or photoshop. This will also allow you to edit the image immediately. Our easy cheat way if you don’t have any of these available is to paste it into Microsoft Word, then right click on the image and select “Save as picture”. You will then be able to choose the name of the image, the format, and the destination.
Not all keyboards have a print screen key, especially not more modern ones on smaller laptops. If this is the case for you, read on to learn other ways of taking a screenshot.
Partial Screenshot Using Keyboard Shortcuts
This feature is only available to windows 10 users, it is however incredibly useful.
To capture the partial screenshot, follow these steps:
- Press Windows Key + Shift + S simultaneously
- Your mouse cursor will turn into a hairpin
- Use the hairpin to select the area you want to capture
- The screenshot will be copied to your clipboard
- Follow the steps above to save it or paste it directly into your application
The snipping tool is a handy built in companion. It offers many functions including copying an active window, taking a partial screenshot, or even a free-form snip!
To use snipping tool, follow these steps:
- Type “snipping tool” into the search bar on the bottom left of your screen
- Start the application
- Select the type of snip you want under “mode” (see picture)
- The most common mode is “Rectangular Snip”
- Select “New”
- This will turn your mouse pointer into a crosshair
- Select the area you want to copy using the crosshair
- You can then save the snip or paste it where you need it form your clipboard
Image showing the available Snipping Tool modes left, and an example free form snip, right.
Snipping modes explained:
Free Form Snip: you can use your mouse cursor to draw around the area you want to copy
Rectangular Snip: selecting the area to be copied with the crosshair results in a rectangular image
Window Snip: Copies the entire active window e.g. a browser or a word processor
Full Screen Snip: Captures the entire screen as advertised
Other Screenshot Tools
If you are finding that you are still unable to achieve your needs with these simple built in methods, you can choose to install additional applications to help you take screenshots that work for your needs. Some applications also allow you such options as recording your screen, which may be incredibly useful if you are creating a YouTube Video or a Tutorial. Below are a few of the most popular options and their advantages.
ShareX is a wonderful opensource screen capture and productivity tool. It is completely free to use and is compatible with a vast majority of uploading sites. It allows immediate editing of the screenshot, and saving options including upload to the cloud. It is available in 13 languages. You can also annotate and add watermarks to your screenshots as you produce them. Not to mention it allows screen recording as well!
Lightshot is a smart third-party screenshot application. It allows you to select an area and customise and edit your screenshot on the go. It also has features that allow you to save the screenshot immediately and upload to the cloud or share via e-mail/ social media etc.
Snagit is currently an extremely popular tool for taking screenshots and recoding your screen. It hosts a myriad of options for capturing, recording, saving, and sharing your screen images. Although it is not free, it may be worth the price as it is a one-time fee (see link for your local rate). Snagit allows a 15-day free trial for you to evaluate if the tool is for you.