Windows 8 Guide: How To Take Screenshots


Taking screenshots is a very essential task for most people who use a computer. No matter which form fact of a machine you are using, you will need a moment or two on daily basis to record what’s on your screen. Knowing the tips and tricks of what the latest Windows offers can help you make the simple task like taking screenshots a lot more effective.

First of all, the traditional way still works.

Windows 8 Screenshot #1Prt Scrn key on your keyboard to copy the entire screen into the clipboard.

Alt + Prt Scrn to copy the whole active window into the clipboard.

Then, you can paste what you took into an application that takes pictures, e.g. Photo Editor or Microsoft Word, or even Notepad.

Then, a new feature in Windows 8.

Win + Prt Scrn to take the entire screen and save it directly in your Pictures folder in PNG format. The saved picture is named as Screenshot(x).png, in which the X is a number that is available for the new file.

Here comes the Snipping Tool

To rescue when taking a rectangular of screen or even a free form shape of it is needed. It’s a great add-on tool that helps you improve your screen capture productivity without installing any 3prd screen capture applications.

To start, you can press Win key and type “Snipping” to find it first, and click to launch it. You can simplify this process by pinning it to the taskbar on desktop or set up a quick hotkey from the Snipping Tools’ property dialog box.

Snipping tool offers 4 screen capture modes, two of them are additional to the traditional Prt Scrn and Alt + Prt Scrn.

Windows 8 take screenshot #2

You can make changes to the screenshot you took within the Snipping Tool before saving it as an image file or copy it again in clipboard.

Windows 8 Snipping Tool #3

Here are a couple of tips that could be very helpful.

To take the screenshot of the context menu,

1. Launch Snipping Tool, and press Esc key to temporarily get out.

2. Bring up the context menu, and press Ctrl + Prt Scrn to start capturing.

Windows 8 Snipping Tool #4

To capture the metro start screen app

1. Launch the Snipping Tool, and press Esc to temporarily get out.

2. Switch to Start screen or Metro App you want to take part of the screen.

3. Press Ctrl + Prt Scrn, and Win + Tab.

4. Start capturing.

It’s quite cumbersome to use, to be honest. It’s way better and easier just using Win + Prt Scrn

What’s missing?

I still couldn’t find a way to take a screenshot on my tablet just using a combination of two buttons available, just like how I did on my iPhone. If anyone knows this, please share it in the comment. Or if it’s a missing feature, I hope it can be added to the final release.



  1. To “What’s missing?” : On Surface tablets you can press and hold the Windows button and push the volume down button to take fullscreen shots.

  2. Use Onscreen Keyboard and press the print screen button, but unfortunately, you get to see the OSK.:(, Stupid of them to leave print-screen out.

    Also should allow for some transparency and resizing of the keyboard :((((


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