Clive R. Haynes FRPS

Frequently we wish to 'grab' what's actually fully displayed on the screen whether in Photoshop or from 'the net' or from any other display ('Word' or a database even). This 'screen view' includes all palettes and menus, dialogue boxes that you can see/have 'active'.

'Grab' the screen view by pressing the 'Print Screen' ('prt Sc' or 'Prnt Scrn') key on the keyboard. It's immediately to the right of the row of 'F' keys along the top of your keyboard. Apparently nothing happens - it certainly doesn't print anything! What it does do is to place the copy you've just made in onto the 'clipboard' (just like Edit > Copy). Now with it 'on the clipboard' many options are open.

Having saved an active window using 'print screen', you can then select 'File > New' in Photoshop, accept the size offered (which will actually be the size of the saved window), and then select 'Edit > Paste'. This neatly puts your saved window into a layer on a canvas of exactly the right size. You can then flatten and re-size (no re-sampling) to print out whatever size you like.

Note that any writing in the image may look very distorted on the screen. However, all is actually OK, and you can check this by viewing at 100%. The print out will look fine at any size (within reason).

You can, of course, paste the 'grabbed' screen image into any other suitable document. It copies into 'Word' OK for instance. You can also re-size it as appropriate.

Useful eh?