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IT Talk – Don’t Talk About Your Problems…Screenshot Them
Ever get tongue tied finding the right words when trying to explain your technical difficulties to your IT guy? There’s a remedy for that.
Taking screenshots and sharing them with your IT professional is an efficient and effective way to communicate your troubles and find a solution. There are several ways to take screenshots on both PCs and Macs.
I prefer to take screenshots on a Windows PC using an easy-to-use screen capturing tool called LightShot (which is free to download). This works with the PrtScn button on your keyboard and allows you take a shot of either the full screen, or just a portion of the screen that you select. The screenshot can then be saved in several ways (to your local/hard drive, a clipboard, and even online to a free file storage service), and its online editor lets you crop the image or add special effects, among other things.
Of course, there’s always the option of using your PrtScn button without LightShot or another utility, but I don’t recommend it. Using PrtScn alone doesn’t show the screenshot immediately. You have to find it stored on your clipboard and then paste it into your email or whatever program you’re using, and doing so requires a lot of extra clicking around.
There’s an excellent shortcut to Apple’s built-in screenshot tool in OS X. To take a shot of your entire screen:
- Press the Command key
- While holding this down, press the Shift key
- Still pressing both of these keys, press the 3 key
You’ll then hear the camera shutter click and find your screenshot immediately on your desktop.
To take a shot of just a selected portion of your screen, do the same as above, but use the 4 key (instead of 3). Your cursor will change to a “crosshair pointer” (which looks like much like a +). Place the pointer at the top left corner of what you want to capture, then drag it around the rest of the image you want captured. As soon as you let go, you’ll hear the picture being taken and automatically saved as an image on your desktop.
Take a screenshot on your iPhone as well! Simply press the home key and power key at the same time. The shot will automatically save to your photo stream.
About Brent Whitfield
Brent Whitfield is CEO of DCG Technical Solutions, Inc., which provides IT Support in the Los Angeles area since 1993. DCG exists to help our clients choose, implement, and manage IT and cloud solutions that are cost effective and reliable. DCG's pro-active approach to IT is ideally suited for companies who depend on reliable IT infrastructure, but don't want to spend a lot of money to keep it that way. DCG was recognized among the Top 10 Fastest Growing MSPs in North America by MSP Mentor. Brent has been featured in Fast Company, CNBC, Network Computing, Reuters, and Yahoo Business.