The best use for the SysReq/PrintScrn key

I’m surprised the guest writer of the response on the
question concerning the ` key didn’t mention in the article
the best use for the Print Scrn key.

And that is… pressing it performs the same function as Ctrl-C.
You can then open Word and perform a Ctrl-V and Viola!, a picture
of your screen.

That’s all.


Welcome to the board, Kevlar. I’m assuming you’re talking about the Straight Dope Staff Report, What’s the “Scroll Lock” key on my computer for?

We do ask that you put a link to the report you’re commenting on so people know what you’re talking about, and so that stuff that was already mentioned in the report doesn’t get repeated.

No biggie, you’ll know for next time. :slight_smile:

And yup, I noticed that too when I read it - the “Print Screen” (or, as it appears on my MicroSoft Natural Keyboard, “PrtScrn”) is used by me all the time as a “screenshot” feature.
PrtScrn key makes a screenshot of what’s showing on the screen and saves that to the clipboard, where it can be pasted into any empty MS-Word document, Excel Spreadsheet, or any document in a photo-editing-software, such as PhotoShop™.

Argh. My bad, sorry Kevlaur for misspelling your name!

There’s another omission from that article, regarding the Pause/Break key: In XP (and possibly other versions), Start+Pause/Break brings up the System Properties dialogue box.

And another handy hint: Alt PrtScrn copies just the active window, if you have multiple windows open.

That is SO cool!!! :smiley:


I also meant to add that I use PrintScreen and Alt+PrintScreen pretty much daily. I teach computer applications courses online, and students frequently e-mail me with questions about such-and-such button. The easiest way to show them where a given button is is to do a screen shot of the window, which I paste into Paint Shop Pro, then I draw a big red circle around the button in question.

I also do application training modules, where screen shots are an absolute must.

The only gripe I have about it is that Alt+PrintScreen doesn’t work very well for MS Access windows. If I just want to show a query window in Access, without the entire Access garbage, I have to run the query, do PrintScreen, paste into PSP, select the window I want to display, then copy and paste that to a new image.

I even teach students how to use the PrintScreen key, but most of them completely freak out because nothing happens when they actually hit the key–at least nothing that the user can see.

I’ll let Una speak for herself if she wishes, but the Staff Report said

I don’t think she thought the “Print Screen” key needed explanation; she was only using it as a reference to locate the “SysReq” command, which is one of the “other odd keys.”

For tutorials, I always use Wink from DebugMode. It’s free that allows you to record what’s going on in your screen into .swf format and you can delete unwanted frames, add textboxes and instructions, as well as voice.

Hope this helps!