Windows 8: Screenshot Features Explained

Dennis Faas's picture

Dear Infopackets team,

First off, thank you for your helpful Windows 8 tips! Now I need a specific answer.

I recently found a neat cooking website and wanted to take a screenshot of one of the recipes. In previous versions of Windows, I was able to take a screenshot of the entire page, but I'm experiencing difficulty doing this in Windows 8.

Am I still able to take screenshots in Windows 8? If so, is there any way that I can capture only a portion of the screen? I could really use your help on this!


Brenda W."

My response:

Yes, Brenda. Windows 8 contains a tool that lets you capture customized screenshots.

You might be familiar with the 'Print Screen' button available on most keyboards (usually located in the upper right-hand corner of your keyboard). Pressing this button plus the Windows key in Windows 8 will instruct your system to copy the current display screen to the clipboard.

You can then paste the image into your favorite word processing or image editing program.

Print Screen Saves the Image in Windows 8

You can also retrieve the screenshot from where it has automatically been saved. Simply press the Windows key + E. This opens Windows Explorer, which you can use to navigate to the Pictures library (located in the left-side panel). (Source:

Here, you will find that Windows 8 has automatically created a 'Screenshots' folder. Open this folder to see all of the screenshots taken on your computer system. They are listed in chronological order.

Snipping Tool Captures Sections of the Screen

Windows 8 also contains a more powerful screenshot mechanism called the Snipping Tool, which is located in the C Drive, specifically in the Systems 32 folder. It can be accessed via the following location: C: \ ProgramData \ Microsoft \ Windows \ Start Menu \ Programs \ Accessories.

Or you can simply press the Windows key and start typing "Snipping Tool." The option to open the program will be offered to you simply by hitting the Enter key.

With this, you can take a snapshot of the entire screen if you desire. However, there is also the option to capture any "free form" section of the display screen or a simple rectangular area.

Once you've defined the area you want to capture, Snipping Tool saves that portion of the display image, and even lets you direct the image to be saved any folder you wish. (Source:

Here's a quick guide on how to use the Snipping Tool:

  • Choosing Free Form Snip will allow you to drag the cursor to define and capture any irregular part of the screen.
  • Choosing Rectangular Snip will allow you to drag the cursor to define any size rectangular area to capture.
  • Choosing Windows Snip will allow you to select any open window, such as a browser window or a dialogue box (instant message, etc.) and capture its contents.
  • Choosing Full-Screen Snip will allow you to capture the entire screen (same as Print Screen).

Once you've selected an option and have captured an image, simply click on the floppy disk icon to save the image to a preferred location.

Happy screen capturing, Brenda!

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