An Easy Way to Copy a Computer Image

BY STANLEY ZAROWIN

Q. How do I copy an image that’s on my computer screen? I notice there’s a key on my keyboard that says Print Screen, but when I strike it, nothing seems to happen.

A. Actually something does happen, but it happens off screen, so to speak. When you press Print Screen, the image on the screen is saved in the system’s Clipboard, which is where copied (Ctrl+C) or cut (Ctrl+X) material is temporarily stored. If you want to copy an image of the entire window that is currently active, press Print Screen. Then go to where you want to place the image and press Ctrl+V or click on Edit, Paste, and it will appear. If, on the other hand, you only want to copy the image—not the entire screen—press Alt+Print Screen. Once the graphic is in your document, you can crop or trim any part of the picture.

This function works for any application and anything on the screen since it captures the image, not the underlying data that makes up the image.

If you are using Word 6 or Word 95, and you want to crop a graphic, follow these steps: Click on what you want to crop; that generates eight boxes, called handles, which appear around the graphic. If you hold down the Shift key and click on a handle, the mouse pointer becomes a cropping tool. Drag the handle to the center of the graphic and stop when you’ve cut away the desired amount.

If you are using Word 97 or Word 2000, follow these steps: Click View, Toolbars, and select Picture from the menu. You should then see the Picture toolbar (see below), which contains a cropping tool .

Now click once on the graphic and a box with eight handles will appear around it. Click on the cropping tool on the Picture toolbar and on one of the handles next to where you want the graphic cropped. Then drag the cropping tool, stopping when you have cut the desired amount.

Pull the cropping tool to the left to remove part of the picture.

If you do lots of screen captures, you may want to invest in a special application that does the job in more sophisticated ways—such as saving the image to various formats or copying only parts of it. One popular program is SnagIt. For more information go to www.snagit.com .

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