Taking screenshots is an essential skill that can come in handy in many different scenarios. Typically, people take screenshots to share their screen with their friends or coworkers or to report a problem with the software.
While there may be hundreds of other reasons why people may need to take screenshots, there are only a handful of methods that can get the job done. The simplest method of doing so is with the help of the ‘PrtScn’ button (like in Dell G Series) or the ‘Fn + PrtScn’ shortcut on a Dell laptop or desktop.
If you want to learn how to take screenshots on Dell laptops, desktops and tablets, you’re at the right place. Besides teaching you Dell’s built-in screenshot methods, we will also introduce you to an alternative method, just in case the primary methods fail to do the job.
How to Take Screenshots on Dell Laptops and Desktops
1. Using the PrntScr (Print Screen) Function
The Print Screen key, abbreviated as ‘PrntScr’, ‘Prtscn’ or ‘PrtScr’ can be found on the upper-right corner of every basic Dell desktop or laptop keyboard. In some laptops or desktops, these keys can either be used as a shortcut by pressing ‘Shift + PrntScr’ or ‘Fn + Windows Key + PrtScn’ (Dell Latitude and Alienware) or ‘Alt + PrtScn’ (Dell Inspiron and XPS). In other cases, the PrtScn key can be pressed to instantly capture a screenshot.
Screenshot of the Whole Screen
To take a screenshot of the whole screen, just press the screenshot key (or the combination keys) once. Doing so will have taken a screenshot of everything that is presently being displayed on your screen and the capture will have been copied onto the clipboard.
Screenshot of a Particular Window
If you wish to take a screenshot of a particular window, such as the program you need to report a bug for, then launch this program so it is visible on your screen. To take a more focused screenshot, you could also choose to maximize the window to take up the whole screen.
With a particular window (or even a couple of windows) ready, you can now press the print screen combination on your keyboard. A screen capture will automatically be copied onto your clipboard.
Edit or Save Screenshots
Since your screenshot was copied onto the clipboard, you need to paste the capture onto a suitable program to edit or save it. For this reason, your next step would be to open the Paint program from your Start Menu and press Ctrl + V or click on Edit ⟶ Paste in the menu bar.
Finally, you can now crop, annotate or edit your screenshot until it is ready to be saved. You may also choose from a variety of file formats such as .bmp, .jpg or .png.
Note: Once screenshots have been copied onto the clipboard, they can also be pasted on a Microsoft Word document directly. To do so, just press Ctrl + V or right click your mouse on the screen and select ‘Paste’.
2. Using the Built-In Windows Snipping Tool
If your Dell laptop or desktop has Windows 7, Windows 8.1 or Windows 10, then you can also use a built-in Snipping Tool to take screenshots. To launch this program, open the Start menu and search for ‘Snipping Tool’ and click on the icon.
Screenshot of the Whole Screen
When the tiny window appears on your desktop you could take a screenshot using two methods. You could either click on ‘New’ and click and drag it anywhere on your desktop to select the area you wish to capture. This is called the ‘Free-Form Snip’.
Alternatively, you could click on ‘Mode’ and select ‘Full-screen Snip’ to capture the whole desktop.
Screenshot of a Particular Area or Window
You may have noticed the other two options in the Mode pull-down menu. Both, the ‘Rectangular Snip’ and the ‘Window Snip’ can be used to capture particular windows or areas within a window.
Clicking on Rectangular Snip will allow you to capture a rectangular area of your screen via a preset cursor, and the Window Snip option allows you to select an open window to capture.
Once your screenshot has been captured, the Snipping Tool will display your screenshot in an enlarged window. From here, you can use the icons in the menu bar to either save your screenshot or copy it onto your clipboard to paste it in another program.
3. Using Third Party Software (Snagit Recommended)
There are multitudes of screen capturing and screen recording tools available on the internet. However, we would highly recommend Snagit for Dell (and other PCs) since it is arguably the most wholesome screen capturing tool out there.
Snagit is a great screenshot application with screen recording and screenshot editing features. If your Dell laptop or desktop’s built-in screenshot tools aren’t up to the task, Snagit can help you capture screenshots quickly and edit them with advanced editing tools.
Screenshot of the Whole Screen
In order to take a screenshot of your desired screen, download Snagit and then run the program. After you have successfully signed up, Snagit’s main user interface should appear on your screen.
To capture a screenshot, drag your mouse over to the large red circle labeled ‘Capture’ and left click. Alternatively, you could also toggle on the ‘5-second delay’ option to take screenshots of objects that can’t be captured otherwise, such as pull-down menus.
As soon as your screenshot is captured, Snagit’s editor will pop-up so you can crop, annotate or edit your screenshot with advanced tools.
Screenshot of a Particular Region or Window
Snagit also offers users the option to take screenshots of a particular active window, scrolling window, a particular region of the window or even a section of text. To try out these advanced screenshot features, click on Image (on the left-hand side of the window) and then choose from the pull-down Selection menu.
How to Take Screenshots on Dell Tablets
If you’re trying to take a screenshot on a Dell tablet which runs on Windows 10, then just press down on the Volume Down button and the Windows button simultaneously. After doing so, you should hear a shutter go off and the screen should flash for a millisecond signaling that your screenshot has been taken.
To access your screenshots, you can open your tablet’s Photos Gallery in a folder labeled ‘Screenshots’. You can also edit or annotate them in your tablet’s built-in Photo Editor.
Note: If your tablet does not have a Windows button, you can try holding down the Power/Lock button and the Volume Down button simultaneously.