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Tip Tuesday #35

Have you ever wondered how to make an image file from a screen print?  Well, the fabulous Lisa Nowak sent in another great tip with instructions on how to do just that.  Please visit her blog on your way out as thanks!

This isn’t a writing tip per se, but it is something I find helpful for blogging and other creative endeavors. With a PC there’s a simple way to create jpgs of anything you see on your screen without having special photo software. (You Mac people will have to figure out your own way to do it.)

First, locate the image you want to make a jpg of and bring it up on your screen. It can be anything on the Internet or your desktop, or even in Word (for example, I used this technique to create jpgs of two buttons on the Word toolbar).

Next, press the “PrtScrn” key on your keyboard. It should be at the upper right, above the “Insert” key.

Now open a Word document and click “Paste” (or type control “V”). You should see a small replica of whatever was on your computer screen when you pressed the “PrtScrn” key. It may look too tiny to do anything useful with, but we’re not finished, yet.

To edit the picture, right click on it. From the menu choose “Show Picture Toolbar”. The Picture Toolbar should open somewhere on your screen. Click on the “Text Wrapping” tool that looks like a little dog. Select “In Front of Text” from the pull down menu. This will allow you to move the object around on the page independent of any text. It will help in the event that you’ve pasted more than one image into the document.

Now click on the “Crop” tool, which looks like a couple of plus signs at an angle from each other. When you hover over the white adjustment squares at the edges of your image, you should see the cropping icon instead of the sizing arrow (if you don’t, click the Crop tool again). By dragging the white squares you can now crop the image.

Once you’ve cropped your image, click somewhere outside it in the document to deselect the cropping tool. When you click on the image again, you’ll see that you’re back to the resizing tool. You can now drag the white squares at the corners of your image to enlarge it.

When you have the image formatted the way you want it, it’s time to save it as a jpg. I do this with Paint, a program that comes with your PC. You can open Paint by going to “Start” then “Programs” then “Accessories”. With Paint open, go back to your Word document, select your image, and copy it. Return to Paint and paste the image. (If your image is very small, you might need to reduce the size of the white background so it doesn’t show as part of the jpg. You do this by dragging the corners.)

Once you’re image is pasted to Paint select “Save As” from the File menu. When the Save Box pops up, it should direct you to the “My Pictures” file. If you want your image to go somewhere else, select the appropriate location. Now give the image a name in the “File Name” box at the bottom. Directly below that you’ll see the “Save as Type” box. From the pull down menu, select “jpg”. Now click “Save”. You now have a jpg of your image, which you can use the same way you’d use any jpg. Because you can use this method to make an image of anything you see on your computer screen, it’s a pretty powerful tool. When you can’t find any other way to save an image, this will get the job done. Naturally you’ll want to be aware of copyright law when using other people’s images.

Thanks again, Lisa.  I think a lot of people will really appreciate this quick tutorial!

12 comments:

  1. Whoa, who knew? See, I cannot follower directions because I make things way harder than they need to be. If I am successful at doing this, Lisa, consider yourself a master at instruction. Or lucky.

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  2. Sure now you tell me! I've been using Photoshop Elements. But since I'm an avid photographer, it made sense for me to have the software.

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  3. Thanks for the detailed instructions. I'll be sure to read them over again as I attempted to do this. I would have never figured it out on my own.

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  4. Cool! I used to know how to do it on a Mac. I think I used the program "Grab" but I can't remember now...

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  5. WOW - the wonders of modern science!

    I'm usually pretty hopeless at following these kinds of written instructions - more of a visual learner - but Lisa you have explained things in a really straightforward way. I'll try this later.
    THANKS LISA!

    THANKS CASEY!

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  6. Casey, you always post great stuff! Thanks for this useful tip. We're so excited you joined in the fun contest over at our blog, too! Yay for fabulous underappreciated YA!

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  7. I just learned how to copy photos from a website to my blog. I was in a huge panic yesterday as I prepared my interview and could not get the photos to copy over. I sent out a call for help. Turns out it was easy and my friend's lovely book covers all look glorious on my post. :)

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  8. awesome!! you always have the best tips, casey! i don't know how you do it!!

    <333

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  9. Thanks for printing my tip, Casey! I hope people find it useful.

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  10. Great tip! I've used this feature before but I keep forgetting the right button.

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  11. Directions for Mac:

    1) pickup laptop or desktop machine.

    2) walk over to waste receptacle.

    3) place laptop or desktop machine in waste receptacle.

    4) drive/bike/walk to your local Wal-Mart, Best Buy, etc.

    5) purchase windows machine

    6) live a happier life.

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