How to Take a Selected Screenshot on Windows

Taking screenshots has become an essential function for users who work on a computer. Screenshots are the easiest and most efficient way to visually share information and resolve issues. Windows operating systems offer numerous ways to take screenshots, but what if you only want to take a selected screenshot on your Windows computer? Well, fear not, as this article will guide you through the steps to take a selected screenshot on Windows.


Step 1: Press the “Print Screen” button

The “Print Screen” button is located on the top right-hand side of your keyboard and labelled as “PrtSc” or “PrtScr”. Press this button to take a screenshot of your entire screen.

Step 2: Use the “Alt + Print Screen” keyboard shortcut

If you want to capture only the active window, press the “Alt” key and then press the “Print Screen” button together. This will save the screenshot of the active window to your clipboard.

Step 3: Use the “Windows + Print Screen” keyboard shortcut

The fastest way to take a screenshot on a Windows computer is by using the “Windows + Print Screen” keyboard shortcut. This will save the screenshot of your entire screen to your Pictures folder in PNG format.

Step 4: Use the “Snipping Tool”

Windows has a built-in snipping tool that allows you to take a selected screenshot. Click on the “Start” menu and search for “Snipping Tool”. Open the tool and select “New” to start taking a screenshot.

Step 5: Use the “Snip & Sketch”

Windows 10 comes with an updated snipping tool, “Snip & Sketch”. To access it, press “Windows + Shift + S” keys together. An overlay will be displayed, and you can select the area you want to capture.

Step 6: Use the “Game Bar”

The “Game Bar” is an app that helps gamers capture screenshots and record game clips. To open the “Game Bar”, press the “Windows + G” keys. Then, click on the camera icon to take a screenshot of your game or any application.

Step 7: Use the “Print Screen” button with MS Paint

To take a selected screenshot using MS Paint, press the “Print Screen” button, open MS Paint and press “CTRL + V” to paste the captured screenshot. Then, select the area you want to keep and save the image.

Step 8: Use the “Snagit” software

If you need more advanced screenshot features, then “Snagit” is the software for you. “Snagit” allows users to capture screens, edit, and share the images easily.

Step 9: Use the “Lightshot” software

Another great software to take a selected screenshot is “Lightshot”. It lets users select the area they want to capture, edit the screenshot, and share it easily.

Step 10: Use the “Greenshot” software

“Greenshot” is another software that allows users to take a selected screenshot on Windows. The software is free and offers numerous features specifically designed for capturing and editing screenshots.

Step 11: Use the “ShareX” software

“ShareX” is a free, open-source program that allows users to take a selected screenshot, upload the image to your preferred cloud service, and provide a link to share the image with others.

Step 12: Use the “PicPick” software

“PicPick” is an all-in-one screen capture that allows users to take a selected screenshot, edit the screenshot, and share the image easily. This software is perfect for users who need to take screenshots frequently for presentations, documents, or online tutorials.


Now that you have learned the different ways to take a selected screenshot on Windows, let’s dive deeper into each solution.

Steps 1-3 are the most basic ways to take a screenshot on a Windows computer. Steps 4-6 are the built-in Windows tools designed for taking screenshots. MS Paint is a basic image editing tool, but it is still useful for taking selected screenshots. Steps 8-12 are third-party software with advanced features and functionalities.

Tips and Tricks

Tip 1: Use the “Snipping Tool shortcut”

If you use the snipping tool frequently, you can create a keyboard shortcut for it. Right-click on the “Snipping Tool” icon and select “Properties”. In the “Shortcut” tab, assign the shortcut key.

Tip 2: Use the “Delay” feature

The “Snipping tool” has a “Delay” feature that gives you time to position the cursor over the area you want to capture. Click on “Delay” and select the time in seconds.

Tip 3: Use the “Preview” feature

The snipping tool has a “Preview” feature that allows you to preview the captured screenshot before saving it. Click on “File” and select “Preview” to see the screenshot.

Tip 4: Use “Alt + Print Screen” with “Paint” to edit screenshots

If you want to edit your captured screenshot, paste it onto MS Paint and use the editing tools to add annotations or highlight text.

Tip 5: Use hotkeys for “Snagit”

“Snagit” has hotkeys that allow users to capture screenshots quickly. For example, “Ctrl + Shift + S” captures a selected area, while “Ctrl + Shift + F” captures a full screen.

Tip 6: Utilize the “Lasso” selection tool in “Lightshot”

The “Lasso” selection tool in “Lightshot” allows you to select and capture free-form regions easily.

Tip 7: Use the “Magnifier” tool in “ShareX”

The “Magnifier” tool in “ShareX” displays a magnified view of the area you want to capture. It helps users to see details clearly.

Tip 8: Customize the interface in “PicPick”

“PicPick” allows users to customize the interface by hiding the menus, toolbars, and status bar. This feature is useful for users who need to focus only on the screenshot.

Tip 9: Take screenshots of only one screen in a multi-monitor setup

“Windows + Print Screen” takes screenshots of all connected monitors. To capture only one screen, use the “Alt + Print Screen” keyboard shortcut with the active window on the desired monitor.

Tip 10: Use Cloud Services for sharing

Many of the third-party software discussed in this article allow users to upload the captured screenshot to cloud services like Dropbox, Google Drive, or OneDrive. This feature makes it easy to share the screenshot with others.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Taking a Selected Screenshot on Windows


1. Easy to Use – Capturing a selected screenshot on Windows is a simple process that does not require complex software installation or advanced skills.

2. Saves Time – With a selected screenshot, you can only capture the part of the screen that you need, saving time compared to capturing the whole screen and cropping or editing the image later.

3. More Professional Look – Selected screenshots can provide a more professional and polished look to your work, especially when used in presentations, reports, or tutorials.

4. Increases Understanding – With selected screenshots, you can highlight and draw arrows or text to show specific points or areas, improving the understanding of the reader or viewer.

5. Better Communication – Selected screenshots can help in better communication with team members, clients, or customers, especially when you need to point out a specific feature or issue.

6. Improves Productivity – By using selected screenshots, you can improve your productivity by quickly showing or explaining something without the need for long explanations or meetings.

7. Helps in Troubleshooting – Selected screenshots can be used in troubleshooting technical issues, allowing you to show the support team or IT personnel exactly what is happening on your screen.

8. Enhances Learning – Selected screenshots can be used in e-learning, online tutorials, or training modules, making it easier for learners to follow the instructions or steps.

9. Supports Social Media Sharing – Selected screenshots can be used in social media sharing, making it more visually appealing and informative to the audience.

10. Cost-Effective – Taking a selected screenshot on Windows is a cost-effective way to provide visual aids compared to buying or creating graphics or illustrations.


1. Limited Scope – Taking selected screenshots can be limiting, and you may miss some essential information that is not within the selected area.

2. Inaccurate Representation – Selected screenshots may not show the exact image or screenshot you need, leading to inaccurate representations of the information you want to show.

3. May Not be Compatible with all Devices – Selected screenshots may not be compatible with all devices or platforms, such as mobile devices or some web applications.

4. May be Misinterpreted – Selected screenshots may be misinterpreted, especially when there are no clear markings or text describing the image or screenshot.

5. Requires Good Editing Skills – To maximize the benefits of selected screenshots, you need to have good editing skills to highlight, draw, or edit the image or screenshot.

6. May be Time-Consuming – Editing selected screenshots may take some time, especially if you want to add text, markings, or annotations.

7. Can be Misused – Selected screenshots, like any other image or data, can be misused or copied without permission, leading to copyright or privacy issues.

8. Quality may be Compromised – Selected screenshots may not have the same quality as the original image or screenshot, especially when taking screenshots of videos or animations.

9. May be Overused – Using selected screenshots in every document or presentation may lead to overuse, losing the impact or message you want to convey.

10. May Need Continuous Updates – Selected screenshots may need to be updated continuously, especially when the interface or layout is changed, causing confusion to the audience.


1. What is a screenshot?

A screenshot is a digital image of your device’s screen that captures whatever is being displayed at that particular moment.

2. How do I take a screenshot on Windows?

Press the ‘Print Screen’ key or ‘Win + Print Screen’ to take a screenshot of the entire screen. Alternatively, press ‘Alt + Print Screen’ to take a screenshot of the active window.

3. Where do my screenshots go?

By default, screenshots are saved in the ‘Pictures’ folder in a subfolder called ‘Screenshots’.

4. Can I change where my screenshots are saved?

Yes, you can change the default save location by going to ‘Settings’ > ‘System’ > ‘Storage’ and selecting a new location under the ‘New apps will save to’ option.

5. Can I edit my screenshots?

Yes, you can edit your screenshots using a photo editing software such as Microsoft Paint or Adobe Photoshop.

6. Can I take a screenshot of a specific area on the screen?

Yes, you can use the ‘Snipping Tool’ or ‘Snip & Sketch’ feature on Windows to select a specific area and take a screenshot of it.

7. How do I access the Snipping Tool?

Type ‘snipping tool’ in the Windows search bar to open the app or use the keyboard shortcut ‘Win + Shift + S’ to open the Snip & Sketch feature.

8. Can I take screenshots with my keyboard?

Yes, you can use the ‘Print Screen’ button on your keyboard to take a screenshot.

9. What if I don’t have a ‘Print Screen’ button on my keyboard?

Some keyboards may not have a ‘Print Screen’ button. In this case, you can use the ‘Fn + Windows + Spacebar’ keyboard shortcut to take a screenshot.

10. How do I take a screenshot of a game?

You can use the ‘Windows + G’ keyboard shortcut to open the Game Bar and take a screenshot while playing a game.

11. Can I take a screenshot using the Windows Snip & Sketch feature with a delay?

Yes, you can use the ‘Delay’ option in Snip & Sketch to take a screenshot with a delay of up to 5 seconds.

12. Can I take a screenshot of a web page that requires me to scroll down?

Yes, you can use a browser extension such as ‘Fireshot’ or ‘Awesome Screenshot’ to capture a full-page screenshot of a web page.

13. How do I paste my screenshot into another application?

Open the application where you want to paste the screenshot and press ‘Ctrl + V’ or right-click and select ‘Paste’ to insert the screenshot.

How to Take a Selected Screenshot on Windows

Have you ever come across a situation where you want to take a screenshot of only a specific part of your screen and not the entire screen? Fear not, Windows offers a feature called “Snipping Tool” that allows users to take selected screenshots. Here’s how:

Conclusion and Closing

Taking selected screenshots on Windows is a relatively simple process thanks to the Snipping Tool. By following the steps mentioned above, you can be guaranteed to take screenshots of only the parts you need, making it easy to show friends or co-workers exactly what you’re talking about. Now go forth and use this newfound knowledge with confidence. Until next time, happy computing!