Taking Screenshots

How to Properly Take a Screenshot on a PC for Blog Images

Last Updated on by Michael Brockbank

A picture is worth 1,000 words. Well, at least that’s what experts have been saying for decades. But there’s no doubt that images play a huge role in blogging. Today, I’ll show you a couple of methods for taking screenshots from your PC to accentuate your content.

To really drive home a point, though, it takes more than just slapping up an image. There is a bit of design and purpose that goes behind using images on your blog.

You can’t just take any picture, add it to a post, and then cross your fingers that it helps engage the audience.

Why Taking Screenshots Matter

Screenshots add depth to an article. They can be used to accentuate a point, provide evidence, or otherwise support the topic of the blog post. This is aside from how images are effective for providing information to humans.

We are a visual species, and visuals are more effective at helping people learn and understand than text. In fact, studies show that people learn better through visuals by up to 400%.

It’s why images are important for engagement whether you’re blogging or creating thumbnails for YouTube. And the wrong imagery can actually do a great deal of harm to that engagement.

This is also why creating infographics is still an effective method for a lot of creators. It’s all about the imagery and the information you’re sharing.

So, if you want to connect with your audience online, adding images and video elements vastly improves interaction.

How to Screenshot on Windows

Taking screenshots on Windows is relatively simple. In this tutorial, I’ll show you two methods I use on a regular basis. And personally, I prefer method two because it offers far more control.

Have a Purpose in Mind

The first step to taking great screenshots is having a purpose in mind. Just because you add an image doesn’t mean it’s going to make sense to your target audience.

You want the images to relate to the topic to add clarity or to demonstrate a point. Sometimes you can use them to keep the reader engaged by matching it to whatever they’re reading.

For example, if your blog post is about the best foods for cats, pictures of cats eating demonstrate the point and stimulates the reader’s visual process.

It’s all about relevance. Ask yourself:

  • Is this image relevant to the topic I’m covering?
  • Does this image show something I’m trying to explain?
  • If I described this image in a text, would it fit the blog’s content?

All of this above comes down to one primary thought…does it make sense?

Method 1: Using Print Screen

Probably one of the easiest, and most well know, is using the “Print Screen” key on your keyboard. It’s usually located to the right of your Backspace key at the top of several other functions keys.

This will immediately take a picture of everything on your monitor to the clipboard.

However, it will copy everything from all monitors you may have connected. Every visible desktop from your computer will be combined into this snapshot.

For example, I use two monitors on my computer. It’s great for streamlining a lot of what I do in the day. Here is what it looks like when I use Print Screen:

Print Screen
Resized to fit the blog.

It creates an image that is 3840 x 1080 when I paste it into Photoshop. This is because both of my monitors are set to 1920 x 1080. I need new glasses, so I keep it at this resolution as default.

So, if I am taking screenshots of something in particular, I’ll need to either crop it down in an app or move it around to fit specific image dimensions.

If you’re using a template for a specific dimension for blog images, then it takes a bit of work when taking screenshots to fit that template.

Before I had a second monitor, this is how I created screenshots for clients. However, I found a much easier way that shaves a lot of time down when creating images for blog posts.

Method 2: Using the Lightshot Extension

Lightshot is an extension I use in Google Chrome that gives me more control over taking screenshots. I can select specific sections of what I’m looking at to either copy to the clipboard or save as an individual file.

In fact, I use this extension a lot when creating videos for the YouTube channel.

Once you add the Lightshot extension, you can set up the hotkeys to launch the app or use it from your computer’s taskbar.

Taking the Screenshot

OK, let’s say that I want to clip a quote to use on the blog. In this example, I’ll use statistics about how many people read blogs. This is taken from OptinMonster, who usually has a good reputation of providing some great information.

I’ll hit Shift+Print Screen to launch Lightshot and then select the area I want to copy to the clipboard.

Using Lightshot Taking Screenshots

Then, I’ll paste the image into my Photoshop template and resize it to fit.

Pasting into Photoshop
Pasted and resized in Photoshop

Usually, when I take screenshots for YouTube videos, I don’t use a template and just resize the image in Premier when editing.

Just make sure you give proper attribution when using content from someone else’s website. For example, I not only mention OptinMonster, but I also linked above to the very page I took this image from.

Lightshot works great for taking screenshots of:

  • Websites
  • Other photos on your screen
  • Social media feeds
  • Clips of movies from streaming services (except Disney+ and possibly others)
  • Scenes from video games
  • And anything else you can see on your desktop

I’ve used Lightshot for all of the above across every blog I own and various sites of my clients. It’s a quick way to grab exactly what I want without having to mess too much with resizing a full 3840 x 1080 image in Photoshop.

Lightshot also comes with a basic text and editing element. So, you can draw a red arrow to point at something while leaving a text comment. I use this a lot when interacting with clients through Slack.

How Taking Screenshots Work

Essentially, a screenshot works by taking the image and storing it in your computer’s clipboard. So when you “paste” into apps like Photoshop, it simply appears.

This is why you can’t paste the image into text fields. The format for the screenshot is untranslatable by the system.

On the flip side, you can copy text and paste it into imagery in most photo editing apps. But, the app still translates this into a text field on the image.

What’s the Best Size for Screenshots?

In reality, there is no one-size-fits-all answer for the best image sizes. It really comes down to what you want to show, what your audience expects, and if it interferes with your website’s performance.

Images that are too large will slow your site. But, you also want to make sure you’re making a point when showing the pic.

It’s a bit of a balancing act, but not one that is overly difficult to master.

What Will Work Best for You?

Learning how to take a screenshot is only the beginning. It’ll be up to you and your editing software to make something of the image.

Find a combination that works best for you and engage your audience. It’ll keep them on-page longer while adding more depth to your blog posts.

What’s your favorite editing app?

Michael Brockbank
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