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How to Take a Screenshot in a Video Game on Windows

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This will show you how to create a screenshot of any video game or full screen application you are running. You can use the included Windows screenshot function for this, but Windows 7 doesn’t have a setting to automatically save screenshots. In Windows 7, you would have to open paint and paste the screenshot in and then save it. Windows 8 can automatically save screenshots, but the settings for it aren’t optimal.

The best solution is to use a free program called Greenshot. It works well, is small, completely free, and has lots of settings. It can be downloaded from here:

Just go to the website and click the download link shown in the picture. (Other download links may show up that are advertisements, make sure to select the one shown in the picture).

Download Greenshot

After it’s downloaded, click on it to start the installation. Select your preferred language at the first window, and then hit “OK”. Then hit “Next >” at the Welcome screen. Accept the license terms and then hit “Next >”. Hit “Next >” at the next screen as well. If you want to change the installation folder, do so, but I would just leave it and hit “Next >”.

The next screen has some settings that you may wish to turn on. By default many are unchecked, so if you want to automatically save screenshots to dropbox, or automatically upload screenshots to photobucket, make sure to click those check boxes. The default installation includes the most common ones, so if you don’t need any of the extra ones just hit “Next >”.

At the next screen just hit “Next >”.

It will now ask you if you want to have it start on startup. If you will be using it for screenshots on full screen games, I would recommend leaving this on so that you don’t have to remember to run it before you start your game.

You can now hit install, it should only take a minute or so. After this the greenshot website will pop up, so you can check out their faq their if there’s anything else you want to know about the software that I don’t cover later in this tutorial.

After it’s installed, you should notice a new green icon in your system tray as shown in the picture below.

Greenshot Icon in the system tray

At this point, Greenshot is ready to use, but some of the settings can be optimized to suit your situation better, and I will go through those now.

Just right click on the Greenshot icon and choose the “Preferences” option.

Choose the Greenshot Preferences Option

In the window that pops up, the first tab is the “General” settings tab. This allows you to change the hotkeys for the different type of screenshots, so you can set any keypresses to save a screenshot. These can be changed by just clicking in the box next to the option you want to change, and then pressing the keys that you want to trigger that type of screenshot. This is shown in the picture below.

Change Screenshot Hoteky Windows

In the “Capture” tab, you can change some important settings. The first option chooses whether you want the mousepointer present in your screenshot. If you’re taking game screenshots you’ll probably want to turn this off. The next option is for a camera sound. If you want an audio confirmation that it took a screenshot, you can turn this on sso it makes a sound every time Greenshot takes a screenshot. The notifications option makes it so that a window will pop up at the bottom right of your screen when a screenshot it taken. The other one you may be interested is the “Milliseconds to wait before capture”. This can make it so that your screenshot won’t trigger for a certain time, so if you want to take a screenshot in the middle of something, you can set this so you can pause, start the screenshot, and then go back into the game.

Change Greenshot Capture Settings

The “Output” tab sets where you want your screenshots automatically saved to. By default it’s to the Windows desktop, but I would change it to a better location, such as a “Greenshots” folder in your pictures folder. You can do this by clicking the … on the right, and then navigating to the folder where you want to store the screenshots. You can also change the automatic filename pattern here. By default it just saves it with a name that is made up of the current time and date. It would take to long to fully explain the process here, but you can change this for your own uses, and you can click the question mark for more information on this. You can also change the image format here. .png should be find for most uses, but if you need a different file type you can change it here.

One more important setting on this page is the quality setting. Basically the better the quality, the larger the file size, and the lower the quality the lower the file size. So if you want the clearest images possible, turn this up to 100%, but if you want small files (such as ones that will only be a small picture on a website) move the slider down to a lower quality.

Greenshot Quality Settings

The last important tab is the “Destination” tab. This sets what happens when you take a screenshot. By default it will pop up with a list after you take a screenshot, but if you want it to automatically save a screenshot to a folder or to imgur, you can change this. If you deselect the “Select destination dynamically” option at the top, then you can choose the options you want, and you can select more than one. Just remember that if you choose the “Save directly (using preferred file output settings)” option, it will save to the folder you set as the destination, with the automatic filename set on the “Output” tab.

Make Greenshot automatically Save Screenshots

After you have set all of these settings, you can easily take screenshots in and out of games. Just make sure greenshot is running, and then hit the buttons that you set to take a screenshot. It will then take a screenshot, and either pop up with a menu asking you what to do with the screenshot, or automatically do what you selected in the destination tab.

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