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A screenshot (or screen capture) is an image taken by a person to record the visible items displayed on the monitor, television, or other visual output device in use. Usually, this is a digital image using the operating system or software running on the computer, but it can also be a capture made by a camera or a device intercepting the video output of the display.

Use of screenshots

Screenshots can be used to demonstrate a program, a particular problem a user might be having, or generally when display output needs to be shown to others or archived.

For example, after being emailed a screenshot, a Web page author might be surprised to see how their page looks on a different Web browser and can take corrective action. Likewise with differing email software programs, (particularly such as in a cell phone, tablet, etc.,) a sender might have no idea how their email looks to others until they see a screenshot from another computer and then can adjust their settings appropriately.

Screenshots may also be used in games, such as Halo (series). This allows the user to take a picture of the events going on in the game by pressing a certain hotkey.

Built-in screenshot functionality in Windows

It is a well-known feature in Windows. To take a snapshot of the desktop, press the Print Screen (PrtScn) key then paste the snapshot into an application (such as Paint).


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