Wondering How To Take A Screenshot On A Surface?
Taking screenshots is a very common task for a lot of people using a Windows-based computer. While the procedure is very similar to any Windows 8.1 device, the Surface Pen makes all the difference here.
So, in this article, I’m listing multiple methods that you can use to take a screenshot when using a Surface Pen or an attached Type Cover. No one way is “the best”.
How to Take a Screenshot With a Surface 3: Windows + Volume Down
An easy way to take a screenshot on the Type Cover attached is by pressing and holding the Windows button and the volume down button at the same time.
When you do this, the screen will dim for a second and a .png image will be saved in the Screenshots folder of your local Pictures library.
How to Take a Screenshot With a Surface 3: The Purple Button
You can also take a screenshot with a Surface Pen.
After it captures the screenshot, you can edit the screenshot by using the pen to draw a box around what you wish to capture. After you do so, it will place your selection in a new OneNote page of your active notebook.
From there you can cut and paste it into other apps or, use OneNote to add annotations or text to your screenshot.
How to Take a Screenshot With a Surface 3: Using the Type Cover
There are multiple ways to take a screenshot using the Surface 3 Type Cover. Depending on what you’re trying to do, one of the following methods should work well.
- Whole Screen: Press and hold the Windows key, then press the PrtScn key. The screen will dim for a second and save your screenshot to your local Screenshots folder.
- Copy To The Clipboard: If you don’t want to actually save the screenshot to a file, you can just press the PrtScn button. The screen will not dim as with the other methods, but it will copy the whole screen to your clipboard. From there, you can paste it into another app like Word or Paint.
- Active Window Only: If you only want to capture the currently highlighted window in desktop mode, Press the Alt and PrtScn keys at the same time to save just the active window instead of the entire screen. This method works like the Copy to the Clipboard method, in that it does not dim the screen or save the image. It just saves the screenshot to your Windows clipboard and allows you to paste it into another application.
Let’s talk about a method you can use with or without your Type Cover or Surface Pen since you’re not guaranteed to always have them nearby
How to Take a Screenshot Without a Keyboard
Since the Surface devices are mixed: half type tablet, half screen tablet, you may not know how to take a screenshot without the keyboard portion. A great way to do this on any device is by using the on-screen option. This keyboard works the same way as a standard keyboard, allowing you to do all the same things you would on a physical keyboard. Since your device is a touchscreen tablet, you can use the screen keys on your tablet to take a screenshot. With this model, you are even given a pen for further convenience. This is where our first suggestion, the Windows+Volume Up option takes place, but on the screen’s keyboard this time.
In addition to the above methods, don’t forget about the legacy Snipping Tool Program found in previous versions of Windows. It can be a bit clunky and only works in desktop mode, but it is a screen clipping Windows feature that allows you to take a screenshot without using your keyboard as well as annotate your screenshots right in the tool. There are other options than just your standard keyboard image tutorials.
How to Take a Screenshot on Other Devices
Not everyone knows you can take screenshots on computers. Even less know how to do this. Let’s walk through how to take screenshots on a popular non-windows device: the Mac.
Screenshots on Mac:
To begin taking a screenshot, you first need to use your keyboard to launch Shift-Command-5. This action will allow you to take a screenshot of the entire screen, a window, a portion, or record a video.
- Capture the full screen by clicking the first option on the toolbar. This will turn your mouse pointer into a camera. From here, any screen you click on will be captured as a screen clipping. An alternative to this is to click the Capture option on the control bar. The shortcut for this option works by pressing the Shift-Command-3 keys.
- To capture only a portion of the screen, you can click the third option on the control bar. This square can be dragged to any part of the screen that you wish to select. The shortcut for this option is the key combination Shift-Command-4.
- Capture a menu by selecting one of your choices. Then press the same controls as before, Shift-Command-5, while the menu is on your screen. Capture this image the same way you did the past two. The shortcut for this option is Shift-Command-4.
- Once the screenshot is taken, you will see it pop up in the bottom right corner. You can decide to either leave it alone so it will save automatically, click on it to open it up and edit it, drag it to another place, or press Control-click to select a variety of different things to do with it.
There are plenty of settings you can adjust to your user preferences for screenshots. Some of these include:
- Choosing which folder you will save screenshots to automatically.
- Setting a timer for the screenshot.
- Selecting to have the screenshot control bar visible.
- Choosing to hide your pointer while taking screenshots.
Screenshot apps for any device:
If you want a third party way to take screenshots on your PC, you can download a variety of apps. Here is a list of the best free ones:
This app allows you to take the screenshot and then add in creative designs such as text or images.
This free app was created as a Google Chrome Extension. If you communicate for work (like I do) in Slack, Trello, or other apps like this, Marker is the app for you. This tool allows you to save your screenshots, after annotating them, to these apps.
This app helps with social media sharing. It allows you to upload screenshots to social sites, easily. This is also an excellent app for smartphones, as well as PCs!
Get Your Perfect Shot
Taking a screenshot on your Surface laptop is not as complicated as you may think it is. There are tons of ways to do it, and none is necessarily better than the other. If you stumbled upon this article and have a different brand or type of device, hopefully, we have made your life simpler with this information. There are shortcuts, screenshot apps, and tons of other unique ways to get the job done efficiently, as well as the traditional methods of using your Windows Surface pen or type cover.
Tim Rolston is a professional geek with over 23 years of experience working in Information Technology and dealing with everything from large-scale storage to remote systems management and automation for organizations such as Texas Instruments, Mobil Oil, and the University of Michigan (where he was an Academic IT Director).
He co-founded JTRTech along with Joanna to realize his long-time dream of working for himself.