Without purchasing or downloading new software:

I love the feature SnipIt in Windows Vista or the Grap feature that comes installed on a Mac. But, I’ve chosen to use a little Netbook for most of my writing, and it runs best with Microsoft XP.

I’ve searched for software downloads that are similar, but after a recent re-write, because of a trojan, I’m hesitant to download any more trial programs on this unit.

Then today I searched again and found this great tutorial on About.com


I can’t embed the video here for you to read, so I’ll give you the highlights, and hopefully you’ll go take a look for yourself.

I’ve always used a similar technique to capture an image for writing tutorials.   I probably use this most often when I’m at a client office & we’re working on a problem they may not come across again for an entire year (like filing annual GST returns, or reviewing their T4’s, or maybe changing the rates in their items list).

Here is what I used to do:

  1. Hit Print Screen when viewing the information I want to capture
  2. Open Microsoft Word and use Cntrl + V, or Edit > Paste to place the entire image in the Microsoft Word document
  3. Enter a title to the top of the page
  4. Write notes & comments to help remind the client of the next steps.
  5. Save the Word document in a folder on their computer to use at a later date
  6. Print one copy to put in their file folder or procedures manual (as a reminder)

But today I saw a different way:

  1. Starting out the same, by clicking Print Screen to capture the image I want to include in the tutorial
  2. Open the basic “Paint” program (find it in Start > All Programs > Accessories > Paint)
  3. Select Edit > Paste  or Cntrl + V and you’ll see the entire screen in the paint area.  Next is where I had my lightbulb moment
  4. Use the capture tool to select the area from the entire screen and Cntrl + C  to copy just this one section.
  5. Go to File > New and paste this new image & Save.

Maybe it sounds complex?  If so, watch his entire video here, to see what I’m referring too.
This is going to save me so much time!

Here’s one I did, while writing this!

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