If you have ever written procedure for any computer related task, or tried to send an email describing an error message you’ve been getting, you probably wished you could insert a picture of your screen into your document. But if you are using Microsoft Office 2010, you now have a convenient, built-in way to insert a picture of any application window into Word, Excel, Outlook, or PowerPoint. In any of those four applications, click on the Insert tab of the ribbon. In the Illustrations section you will see a button labeled Screenshot. Click on it and a dropdown menu will show you thumbnail images of all your currently active windows (minimized windows won’t be shown). Click on one to insert is into your document. If you don’t want to insert an entire window, you can click on Screen Clipping which is at the bottom of the Screenshots menu, just below the thumbnails. When you click on it your current document will automatically minimize, showing you the window that was behind it. (At this point there is no way to change windows, so you’ll have to plan ahead) Then the screen will “frost”, as Microsoft calls it, and you can click and drag to select the desired portion of the window. When you release the mouse button, the area you have selected will be inserted into your document.
If you aren’t using Office 2010, you can still capture screenshots using standard Windows keyboard shortcuts. See my tip from August 2010. There are also many 3rd party screen capture programs if you need more features.