So, let’s say you’re having a problem with your email, or if you’ve found a bug in your website. Your first instinct, naturally, is to fire off an email to your trusty web-person. But wait! Before you hit send, make sure you’ve included as much detail as possible—what you were trying to do when the error happened, what sort of error message (if any) you got, what software you were using at the time, etc. This will help your trusty web-person track down the problem far, far more quickly.
An excellent way of supplementing this information is by sending along a screenshot. I’ll often request this of clients when I can’t replicate a reported bug—if you’ve sent one to begin with, I can be that much more effective.
Here’s how you do it.
On a PC:
- Make sure your screen is showing what you’d like it to.
- Find the “Print Screen” button on your keyboard. It should be to the right, above the arrow keys and the “Page Up” and “Page Down” keys, and will probably be marked “Prnt Scrn” or somesuch. If you use a laptop, it will probably be up along the top, sharing key space with a function key.
- Once located, press the button! (If it’s on a function key, you’ll probably need to hold down your function key while you’re doing it.)
- Open up a graphics editing program. Photoshop, Paint Shop Pro, and Paint will all work equally effectively for this. Open a new document the size of your screen.
- Select “Edit » Paste” from your menu, or press Control-V. Your screenshot will appear in your new document.
- Save this document (“File » Save” or Control-S) to your computer.
- Open up your email program, attach the file you just saved, and send away!
On a Mac:
- Open a Finder Window.
- Browse to “Applications » Utilities”. Launch Grab.app.
- Select “Capture” from Grab’s menu. Select one of the options according to your preferences (“Screen” will do quite nicely!) or just hit Command+Z.
- Follow the on-screen instructions. Your Mac will make a clickity-camera noise when it takes the screenshot.
- Back to Grab. It will contain a new document that is a picture of your screen. Save it to your computer (“File » Save” or Command-S).
- Open up your mail program of choice, attach your saved file (it will be saved as a .tiff file, which is perfect), and send to your happy web-person!