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Capturing Only the Active Window with Print Screen

By January 31, 2010 July 18th, 2017 Tips & Tricks

Print Screen takes a screenshot of the entire Windows desktop.

Print Screen takes a screenshot of the entire Windows desktop.

Ah, yes… Print Screen. I’ve been using the Prt Scr key for many years now – for a long time, it was my primary method of taking screenshots. However, when I started working as a developer, I quickly discovered the benefits of using specialized screenshot utilities. Presently, I use Snipping Tool and Jing much more than Print Screen. The problem was always that Print Screen would copy the whole desktop, which is particularly frustrating when you have multiple monitors. Soon after starting as a developer, I was told that pressing Alt + Prt Scr would copy only the active window to the clipboard. This proved convenient in the cases where I wanted exactly that – just one window.

See the screenshots in this post to get a better idea of what I mean.

Alt + Print Screen only takes a screenshot of the active window.

Alt + Print Screen only takes a screenshot of the active window.