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Thread: small problem using the print screen button

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    Default small problem using the print screen button

    I had this problem a while back and I do not recall how I solved it. I am using Windows XP SP3. One day I will upgrade to Windows 7, but not right now. Anyway after recently reinstalling windows I have discovered that the print screen button now requires the function key in order to take a screenshot. Does anyone know how I can just use the print screen button alone to take a screenshot?
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    This is a little frustrating, but it appears to be fixed now and I don't know how. The only thing I can see that I did was turn on the on screen keyboard, and tried to take a screen shot that way. It worked. Now I can't disable taking screenshots by only pressing the print screen button.
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    That's interesting, but out of curiosity, is this a laptop you're referring to? I only ask, as some laptops (mine included) require you to press function as well as print screen. Also, have you had anything like this happen before?
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    This is a desktop computer. I have had something like this happen a few years ago, but I am unsure (like today) how it was resolved. I'm still searching to try and figure this out.
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    Like Bernie, to me what you described sounds like something on a laptop. But it's probably unrelated for a desktop. Is there any chance there's a "fn" key on your keyboard? Or some kind of "function lock"? I doubt it, but that would make sense...

    Have you tried the obvious with caps/scroll/num lock? I doubt it, but maybe it's a weird keyboard.

    Otherwise, I have once in a while had some odd things happen with Windows (especially within certain programs), so maybe you had a certain setting on... sorry I can't help more.


    Probably completely unrelated, you can reprogram how screen captures are done on a Mac. It's not quite as easy as on a PC, but you have more options. Usually it's cmd+shift+3 for saving a full screen capture to the desktop. Or cmd+shift+4 to save a selection (it opens a selection tool) of the screen to the desktop. But I've changed mine to make it a little more accessible (and save to clipboard instead of desktop) as needed.
    I'm unaware of anything like that for Windows, but there is and you happened to find it?
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    Thata interesting,I have never been able to figure out how that is supposed to work.

    When you press the print screen button is it supposed to do just that?Print what you have on screen?

    It has never seemed to work for me either on my laptop or desktop.Is there a setting to do this with?
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    Quote Originally Posted by ajfmrf View Post
    When you press the print screen button is it supposed to do just that?Print what you have on screen?
    that would make sense but as far as I can tell, it just stores a screen capture (image) to your clipboard that you can then paste into Word/Photoshop/Paint, etc
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    It's a bad name for it. I don't think it's ever supposed to actually print (to paper), but rather print to the clipboard or something-- like print() in a programming language, that kind of "print".

    (I remember trying that a long time ago, thinking my printer must be broken! )


    On Windows, you can only save it to the clipboard as far as I know. So open up Paint (if you don't have Photoshop, etc.) and just press ctrl+v.

    On a Mac, you can choose whether you want to save a file or copy to the clipboard. The settings are somewhere in the System Preferences-- if anyone can't find it, I can check, but it should be fairly obvious. The disadvantage of that is that you have to remember a few more key combinations. On Windows it's simple!
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    I spent a while searching and reading up on the print screen button. I'm afraid I'm just going to have to chalk this up to one of those rare bugs we sometimes see. Some of the things that I did learn about the print screen button last night is the following:

    1. In the days before Windows 1.0 the print screen button used to print the screen.
    2. You need to use the windows logo key along with the print screen button to take a screen shot if you are using a laptop.
    3. On a desktop it is just the one button. You can do the same thing with the on screen keyboard.
    4. Typing Clipbrd.exe into the run command line will bring up the actual clipboard which most people never see.
    5. Using the Alt + print screen will capture only the active window.
    6. In Windows built in Help and Support Center you can search for Windows keyboard shortcuts overview and you will see a list of all of the built in Windows shortcuts.
    Last edited by james438; 01-03-2013 at 02:52 AM.
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    In the days before Windows 1.0 the print screen button used to print the screen.
    Oh? On paper? That's fun.


    Years ago, as my first "program" I created (in LibertyBASIC, by random chance) a "typewriter" program. It was really fun. It was basically like notepad (no features/formatting) and would allow you to type lines of text. When you pressed "enter" that made the printer print that line (but hold the paper where it was). If I recall correctly, this was done by actually using two separate special character commands, one that printed text/a line of text, and another that fed the paper through (and later a third to finalize and feed the rest of the blank paper through). It was amusingly low tech, but it was very fun at the time

    I bet most people are completely unaware that's theoretically possible on a printer... I know I wasn't aware of it until I randomly discovered it.


    ...It was sort of like writing a letter in the style of a chat
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