Wednesday, January 28, 2009

PrtScr is retarded

I was going to write a different blog post today, about the inconsistencies across the user interfaces in Windows. I'll write that one later, maybe tomorrow. But to demonstrate the inconsistencies, I wanted to take a screenshot of some programs. That's when I learned a terrible lesson in Windows:

PrtScr is retarded.

Under Linux, when I hit PrtScr, I was immediately prompted to save the screenshot to a file. Very easy, very immediate. I knew that PrtScr was doing something.

In Windows, I figured it would work the same way. So I hit PrtScr - but nothing happened. Didn't matter how many times I tried PrtScr, I got nothing. It wasn't until I did a Google search for Windows XP PrtScr that I realized "print screen" really just saved a copy to the clipboard.

To me, this is just backwards. If I want to take screenshots of different applications under Windows, I have to do them one at a time, then paste them into (for example) Paint. That's just to save the screenshot to a file: PrtScr, open Paint (because I didn't want Paint in my screenshot), paste, save, close Paint. Under Linux, this process was easy: PrtScr, save to file.

Why does Windows make it so hard? I'd rather just hit PrtScr, immediately save the screenshot to a file, and move on.

At least Windows does it the Linux way and allows Alt-PrtScr to copy a screenshot of just the open window. But still no way to directly save a screenshot to a file.


  1. Err, seriously, would you have users save the damned screen image, then import it into an application, or merely switch to whatever application and hit ctrl-v?
    As usual, Linux retards would rather there were more steps involved to simple tasks....must make them feel so smug and superior.
    I'll tell you what. Whilst you're fwaping around with some command line BS. I'll be doing some work and getting paid for it.

  2. I know it's a bit late now (April 2010) but if you are using Windows Office you might as well use an Excel workbook to capture your screenshots. It is easy enough, and fairly convenient. Copy the window (or full screen) into your clipboard, switch to the spreadsheet page and ctrl/v to paste it in there. No, I don't do this at home, but at the office it helps me gather things to pass along to coworkers and save for documentation.

  3. I love linux and it's my first usual OS, but I actually like that copy to clipboard is all set up in windows unlike linux, for prt scr.

  4. The current Linux KDE printscreen button works very well. A very clean, powerful and straightforward dialogue allowing you to save, clip or open the image.. or take a new one. Clipping out a section doesn't require opening a paint program - just fine tune the clip region when you capture!
    I really appreciate it!


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.