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[SOLVED] How do screenshot-taking apps work on Windows?

LighterST

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Feb 13, 2017
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Take, for instance, Lightshot. When I press the PrtSc button an overlay appears in which I can select area, add text, etc. How does the app do it? I mean, it stores the screen image somewhere before letting me customize it, right? And how does an overlay work and how does it take over? I mean, overlay is not considered an application as I can't Alt+Tab out of it, right? I seem to formulate my questions too poorly for a searce engine to help me out.
 

lvt

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Take, for instance, Lightshot. When I press the PrtSc button an overlay appears in which I can select area, add text, etc. How does the app do it? I mean, it stores the screen image somewhere before letting me customize it, right? And how does an overlay work and how does it take over? I mean, overlay is not considered an application as I can't Alt+Tab out of it, right? I seem to formulate my questions too poorly for a searce engine to help me out.
Not sure what is your Windows version, let's take Win10 as example.

The PRTSC is just a keyboard shortcut, you can define how the key works, actually Win10 comes with an app called "Snip & Sketch" that helps you to take screen shots, the original method to call the app is "Windows key + Shift + S" sequence, but in Settings you can select to call the app with PRTSC key.
 

lvt

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It's a bit different on WinXP, with WinXP the PRTSC just takes a shot of the whole screen and lets you paste the image to any photo edior like Photoshop... To take a shot only of the active window, you can use the "ALT GR + PRTSC" keys combination.
 
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Pimpom

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It's a bit different on WinXP, with WinXP the PRTSC just takes a shot of the whole screen and lets you paste the image to any photo edior like Photoshop... To take a shot only of the active window, you can use the "ALT GR + PRTSC" keys combination.
I normally use PrtSc to capture the whole screen and Irfanview to capture only the active windows. It's only from your post that I've come to know that Windows has this built-in feature to capture only the active window. Thanks. (I use Win7).
 
Last edited:

lvt

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I normally use PrtSc to capture the whole screen and Irfanview to capture only the active windows. It's only from your post that I've come to know that Windows has this built-in feature to capture only the active window. Thanks. (I use Win7).

BTW what's GR here? Are those keys needed in XP? Alt + PrtSc works in Win7.
My keyboard is French keyboard, the Alt Gr is simply Alt in other keyboards :p
 

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