2020 Donald R. Snow
This page was last updated 2020-04-10
Return to the  Utah Valley Technology and Genealogy Group Home Page  or  Don's Class Listings Page .
ABSTRACT: Anything you can see on your computer screen can be captured to save for your family history. We will discuss how to do this with some free and inexpensive programs. The information can be on one screen or an entire scrolling window and the program will capture it all. This format to save it in depends on various things and the files need to be named so you can find them on your computer later.  This will be illustrated with demonstrations and examples.   The class notes and related articles, all with active Internet links, are on Don's website .


  1. Instructor is Donald R. Snow ( ) of Provo and St. George, Utah.
  2. These note are posted on .
  3. Tips:  (1)  Easy to put an icon on your desktop for the URL for these notes or any URL; just drag the icon from in front of the address in your browser to your desktop.  (2)  To open a link from here in another tab, but keep your place in these notes, hold down the Control key while clicking the link.
  4. The problem for today:  How to make a scrrenshot of what you see on your computer screen.

  6. As you browse on the Internet or read email or look at pictures on your computer, you may see things you want to keep a copy of, either parts or all of the screen; you do this with screenshots
  7. We will discuss copying an entire window, but not an entire webpage which is a subject for another class.
  8. Before making the screenshot, if you want to make it larger or smaller on the screen, try holding down the CTRL key and rolling the mouse wheel or holding down the CTRL key and pressing + or - .  This works for all browsers and some other programs.

  10. Some screenshot programs and scanners allow posting directly to FamilySearch, but this is NOT recommended for at least two reasons; (1) They should be edited first, and (2) You need to keep a copy yourself.
  11. Screenshots can be saved in several formats, e.g. .pdf, .jpg, .tif, .png, etc., depending on your use for it, and some programs will only save in certain formats, so be aware of this 
  12. Screenshots can be captioned before saving and some programs have built-in screenshot editors 
  13. Also, part of the screen or all of it can be saved, depending on the program  
  14. Screenshots can be saved as files or on the clipboard of your computer to paste into other programs  

  16. Saving to html -- all browsers can do this
    1. html is computer jargon for "hypertext mark-up language", the format that browsers, like Chrome, need to display webpages 
    2. Most webpages can be saved by saving the html file -- right-click anywhere on the page and select Save As > html -- give it a name and tell it where you want to save it 
    3. Clicking on an html file opens it in your default browser and shows it just as if you were connected to the Internet
  17. Printing to PDF -- WINDOWS now has a built-in Print to Microsoft PDF -- in any program that you can print from, go to Print and Print to Microsoft PDF; tell it what to name it and where to save the file; I leave my default printer set to Print to Microsoft PDF so I don't inadvertently print hard copy of stuff I didn't mean to
  18. PrintScreen button -- saves the full screen to the clipboard; then you paste the clipboard into a program like Wordpad and name and save that 
  19. WINDOWS SNIP & SKETCH (formerly called SNIPPING TOOL) -- easy to use, but limited in what it will do; can be run by Windows key + Shift + S -- then select the area to save and save it with the name and place you want; to put an icon on your destop for it click on the WINDOWS logo (lower left corner) and type Snip in the program search box, right click on Snip & Sketch and drag to your desktop and click Create a Shortcut
  20. The clipboard can only hold one item at a time and erases it when you save the next item; a program like DITTO -- free from -- -- will allow unlimited items on your clipboard;  CTRL+~ (tilde) shows list of all past clips; double click the one you want to paste 

  22. There are many, many, free screenshot programs
  23. FASTSTONE CAPTURE  is the program I use nearly every day
  24. Current version 8 is shareware for a one-time fee of $20 -- available from -- -- last free version was 5.3 and is still available from -- FastStone Capture 5.3 
  25. Has many useful features that other screen capture programs don't have
  26. After installation, when run, there is a small "floating" window with the controls
  27. Can save screenshots in many formats and with many options
  28. Will even capture entire scrolling window  
  29. Has option to add captions and annotations and even to do side-by-side images
  30. Includes a built-in editor that you can save the clip to and edit it before saving in final form  
  31. Examples and how to use it

  33. Screenshots need to be labeled as you save them so you can find them later wherever they are on your computer
  34. My naming system -- Example: 'RootsTech2020-TECH-MOBILE- PHOTOS-SmithDavid-UsingTechnologytoHelpInFamilyHistory-- [date and where it came from].pdf'
  35. Idea is to start with words you want it to alphabetize under and include the titles and tags or keywords, so you can find it; include where and when you got it and the type of file it is
  36. For screenshots pertaining to a person I label it as -- Exammple: "SnowDonaldRay(1931-)-1957-09-01-NEWS-UOFU- ArticleInSaltLakeDeseretNews--UtahDigitalNewspaperCollection--2014-09-04.pdf"

  38. SCREENHUNTER FREE -- -- simple and easy to use, but only saves in a few formats  
  39. IRFANVIEW -- -- free for non-commercial use; mainly an image viewer and editor, but has screen capture under Options > Capture/Screenshot  
  40. How-To Geeks --
  41. Gizmo's Reviews --
  42. Software Testing Help --
  43. Freeware Files --

  45. Screenshots are extremely useful since about 1/4th of all websites change or are deleted every year, so if you see something you want, do a screenshot now and label it clearly.
  46. This has only scratched the surface of what's available, so use what works for you and keep your eyes open for new things.

Return to the  Utah Valley Technology and Genealogy Group Home Page  or  Don's Class Listings Page .