Saturday, January 17, 2009

Print Screen for Dummies: Taking a Screenshot of Flash Images in Windows XP

The other day I needed to take a screenshot of a flash image and didn't know how to do it. I tried using my Firefox plugin, Abduction!, which I normally use for screenshots, but it wouldn't work. When the Abduction! window popped up, all that would show was a blank screen. Instead of trying the most obvious, not to mention simplest, solution first--I'll get to that in a minute--I tried the unobvious and harder solutions. First, I downloaded a couple of other screenshot plugins for Firefox. None of them worked when it came to flash images so, in the end, I had to uninstall each one and reinstall Abduction!. Then I tried to download and install several different programs from download.com that promised to capture flash images. One captured flash images all right, just not the one that I wanted. The other two didn't work at all.

Fed up, I finally sought help from a message board. A fellow message board member referred me to an About.com article that listed several other software titles that I could try, as well as directions on how to try what I previously referred to as the simplest and most obvious solution--print screen. I know. I know. You're probably all thinking the same thing, "Duh! What an idiot! Why didn't you try that first?" Well, I did...sort of. I hit the "prt scr" button, several times in fact, but I didn't know what to do after that. I guess I just assumed that the captured image would pop up in another window, like it does when I use Abduction!. Of course, it didn't.

Consequently, I'm swallowing my pride and admitting that I'm an absolute idiot so that I can help all of my fellow idiots out there who also don't know how to work the print screen function. Before I explain how, let me give you a quick disclaimer first. I only know that this method works on Windows XP. I have no idea if it works in older versions of Windows or in Windows Vista. If it doesn't, please don't come back here and yell at me. Like I said, I already know that I am an idiot. I don't need the extra confirmation.

How to Capture or Take a Screenshot of a Flash Image

(a.k.a. Print Screen for Dummies)

  1. Why the flash image is on your computer screen, hit the Print Screen button. That's the button to the right of your letters, right above the Insert key, that says Prt Scr.
  2. Either minimize or exit your web browser and open your favorite paint program, whether it be Photoshop, Paint.net, Microsoft Paint, or the like.
  3. Got to Edit on your menu bar and select Paste. Your captured flash image (screenshot, not moving image) should now be pasted on the paint program's blank piece of paper.
  4. Either save or print the screenshot.
Voila. It's so easy even a dumb brunette can do it. Now if I can just figure out how to tie my shoes...Is it loop, swoop, and pull or poop, scoop, and full? I get those two things confused. I guess it explains why the bottom of my tennis shoes are always covered in dog poo.
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