PC Doctor March 24, 2011

Have your computer questions answered here! Search the PC Doctor archive or submit a question of your own at info@athollibrary.org

Dear PC Doctor,

A friend of mine has been having trouble with a couple things on the desktop of his computer. I think I know how to help him, but it would be easier to show him than explaining it. Is there a way to take a picture of what my screen looks like to send to him?


Dear Monica,

Yes, it's pretty easy to take a “screenshot” of your computer's screen on Windows.  First, set up your screen to take the screenshot (meaning have what you want to copy displayed on your screen). After, take a look at your keyboard.  Keyboards are different, especially between desktop computers and laptops. You're looking for the “PrtScn” button— it should be somewhere above the numeral pad to the top right part of your keyboard.  Even though it's a shortened form of “Print Screen” don't worry, it won't actually print anything. If you only need a screenshot of a single window on your screen, hold down the Alt key while pressing PrtScn with the desired window selected. After you press the keys, open up Microsoft Paint. Go to Edit in the toolbar menu, and select “Paste”. Eureka! You should see your screenshot appear in paint. Since the image is probably bigger than you need, either crop or resize your image. Click File, then Save, and you'll be good to go!

What about the Mac users? Wow, in a way it's actually easier than doing it in Windows. (I don't know how it's possible, but I've heard that Macs even take better quality screenshots.) To take a screenshot with a Mac, simply press the Command + Shift + 3 at the same time. This takes a screenshot of your entire screen and then sends the image file to your desktop. No image editing software necessary! What if you wanted to just grab a part of your screen? Press Command + Shift + 4 instead. Now, a little cross-hair cursor will appear. Click and drag to make a selection box on your screen. As soon as you release the mouse button, it will take a screenshot of just that selection and send it to your desktop.

Now, you can share images of your computer screen with anyone!

            PC Doctor

Dear PC Doctor,

Something is wrong with the start bar on my computer. I'm using Windows 7 which I love because it's very easy to use and it looks nice, but I can't figure out to fix this. I have no idea how it happened! Instead of my start bar (or whatever it's called, it's where I click the Windows logo button to get to the rest of my programs) being at the bottom of my screen, it's at the top! I can still use it just fine, but I just don't like it that way. Can you help me?


Dear Sandra,

Oh no! I know how you feel, if my Taskbar (that's what it's officially called) is anywhere except for the bottom of my screen, it just feels weird. I'm not sure how you might have changed it without realizing, but it's pretty easy to change it back. Follow along and we'll be back to normal in a flash. Right click on your desktop, and a little menu should appear. Click on Personalize. A new window will appear; on the left bottom side of the box, click on “Taskbar and Start Menu”. In the Taskbar tab, look for the dropdown menu for “Taskbar Location on screen”. Change the selection from “Top” to Bottom. (If you're feeling adventurous, change it to the left or right!) Click OK, and then close the Personalize window! Enjoy.

            PC Doctor

Until next time… happy computing!