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Screenshots

CameraIf you've lurked on the Neoboards for any length of time, you will doubtless have heard people using the term 'screenie'. But what exactly is a screenie?

'Screenie' is an abbreviation of 'screenshot', or 'screen capture'. It is basically a static image of something on your computer monitor that you can save to show to other people. In this guide I'll teach you the basics of how to make screenies and how to put them up on the internet.

If this guide feels at all patronising, it really isn't meant to be; I'm just trying to give as much information as possible so that anybody can read it and follow along, regardless of their level of comfort with a keyboard.

Capturing the Screenshot

The method of actually taking the screenshot differs slightly depending on what type of computer you're using. I'll cover the three basics here, but if you think we should add information for other types then send in a bug report and we'll be sure to add directions for those too.

Desktop PCs

On the top row of your keyboard, on the right-hand side, just after the row of 'F' keys, there should be a key with the letters 'Prt Scr' or 'Print Screen' written on it. Simply press this key to take a screenshot of your monitor and paste it onto your computer's clipboard (more on what that means in a moment).

Laptops

On some smaller laptops, the 'Print Screen' function may be shared with another key, meaning you will have to hold down the 'Function' key to get it to perform the desired action. The 'Function' key should be in the bottom left corner of your keypad, and have the letters 'FN' printed on it. You will need to hold down both keys at the same time to take the screenshot and paste it to your computer's clipboard.

Macs

If you're using a Mac, your keyboard or keypad won't have a 'Print Screen' key, so you'll have to do some finger-gymnastics instead. First, find the 'Command' key (also known as the 'Apple Key'), there should be one on either side of the 'Space Bar' in the middle at the bottom. You will need to hold down this, the 'Control' (or '^') key, the 'Shift' key and the '3' key, all at the same time. It can be tricky to press all four keys at once, especially if you're in the middle of a game or something, so it can take some practice. Once again, doing this process will take a screenshot of the monitor and copy it to your computer's clipboard.

Clipboard"
Not THAT kind of clipboard...

Pasting the Screenshot

So now you have the image captured and stored on your computer's clipboard, but in order to be able to see it, you will need to open up a graphics program and paste it onto a canvas. You don't need to have anything fancy like Photoshop or Paint Shop Pro, Microsoft Paint will work just as well.

Once you have opened your graphics program of choice, paste your selected information onto the canvas by pressing 'Control' and 'V' together on a PC/Laptop, or by pressing 'Command and 'V' together if you're using a Mac. And TADA! You now have your very own screenshot.

Paste
Not THAT kind of paste either, stop being silly!

Editing Your Screenie

From here, you can now do pretty much whatever you want to your image; you can add in captions or doodles, highlight bits you want to draw attention to, or just chop parts off that you don't need. It's entirely up to you. Once you're done, save it somewhere either as a .gif file or as a .png file (.jpeg files tend to lose some of their quality during the saving process and can look a bit pixelated when you open them again).

NOTE: remember that making a screenshot will copy EVERYTHING on your screen, including any programs you have open in other windows or tabs that are visible in your taskbar at the bottom of the screen. So if you intend to put your screenshots on the internet for other people to look at, be wary to cut off all the stuff you don't want them seeing, especially the screen names of anybody you may have been having an instant message conversation with at the time.

Scissors
Snip snip, here we go!

Hosting Your Screenie

So now you've made your screenie, it's time to share it! There are a number of free image hosting websites on the internet that you can use for this, like Photobucket, ImageShack or TinyPic. They will require you to set up an account, but it's usually free for their basic services.

Follow the directions on the screen to select the image from the location you saved it, it will then be uploaded to the internet and you will be given a URL of where it has been uploaded to. It's that simple!

You can now view that image in the gallery attached to your account on the image hosting website and it will stay in your gallery until you decide to delete it. If you want to get the specific URL for the image again at a later date, simply click on it to view the full-sized image and then right click on it with your mouse and select 'copy image location' from the menu.

Faellie PosterJeran PosterTaelia
What? I had to get her in somewhere...

Using Your Screenie

What you want to use your screenies for and where you want to put them is entirely up to you. A common use of them is to make amusing ones of things that happen whilst playing Neopets and post them on your petpage so that other people can look at them and hopefully have a giggle.

To put them on a petpage, simply go here and select the 'edit' option underneath the pet whose page you wish to put the image on. Then type in

<img src="THE URL OF YOUR IMAGE"> and hit 'Preview Changes' to look at your handiwork. And that's how it's done!

All that text can look a bit daunting, but the actual process itself doesn't take all that long once you know what you're doing and can be an endless source of amusement. So I hope you found that useful, I'll be sure to look out for your screenie pages on Neopets, I can always use a good giggle.

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This article was written by: Weepit