How to Get a Picture from a Video

The cliché that “a picture’s worth a thousand words” is entirely appropriate when taking screenshots on your computer. Screenshots are building blocks for web content, allowing you to reference specific moments from TV, music videos, and news media. Learning how to get a picture from a video is helpful if you want to create an Internet meme, summarize a long clip within a blog post, or just collect inspiration from different visual sources. It’s also extremely easy to do, whether you’re using Mac or Windows. Below, we’ve outlined how to get a picture from a video using keyboard shortcuts on both operating systems. 


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Using Mac OS X
1. The easiest way to take screenshots using OS X is with keyboard shortcuts. First, pressing “Command + Shift + 3” will take a shot of the entire screen. If you have a video player running a clip in Full Screen mode, this will produce the highest quality image, which you can resize later. 

2. Pressing “Command + Shift + 4” will change your regular cursor to a set of crosshairs. With this new icon, you can click and drag anywhere on the screen to capture anything that’s in the box. When you let go of the mouse button, the screenshot will be taken. For more accuracy, you can also press the spacebar and then click on particular windows, menus, or icons to capture them without dragging a box.   

3. Using either method, any screenshots you take will immediately be sent to the desktop as a PNG file. Each file’s name will display an exact date and time that the shot was taken. From here, you can convert or resize the image using OS X’s built-in Preview application. 

Using Windows 10 and 8.1
1. In earlier versions of Windows, taking a screenshot was more complicated. Now, it’s easy with the Print Screen key. On normal desktop keyboards, the key is usually located between F12 and Scroll Lock. Sometimes it’s written as PrntScrn, PrtScn, or Print Scr, depending on the manufacturer. On laptops, you might need to press the Fn key to access it. 

2. Pressing Print Screen will save an image of your entire screen to the clipboard. If you want to save it as a PNG file, just press the “Windows logo key + Print Screen” simultaneously. If that doesn’t work, try “Windows logo + Fn + Print Screen” or “Windows logo + Ctrl + Print Screen”. If it’s successful, a new image file should be saved to “Screenshots” inside of your main Pictures folder.

3. If you don’t need the PNG file and only want to use the screenshot in a Word document or image editor, just press Print Screen. Then, open your desired program and choose “Paste” from the Edit tab. This will paste your screenshot directly from the clipboard. 

4. Next, capturing a certain area of the screen is easy with the Snipping Tool. You can access it by pressing Start > All Apps > Windows Accessories > Snipping Tool, or typing “Snipping Tool” in the main search box. The Snipping Tool has three main functions: “New”, “Cancel”, and “Options”.

  • New: Choose the screenshot style that you wish to take. 

  • Cancel: Undo the current action.

  • Options: Select more advanced snipping features.

5. When starting a “New” snip, there are four different styles to choose from:

  • Free-form Snip: Draw a free-form line around an area, without limits.

  • Rectangular Snip: Draw a box around an area by clicking and dragging.

  • Window Snip: Choose a particular window or dialog box to capture.

  • Full-screen Snip: Capture the entire screen.

6. If you’re ready to save your screenshot, press the “Save Snip” button and choose a file name for the image. You can also email the screenshot by pressing “Send Snip” and then entering the recipient’s email address.   

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