Tutorials to Capture Active Window

Last updated on June 11, 2015 by

People taking screenshots of screen for sorts of reasons. Some for collecting materials to insert into documents, some for sharing what they see on screen with others. While for others, they take screenshots for better explain something that would be difficult to explain in words. Whatever the purposes are, capturing screen is just a keystroke away. However, there are times that we may just want to capture only active window such as the window of the activate application for using as material for presentation or other usage. Though taking screenshot of only active window may seem daunting, it is actually quite easy to achieve with the following methods.

I. Capturing Application Window With Keyboards

II. Best Program for Taking Active Screenshot

III. Web-Based App for Capturing Active Window

IV. Other Options to Snapshot Active Window

I. Traditional Method: Using Keyboard Shortcuts

Windows Keyboard Shortcuts

The general way of taking screenshot comes in handy by pressing the “PrtScn” keyboard shortcut on Windows 7/8. However, it can only capture full screen. For those who want to have a snapshot of active window, you can press “Alt + Print Screen” to drag a region to generate the screenshot instead and then hit “Ctrl + V” to paste it in your document or instant message.

Mac Keyboard Shortcuts

mac hotkeyOn Mac OS, the keyboard shortcuts to snapshot active window are hiding in plain sight! Only a few people know that specific application window can be captured and saved to the desktop as image by pressing “Command+Shift+4” and hitting the Spacebar. And, if you want to screenshot active window and copy it to the clipboard, just click “Shift+ Ctrl +Command+4” and then hit the Spacebar.

However, this method is inconvenient as it cannot recognize the window and capture it automatically.

II. Advanced Method: Using Screen Capture Pro

If you are looking for a more sophisticated way to take screenshot on active window then you can use Screen Capture Pro. This application is professionally designed to meet all of the screenshot needs that a user have. In using this program you will be given the privilege to use its 10 various capture modes, 2 image editor, and a task scheduler. Aside from saving the capture image on local disk, Screen Capture Pro also has a sharing function that will allow users to share captured images on various social media sites, and an option to save the image on cloud space.

To use this professional app, here are the steps:

1. Download the Screen Capture Pro by hitting the button below, and then install.
2. Next, is to open an active window that you want to capture from your computer.
3. Now, you can select a capture mode that you prefer, and choose whether to use the Quick editor or the Advanced editor.
4. In order to take screenshot, click the camera icon and wait for a moment until an image preview appeared along with the editor that you’ve picked. (There will be some case where in your selected capture mode will require you t drag a cross-hair along the window to capture.)
5. After that, you can start adding annotations and effects. By using the Quick editor, you can draw lines, shapes, text,and highlight as well. While in Advanced editor you can do annotations but this time you can pixelate, or sharpen the image.
6. To save the taken screenshot on desktop, click the diskette like icon.You will also have an option to save the screenshot on cloud storage, or share it to different social media sites.

III. Online Method: Using Online Screen Cap Tool

In capturing an active window, you can use a web-based app called Free Screenshot Capture. This online tool is free of charge with no registration needed. As you’d expected, it features one-click function for grabbing, application window and region by clicking the icon on the main interface or keyboard shortcuts. Besides, it offers a simple image editor which is perfect for annotating your screenshots with lines, arrows, shapes, text, and more. Also, after quick edits, you’re able to save the screenshots to the clipboard or the local disk for other usage. Plus you can also share it  on different social media sites. However, if you want to use this program offline, you can make use of its pro desktop version, which is available at in their site as well.

To learn how to capture an active window with this screenshot tool, follow the steps below.

1. Go to screenshot.net and hit the “Take Screenshot” button.
2.After you have launched this application, you can configure the settings as you desire. For example, you can select your desirable keyboard shortcuts and decide whether to include cursor in capture.
3. Back to the main interface, you can click the camera icon on the interface or press the hotkeys to capture active window.
4. Open an application window and put it on the top of the others. Move the cursor over the window you want to capture and click it. After capturing, you can annotate the screenshot by using the options on toolbars.
5. After quick edits, you can press the “Ctrl+S” to save it to clipboard or directly hit the “Save” button on the tool bar to save it to your local disk.

IV. Other Available Options to Screenshot Active Window

Snipping Tool (Windows7/8)

Snipping ToolAside from capturing application window using keyboard shortcuts, you can perform this task using Snipping Tool as well. As the Windows built-in screenshot capture, it is a less feature-filled as compared with Free Screenshot Capture. To use it, you can go to the “Start” Menu on desktop and select “Accessories”, then click “Snipping Tool” to run it on your computer. After that, you can click the down arrow that besides the “New” button and select “Window Snip” mode. Once it’s done, you can hit the “New” button to capture active window. After capturing, it allows you to edit and save the screenshot as you desire.

Jing (Windows/Mac)

JingJing is a favorite program among many Windows and Mac users. It’s simple and easy to use, allowing for taking screenshots and capturing video. Using it to capture active window is pretty easy, just click the “Capture” option and select the window you want to capture. Once a screenshot has been captured, users can annotate the screenshots with arrows, lines, text, as well as add special effects such as blur and highlight. After editing, you can upload the screenshots to Screencast.com and share through IM, email, etc.

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Posted by on June 10, 2014 to Screenshot Guide, Follow me on Twitter. Last updated on June 11, 2015

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