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Immortalize your display: How to take a screenshot using a Microsoft Surface

Whether you want to capture friends and relatives making funny faces on Skype, or need accessible photos of online resources or programs, screenshots benefit users in many ways. With a simple press of a computer’s Print Screen key, you essentially have the ability to capture anything and everything occurring on your desktop at once.

Related: How to take a screenshot on an iPhone or iPod Touch

But what if you want to take a screenshot using a keyboard-less, touchscreen tablet? Despite the fact the fabled Print Screen key didn’t make the jump to tablets during production, most tablets feature their own method for capturing an image of your display, often via a button combination or tool. For Microsoft Surface users, this fact is especially true given there are three separate methods for capturing screenshots of your tablet’s display. Whether you’re utilizing a Touch or Type Cover, or use the tablet by itself, our comprehensive walkthrough will have you taking screenshots on your Surface in no time.

Method 1: Using the Surface’s keyboard shortcuts

Microsoft’s decision to not include a Print Screen key on either its Touch or Type Cover accessories makes taking screenshots less straightforward than on a computer. Instead of using a designated key, you need to perform a simple button combination to execute the command on a Surface.

Surface Screenshot

To take a screenshot, press and hold the Windows icon button located at the bottom of the tablet. With the Windows button pressed, simultaneously push the lower volume rocker on the side of the Surface. At this point you should notice the screen dim, then brighten again as if you took a snapshot with a camera. Once you successfully finish capturing the screenshot, you can view it via the Screenshots folder in your Photos application or within My Pictures folder.

Method 2: Using the Snipping Tool

If you’d like greater control regarding what aspect of the display you capture, the Surface’s Snipping Tool grants you with even more preciseness. To locate and use the Snipping Tool, open the search function within the Surface’s menu bar and simply type “Snipping Tool” into the search field. Once it populates in the search results, you can either left click the icon to open the application on your desktop, or right click the icon to pin the application to your tile menu or taskbar.

snipping tool 2 with circle

The Snipping Tool gives you three options once open: New, Cancel, or Options. Clicking New turns your cursor into a set of cross hairs you can then use to create a capture field encompassing the portion of he display you want to capture. Simply drag the resulting cursor over the desired area before releasing it to capture your desired screenshot. Afterward, save the screenshot wherever you prefer as either a JPEG, PNG, or GIF file.

Method 3: Using a Type or Touch Cover

Although we mentioned how the Type and Touch Covers don’t feature a Print Screen key, they do allow you to capture screenshots using a basic button combination. With a Type or Touch Cover attached to your Microsoft Surface, simultaneously press and hold the Fn key, the Windows button, and click the spacebar. You’ll notice the screen dim then brighten again, thus signifying a successful screenshot.

Keyboard Surface