How to Insert a Screenshot Into a Microsoft Word Document

Take a snapshot of your screen for a Word file.
... James Woodson/Digital Vision/Getty Images

When an assignment calls for both show and tell, you can maximize pictures telling a thousand words by inserting screen shots into your Microsoft Word documents. At their most minimal, screen shots require you to press only a couple of keys on your keyboard and record a virtual snapshot of something happening on your screen. You can weave these snapshots as images throughout your work and Word treats them as any other graphics you’d insert, such as photos or clip art.

Launch Word and open the document in which you want to insert the screen shot.

Scroll to the section where you want to add the screen shot. Press the “Enter” key to drop to a new line or press the “Ctrl-Enter” keys to create a page break so the screen shot starts a new page.

Click the “Insert” tab, then the “Pictures” button.

Browse to where you saved the screen shot image file on your computer and double-click it, which inserts it into the document.

Click the newly inserted screen shot to open the Drawing Tools tab above the main ribbon. You won’t see the tab unless you actually click the screen shot. With tools on this ribbon, you can crop, recolor, add a border and create elements such as a glow or a shadow on the screen shot. These are optional.

  • Instructions in this article apply to Word 2013. With Word 2010 you’ll see a Picture button on the Insert tab instead of a Pictures button. Information may vary slightly or significantly with other versions of Word.
  • To take a screen shot, hold “Ctrl” and press “Print Screen." This captures everything on the screen, including the contents of multiple monitors. Press "Ctrl-V" to paste the screen shot into a graphics editor, such as Windows Paint, and crop out the extra stuff.
  • If you’ve just taken the screen shot and you don’t want to cut or crop out any screen elements, you can simply navigate to the place you want to insert the screen shot into the Word document and press the “Ctrl-V” keys to paste it in.

Fionia LeChat is a technical writer whose major skill sets include the MS Office Suite (Word, PowerPoint, Excel, Publisher), Photoshop, Paint, desktop publishing, design and graphics. LeChat has a Master of Science in technical writing, a Master of Arts in public relations and communications and a Bachelor of Arts in writing/English.