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Some Microsoft Word users use a separate application like Snagit or FullShot to capture and annotate images from the computer screen. Screen Capture, also called Screen Clipping, is included as a new feature in Word 2010. There are four main reasons to use screen clipping: user documentation, for diagnostic purposes, to share file content, or to collect data. You can insert a screenshot of an entire window, or a screen clip of a region of a window.
If you work in an information systems department, or are responsible for supporting users in your workgroup, you might use Screen Clipping to include images from an application in user documentation, or a document for a specific user. For example, let's say we're creating an instruction document showing users how to create a particular column chart that's used at the end of the year. We could write a lot of text, including exactly what to click and drag, or we could write a small amount of text and illustrate it with screen clips from Excel.
Here's the layout of our Word document with the first three steps. We're going to switch to the Excel workbook. The first step will best be illustrated with a picture of the screen in Excel when the two items that we want them to select, in columns B and C, are already selected. So, we'll select those cells now. Then we'll switch over to our Word document. Remember that the Excel document is right behind our Word document right now. We'll position the insertion point right where we'd like the screen clip to go, and then, on the Insert tab, we'll choose Screenshot and point to the Excel window and click.
Notice that the entire window is captured and placed here in Microsoft Word. Now, this image is a lot larger than what we need. We'd like the user to focus on a smaller area of the screen; we actually like them to look right here. So, instead of choosing the entire Excel application window, we're going to clip just a region of the screen. Excel is still there, exactly the way we left it, so let's simply delete this image. Our insertion point is still on the same place, and we'll choose Insert > Screenshot, and instead of choosing one of the available windows, we'll choose Screen Clipping.
Notice that Word disappears, and there's a great patina over the Excel application window, so we're simply going to select this area here. You can see what it looks like. I'll kind of stay within the cell so it looks good, and notice that that range of cells selected in context, pasted here in Microsoft Word. Excel is exactly the way we left it. So, if we want to go grab another screen capture out of that Excel workbook, we can just click here. At our next location, it says, Click the Insert tab. Choose a column chart.
Well, we can go click the Insert tab, and we can see the column chart here, so we might want to select this area, for example. We'll return back over here to Word. The insertion point is in the right place. Let's choose Insert, click Screenshot, and choose Screen Clipping. Word goes away, the great patina over Excel, and we'll choose the Insert tab, and we'll just round this out. Now, it would be very easy for us to use the annotation tools at this point, to draw an arrow that points, for example, to the column chart, not a problem.
Because this is a picture, we have access to all of the picture tools that we might want to use. We could turn this into a button, or create a nice gray frame around it. That'd be silly, but we could. But all of the picture tools are available, as well as the effects that we can use in Microsoft Word and Excel and PowerPoint. If you're experiencing problems with your computer, you could capture a message box or other information on your screen to send to your helpdesk or an application support group for diagnostic purposes. With the message box open, just quickly open Word, click the Insert tab, and choose that problem application's window from the list of windows to grab that message box and paste it into your new Word document.
Many people use Screen Clipping to grab images and text from web sites for a variety of uses, some of which are legal, and some of which probably aren't. Let's create a new blank document. Content doesn't matter; screenshots and screen clipping work the same way whether you're capturing a message box, part of an application window, or an entire web site. So, if we wanted to, for example, discuss some graphics on our intranet SharePoint site - I don't know about that one graphic on homepage and somebody says. Well, what you're concern about? And you'd like to show them what graphic you're talking about, because there's more than one graphic here.
So, we could simply open our site in Internet Explorer, switch back over here to Microsoft Word to our new document, go to Insert > Screenshot, and either grab the entire window, or use Screen Clipping and focus in on precisely the image we're talking about, that we'd like to discuss. Again, we can compress this image. We can apply different effects, but if we want to discuss the image as it is, we should probably leave it as it is. Finally, there are some people who use Screen Clipping because they have access to an application on their computer that some of their colleagues don't have.
For example, you might be one of the few people in your office, or your organization, that has an application like InDesign or Photoshop or Visio. If you receive a file and other people need to see the contents, you can open that file and use Screen Clipping to take a picture of the screen that they need to see, the image that they need to be able to review and drop that into a Word document, or even into an e-mail which uses Word as its format, and send that off to other folks for their review, so they don't have to have access to all of the applications to be able to review files created in those applications.
Whether you're showing a colleague the best way to use an application feature or asking for diagnostic help or sharing information that originally came from a web site, Screen Clipping will save you hours of time, and allows you to capture any information from any application that's displayed on your computer screen, and easily share it with others.
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