Print Screen key

Updated: 12/31/2020 by Computer Hope
Keyboard control keys

Sometimes abbreviated as Prscr, PRTSC, PrtScrn, Prt Scrn, PrntScrn, or Ps/SR, the Print Screen key is a keyboard key found on most computer keyboards. When pressed, the key either sends the current screen image to the computer clipboard or the printer depending on the operating system or running program. In the image, the Print Screen key is the top-left key of the control keys.

Where is the Print Screen key on the keyboard?

The Print Screen key is labeled as one of the abbreviations mentioned earlier and with the other control keys on the keyboard. Below is an overview of a computer keyboard with the Print Screen key highlighted in blue.

Print Screen key

I'm missing the Print Screen key on my keyboard

Not all computer keyboard have the same layout as the above example. For more compact keyboards, you may need to look in other locations or press other keys.

  • On Apple computer keyboards, the Print Screen key may be missing and have an F13 function key instead.
  • On the Lenovo keyboard, the PrtSc key is between the left Alt and Ctrl keys.
  • On the Microsoft Surface Pro type cover, the Print Screen key is on the F8 key.

What does Alt+Print Screen do?

On computers running Microsoft Windows, the computer takes a picture of the active window and not everything on the screen. For example, resizing the browser window you're using to read this page and pressing Alt+Print Screen creates a screenshot of the smaller resized window and not what's behind the window.

Can I use the Print Screen key to print to my printer?

Almost always, no. The Print Screen key is most often used to take a screenshot and store it in the clipboard. Once stored in the clipboard, you can paste the image into any image editor. Then, you can print the picture of your screen on your printer.

Note

There are a few programs designed to use the Print Screen key to start printing.

Computer abbreviations, Control keys, Keyboard terms, Print, Printing terms, Screenshot