How To Take A Screenshot / Still From Your Video On A Computer

November 24, 2020 How To 0

A question we get asked all the time is ‘can I take a still from my video to use on my website’ and the answer is yes! The process is different if you’re using a phone or tablet – so, for now, we’ll look at how to take a screenshot, or still image, from your video, using a computer.

A still image, or a screenshot, is a capture of a frame in a video – essentially you’re taking a photo of the video. Still, images mean you can upload a custom thumbnail image for your video on YouTube or Facebook, you can use that image on social media to promo the video or to create a marketing campaign with consistent branding. It is important to keep in mind that screenshots or still images pulled from videos are great for web and digital use but may lose quality if you try to print them.

Let’s dive in – the first step is to find the video you’d like to take a screenshot of and pause it on the exact moment you’d like captured. Depending what video player you’re using you may need to make the video fullscreen and move the mouse so any controls or overlay text disappear.

We’re going to talk about how to take a screenshot of your video using Windows on a PC and then we’ll run through the steps if you’re using a Mac.


There are three ways to take a screenshot without downloading any additional software on Windows: PrtScr, Snipping Tool and Snip & Sketch.


This is a button on your keyboard, it will usually be located on the top left depending on the size of your keyboard. On some keyboards, it says ‘Print Screen’ and on others, it just says ‘PrtScr’.

Find the function button on your keyboard, usually labelled Fn, hold that down and click ‘PrtScr’ – this will copy the screenshot of your desktop to the clipboard but in order to do anything with it, you will need to open up an image editing app, such as Paint, and paste the image in with either Ctrl + V or what method the app you are using allows. This allows you to make minor adjustments such as cropping or drawing over the top. You will need to save the image from this application to have a copy.

Snipping Tool

Snipping Tool is one of the built-in applications of Windows that is used for screenshots and has been around since early versions of the operating system.

To access Snipping Tool, you can search for it or look through your applications by hitting the windows key.

Snipping Tool is our personal favourite way to get a screenshot on a PC – it’s quick, easy, and unlike PrtScr you can select exactly what you want to capture.

Once you are in the app you can use the drop down menus to select what mode you want to use out of Rectangular (draw a box around what you want), Window (captures the window), Fullscreen (captures everything across however many screens you have) and Free-Form (can draw any shape and will capture what is inside). You can also set a delay so that there is up to 5 seconds before the capture will be taken.

Then once you have set the mode and any delay you want, hitting the ‘New’ button will pause and slightly darken and change your cursor, click and drag your mouse to select what you want to be captured and release the mouse button to copy it into Snipping Tool. You also have the ability to draw over the image here but if you are happy with the image hit the save icon next to the delay option to bring up a window that will let you choose where to save the image and let you name it.


Snip & Sketch

Snip & Sketch is a newer built-in application and can be accessed by using the shortcut Windows Key + Shift + S. The four icons at the top allow you to change the capture mode and has the same options as Snipping Tool (Rectangular, Free Form, Window and Fullscreen. In order to set a delay on the screenshot, you will have to open the full app by opening the start menu and searching for it, and you will have the option of a 3 or 10-second delay.

When you select the mode you want, click and drag to choose the area you want to capture, this area will then be saved to the clipboard and a notification should pop up on the bottom right of your screen with a preview of the image and the words “Select here to mark up and share the image”, click on this notification to bring you to a window where you can edit your screenshot with several different pen tools (you can also adjust the ink colour and thickness with the small arrows under the tool icons) and a crop tool in case you need to trim the image down.

Once you are happy with the image use Ctrl + S or the save icon on the top right to open a window that lets you rename the image and choose where to save it.


Macs have several shortcuts that allow you to screenshot a video without downloading additional software that gives you various levels of control over the capture.

The first shortcut is Cmd + Shift + 3 which captures your entire screen and saves it automatically to the desktop as an image.

The second is Cmd + Shift + 4, which will change your cursor and allow you to create a box by clicking and dragging around the area you want to capture and release to save. After using the shortcut there are a few things you can do to further improve your screenshot before saving the image.

Press and release the space bar to change the capture mode to window capture and then click on a window to screenshot it.

Hold the spacebar after dragging your cursor to create a box but before releasing your mouse to allow you to reposition the capture box but keep the same dimensions.

Hold down the shift key after creating your capture box but before releasing the mouse to make adjustments to one edge of the capture box, this is the bottom edge of the box but you can adjust the right edge by letting go of shift and holding it down again without letting go of the mouse button, this will alternate between the bottom and right edges.

The third shortcut is Cmd + Shift + 5, which if you have a newer version of MacOS (Mojave or sooner) will bring up a small panel at the bottom of your screen with several buttons. The icons on this panel allow you to capture the entire screen, a single window, or a portion of the screen. It also allows you to change where it saves captures by default and to set a delay on the capture. This panel also includes the feature of being able to record either the entire screen or a specific selection of it with the icons in between the capture icons and the options menu.

BONUS shortcut, if you have a MacBook with a Touch Bar, you can use Cmd + Shift + 6 to capture what is currently on the Touch Bar.

If you have any questions about how to capture a still image or take a screenshot of your video please get in touch with us – we’d love to help.