Screenshots made easy

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This is a topic I have covered in the past, but it has been a while so it is worth repeating here.

I have done a lot of tech support via telephone. Part of that process is trying to determine what is happening on the screen, when all I have to go by is what the other person is telling me. I have learned that there are potentially three different things that could be happening:

1. What the customer says is happening,
2. What I think is happening based on the verbal description and level of expertise of the customer,
3. What is actually happening.

Well, you know what they say – a picture is worth a thousand words. If I can see the screen, that often clears up exactly what is going on. That’s the first step toward a solution.

There is an easy way for me to see the screen. It’s called a screenshot, and it is just what it sounds like it is – a picture of the screen. It’s quick and easy to send a screenshot by email.

First, when the screen is showing evidence of whatever the problem is (such as an error message), hit the “Print Screen” button on the keyboard. This does not mean anything is going to print.

Next, open a new email and enter the recipient’s email address and a subject line. Then put the cursor in the body of the email, and click Edit – Paste. There it is – a picture of your screen, right there in the email! Send it to whomever is helping you, and you might be surprised at how quickly it sheds light on the problem. It’s the next best thing to being there!

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