Screenshots in PowerPoint

Easily capture Screenshots in PowerPoint

There may be occasions when the image that you need in your presentation is best served by screenshots of your screen – this can be especially true if you’re demonstrating some software. Ideally, you’d have the software itself available for an ideal demo, but perhaps this is part of the “pitch” or you need to explain a few things first before launching into the actual program.

Some of us use a program called Snagit available from Techsmith ( and, I have to say, it’s a fantastic piece of software (I use it myself to help with these blogs). However, what if you’ve not got the budget (or general need) for that? Well, you can use one of the features in PowerPoint itself.

Insert a screenshot

Yes, the hint is in the heading: you’ll find screenshots on the Insert Tab in PowerPoint (and in Word to be honest!)

When you click on the Screenshot icon, a dropdown selection frame appears that shows thumbnails of each window that you have open at that time and, if you hover your mouse over one of these, the name of the document or file will be shown, together with the program that is being used

Clicking on the thumbnail inserts it into your presentation

As the thumbnail has been inserted as a picture, you’ll notice that the Picture Tools>Format Tab has now become active and the full window of the screenshot that you selected has filled your slide. From this point on, it’s just a picture, so you can resize, crop, move around and all of the other things that you might want to do with an image

But I only want part of the screen in my presentation

There are two ways in which we can achieve this…

The first is by going through the above process and then using the Crop tool to remove those parts of the image that you don’t want to see…

… and then compress the image (to save space), deleting the cropped area of your picture at the same time.

You can then enlarge the image that remains, however, as you can see, below, some blurring of the image can occur… so whilst this works, it’s not, perhaps, the ideal solution

Screen clipping

For this, we’ll have to use a slightly different method and, rather than inserting the thumbnail as we did above, we use the Screen Clipping feature

It’s found at the foot of the Screenshot menu. When you choose Screen Clipping, your entire window will temporarily become opaque or “frosted over.” After you select the part of the window that you want, your selection will show through this opaqueness. When the screen turns white and the pointer becomes a cross, press and hold the left mouse button and drag to select the part of the screen that you want to capture. The part of your screen that you selected now appears as an image on your slide