Photoshop Friday! Screen Shots!

Alright, this is a cool one, inspired by an email I got this morning from Becky Van Hofwegen. She sent me an amazing page from her family road trip album, where she included maps of the places they drove. Thanks, Becky!

It reminded me that this week in our Digi: In Deep advanced digital scrapbooking class, we included a screen shot map of our neighborhoods in our layout.

Taking a screen shot (in either Mac or Windows) isn’t necessarily the most intuitive thing in the world. And the processes aren’t that different whether you’re in Windows or Mac.

Taking a Screen Shot in Windows and Mac

1. Set up your screen exactly how you want it to show in the screen shot.

For a map, I love Google Maps, because a) you can scroll in and out with your mouse’s scroll wheel - awesome for setting up shots for a road trip, and b) you can click the Satellite button to overlay the map with actual satellite shots - ever seen the trees in your backyard from above? It rocks.

2. In Windows: Press the Print Screen button on your keyboard. On a laptop it might be PrtScr. 

In Mac: Press Command-Control-Shift-3. (Finger aerobics, anyone?)

This takes a snapshot of your screen and places it on your computer’s clipboard. This is essentially the same thing as highlighting a paragraph of text in Word and typing Ctrl-c. Nothing is going to happen until you paste that thing in. :)

3. Switch over to Photoshop.

4. Type Ctrl-n to start a new document. You will notice that the new document’s dimensions come up with the dimensions of your desktop, in pixels. Smart Photoshop! Click OK.

5. Type Ctrl-v (or Edit > Paste) to paste your screen shot in to the new document.

6. Select your Rectangular Marquee tool. Click and drag to create a selection around the areas of the screen shot you’d like to keep. (I always crop out the blue task bar at the bottom of the screen, for example - or in a map, I keep only the map portion and not the left menu)

7. Go to Image > Crop.

8. Now you can pull your map into your layout. It’ll come in small, but don’t worry - you can resize it up to about 3 times its original size without losing too much quality.

Here are two examples of layouts I have done with map screen shots:

This one I did a Google search for Brazil maps, screen shotted the map I found, and placed it in the page.

This one is my city, and my neighborhood, with a picture of my house (this is from my CKU album class this year):

And this brings me to the assignment/challenge for the weekend!

  1. Take a photo of your house.
  2. Take a screen shot of your city.
  3. Take a screen shot of your neighborhood.
How cool would it be if you had one of these for every place you’ve ever lived? Yeah. It would be. But you can start today, with the place you live now! Go do it! :D

  • Mac OS has a utility called Grab, if you want to get all fancy.
  • Windows Vista has a utility called the Snipping Tool.
  • You can also do some Google searches for free utilities to do more fancy things :)
  • This tutorial was fun to make because I was taking screen shots of me taking screen shots. I think I approached infinity there for a second.

Have a super, Phabulous Photoshop Phriday and a great weekend! I’d love to see what you create with your screen shot maps!