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Happy Holidays!

To my IT Mail Family,

I’m sure you remember pre-computer days

And recall that they were quite nice.

No hard drives and updates and programs and such

… Just phone calls seemed to suffice.

But you got a computer and tablet and smartphone,

And said, “How hard can they be?”

So you plugged them in and turned them on —

Then screamed, “Help! There goes my sanity.”

Soon came errors and Junk Mail and slow-loading pages,

And screens that sometimes would freeze.

You couldn’t find what you needed, or delete what you didn’t,

Though your grandkids could do both with ease.

But you’re definitely improving, so be proud of yourself.

You can email and Skype and send texts.

You can surf and can bank and can write your memoirs.

You’re ready for whatever comes next.

Best wishes for a new year filled with pages that load

And letters that don’t suddenly disappear.

And may your Junk Mail find its way into Spam

And may you avoid that maddening swirling sphere!

Please continue to enjoy these weekly tips.

Any special topic you’d like to see?

Your IT Mail returns January seventh,*

Ready for a new year of computer reverie!

Thank you for your support in 2012.


Carolyn Zalesne

The IT Girl

*I am available if you need me — just the ITmail is taking a vacation!

Taking a Screen Shot

A screen shot is a picture of what is on your computer screen, or a portion of what is on your screen.

Imagine you have a pesky error message that keeps popping up. Take a screen shot of it and email the image to someone who might help you understand it. If you find a valuable table of information on a website, take a screen shot of that information to preserve it for reference. If you see a great haircut on a website photo, take a screen shot of the person to show to your stylist.

How you take a screen shot varies from device to device and has become more simple with newer machines. I have listed below the directions for the most common computers, tablets, and smartphones. Scroll down to that which applies to you.


Windows XP and Windows Vista (Home Basic Edition):

To capture your whole screen, click the Print Screen key (key in upper right of keyboard labeled “Prtscn”). To capture just your active window, hold down the Alt key while you click the Print Screen key. Your picture is stored in the Clipboard. Click Start > Accessories > Paint. In the Paint window, click Paste to place your image on the screen. Click File > Save As to name and store your image. Click Save.

Windows Vista (Home Premium, Business, or Ultimate) and Windows 7:

These operating systems include an accessory program called the “Snipping Tool.” Click the Start Button > All Programs > Accessories> Snipping Tool. Your screen will take on a gray color. Click in the upper left of the area you wish to capture and drag your cursor diagonally to the lower right of the screen. The selected area will not be gray. If you are not happy with the selection, click New and re-draw your selection. If you are happy with the selection, click Save, name your image, and choose where to store it.

Windows 8:

Hold down the “Windows” key and the “Prtscn” key at the same time. Your screen will dim for a second to let you know the picture of your screen has been taken. Your image will be stored in the Pictures folder under the Screenshot category.

Apple iMac and MacBooks:

To capture the whole screen, hold down the Command key, the Option key, and the number 3 key at the same time. You will hear what sounds like a camera shutter click. To capture only part of your screen, hold down the Command key, the Option key, and the number 4 key. Your cursor will become “crosshairs” and you can drag out a rectangle to define your screen shot area. When you let go of the mouse, you will hear the shutter sound to confirm the picture has been taken. The picture will go to your desktop and will be called “screen shot 2012-12-10 at 9:10:00am” (current date and time). From there you can rename and move it.



Hold down the Home button and quickly press on the Power button (the timing takes some practice). The photo of your full screen will be saved in your Photo app.

Windows 8 Tablet (Surface, RT):

Press and hold the Windows Home and the Volume Down buttons at the same time. Your screenshot will be in your photos app.

Kindle Fire:

No built-in screenshot function exists in the Fire. There is a way to enable the feature but the process is quite involved and not for the faint of heart.



Hold down the Home button and quickly press on the Power button (the timing takes some practice). The photo of your full screen will be saved in your Camera Roll (Photo app).

Windows Phones:

Beginning with the Windows Phone 8, you can take a screenshot by holding the Power button and then quickly pressing the Windows button on the front of phone. Your screenshot is stored in the Screenshots album (in Photos.).

Android Phones:

Android 4.0 and newer: press and hold the Volume Down and Power button at the same time. Earlier Android phones: press and hold the Home button then quickly press the Power button.

Once you have the image you wish, you can edit and email it like any other photograph.

One screen shot picture can literally save you 1,000 words … and a lot of frustration. Try it!

Manage Your Receipts

Do you shop online? If you do, you know that soon after you click “Place Order,” you receive an electronic receipt by email. What do you do with these receipts?

My suggestion: keep them in an email folder labeled “Receipts.”

Your email program allows you to create custom folders for sorting and storing your email. Create a new folder, name it “Receipts,” and drag and drop your electronic receipts from your “Inbox” into your “Receipts” folder.

By taking your receipts out of your Inbox and storing them in their own folder, you are keeping them where you can find them easily. If you let them go into “Old Mail,” mark them as “Unread,” or leave them in your “Inbox,” you may have trouble finding them a few days — and many, many new emails — later.

  • When your package arrives, check the contents against your electronic receipt to be sure you got what you ordered.
  • If the order does not arrive as anticipated, open the receipt, call the store, and refer to the order number.
  • Even after the package arrives and the order is complete, keep your receipt to check it against your credit card bill.
  • Once the bill is paid, you can delete the email receipt or, perhaps, move it into a different folder labeled “Paid Receipts.”

Happy shopping!

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