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I'm trying to capture some screen shots for a tutorial. When I press Print Screen on my keyboard and paste into an image editor, the cursor goes. The "tooltips" (if any) do print, but I need the cursor to show users where to click.

partial screenshot with missing cursor

* There is supposed to be a cursor over the photo icon here.

Is there any way to keep the cursor and print the screen?

I'd like to avoid installing even more third party software on my computer if possible for this small feature (browser addons I'm happy to install), and I'm really only interested in what's in the browser viewport. I have the Screengrab Firefox addon installed, but that doesn't help and I tried one or two random key combos in windows but they didn't do it either. Is there any way to keep the cursor and print the screen?

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I also figured out that if you paste into Microsoft Word or hit "print screen" while in word, the cursor will show up. Didn't want to add this as an answer because it still is a hack. I never use Word, so not sure how to extract the full quality screen shot. –  Wesley Murch Sep 23 '11 at 23:08
    
-1 for stating a guess that you tried guessing some combo and I see you made random failed guess look so nice and instructive. "Nobody" would have thought of trying that same particular failed combo, it is not useful to mention it. –  barlop Mar 12 at 14:27
    
@barlop Not sure why you're being so rude about it, but I've updated the post. Hopefully it's more to your liking. I only included my efforts to show that I did attempt to solve the issue myself before coming here. You could also have edited yourself in less time than it took to type your snide comment. –  Wesley Murch Mar 12 at 15:45
    
since your edit i've removed my downvote and given up an upvote as it's a useful question. You didn't quite see what I meant, some of what you removed was potentially useful there, such as mentioning you'd tried that firefox extension and it hadn't done it(it's useful because perhaps a lot of people try that and telling them it doesn't do it will save them time), or that you had a preference for extensions over "standalone" third party software, that is relevant to answers and thus to your question too. I prefer to teach a man to fish,rather than fish for him. –  barlop Mar 12 at 16:21

8 Answers 8

up vote 5 down vote accepted

If you want to include the cursor, you'll need to use some third-party screen capture software like zScreen.

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I installed this, but it was not immediately clear how to use it. Looks like some sort of social media tool. –  Wesley Murch Sep 23 '11 at 18:36
    
It's quite advanced, but if you want to save a screenshot to a file then you'll have to select "File" as an output under the "Main" tab and make sure "Show cursor in screenshots" is checked. Pressing PrtScr would make a fullscreen screenshot and save it. –  sim642 Sep 23 '11 at 19:14
    
I also use ZScreen and although it looks little bit complicated, after defining that target for images is file and some selected folder, everything works perfectly. In fact, I only use the quick actions to get the image file, no internet uploads etc. Perfect tool for building tutorials etc. –  Juhele Sep 23 '11 at 19:38
    
I gave this another opportunity, I definitely like it a lot more than the dated UI of the Faststone product, and it's got a lot of useful options. Thanks for the suggestion. –  Wesley Murch Sep 23 '11 at 21:07

You might want to try Problem Step Recorder. It can be accessed in Windows 7 by entering psr into the search field in the start menu. It's primary use is to record what happens when someone is having a problem by taking screenshots and putting them in an HTML file (hence the name). But you can take use the pictures or edit the html file. Here is a link that gives a little insight into the Problem Step Recorder: http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows7/How-do-I-use-Problem-Steps-Recorder

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This is pretty cool, thanks for sharing. This could almost be used as the entire tutorial, since it captures every click (does show the cursor) and every screen, with text descriptions (but the screen shots are understandably low quality, didn't see settings for that). It's a workaround, but an interesting one. Aside from my usage, this is a great tool I never knew about. –  Wesley Murch Sep 23 '11 at 18:24
    
It's a wonder that psr can capture the cursor, but we apparently need third party tools to do it with the standard "print screen". –  Wesley Murch Sep 23 '11 at 18:35
    
What a hidden gem. Unfortunately it draws a big green border around the active window, which obscures any tooltip that lies partially outside the window area. For example, you can't use it to cleanly capture Firefox's Open Containing Folder tooltip. –  Iain Elder Oct 5 '13 at 15:46

I'm sorry, but, I don't know a way to do this without third party software.

Faststone Screen Capture has an option that you can turn on to do this.

enter image description here

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I'm sorry too :) Thanks for the link, I tried this out and it works, they just want $20 after 30 days supposedly, and it's more limited-use software to install. It's baffling that print screen will print my highlighted selection but not the cursor. Oh well, this beats adding my own cursor in Photoshop. Thanks William, going to leave this open for the day in case anyone has another solution. –  Wesley Murch Sep 23 '11 at 2:35
    
Just a note: I tried Faststone and it did not do what I needed (capture cursor and tooltip). I emailed their support repeatedly back in May and never received a reply. SnagIt wound up doing everything I need and I got immediate and appropriate support from them. –  Dennis Aug 9 '13 at 21:03
    
@Dennis When you press ALT + PrintScr to capture the window, the tooltip disappears just before the capture (ALT changes the window state). Work around the issue by pressing PrintScr to capture the whole screen and crop with the built-in editor. –  Iain Elder Dec 12 '13 at 10:48

When I am setting up tutorials for users and it includes screen shots in which I need to show them where to click I simply paste the screen shot into MS Paint, add graphics (arrows, circles, etc.) showing them where to click, and then copy that altered screen shot into the tutorial. This may be your best option if you do not want to pay for 3rd party software. Thanks!

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-1 that is absurd, of course there is third party software to make a screenshot and include the cursor. don't assume that any software that includes the cursor is software you have to pay for! –  barlop Mar 12 at 16:18
  • Use PSR tool from Windows and record the steps. (Win+R ->> PSR)
  • Then open .mht file in browser.
  • So either copy images from browser or take screen shot of that page.
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Using the above link goto Control Panel --> Mouse --> Pointers tab..create a print screen image of any cursor that you desire from the "Preview" in that tab.

Paste it in the desired place in your actual screenshot and goto "Select" menu --> Transparent Selection.

For more, check here. http://www.tomcomknowshow.com/how-to-add-a-cursor-mouse-pointer-to-a-print-screen-image.html

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You do need third party tools like Free Screenshot Capture to capture screen with mouse cursor included. Browser screenshot addons like Screengrab only work great on taking screenshot of the web page without mouse pointer.

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Semi-related: you can also use LICEcap to have animated screenshots (GIF recordings) that contain the cursor

LICEcap

LICEcap is interesting because it lets you manually create a transparent frame over the portion of the screen to precisely choose what portion of the screen will be captured.

LICEcap

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