Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

Today I was going to System Properties with Win+Break and accidentally pressed Win+Print Screen. By doing this, Windows 8 RTM x86 lowered the display brightness for 2 seconds and then returned to normal.

I checked that the printscreen was copied to clipboard by pasting it on Paint, but I didn't notice any difference from a normal printscreen (by pressing only Print Screen button). I also checked that Windows 7 doesn't have the same behavior.

So, is this just a new "animation" for the printscreen process on Windows 8, or does it actually have a functional difference from the traditional method?

share|improve this question
Not mentioned on this chart:… – Oliver Salzburg Aug 20 '12 at 14:42
up vote 38 down vote accepted

It takes and saves the screenshot. It places the saved screenshot into your pictures folder as a PNG.

For reference: Windows 8: Capture Screenshots (en-US)

share|improve this answer
Lol, I didn't know about that. It already worked on Windows 7? – Diogo Aug 20 '12 at 14:43
@Diogo: Doesn't seem like this existed in Windows 7. – Oliver Salzburg Aug 20 '12 at 14:44
@OliverSalzburg I just checked on my Windows-7 machine and didn't noticed any change on my picture images... I would like to find a reference for this feature on some Windows 8 doc... – Diogo Aug 20 '12 at 14:45
@OliverSalzburg Heh, it's a very nice feature... Now we don't need "Paint" anymore :D – Diogo Aug 20 '12 at 14:49

To add to the other answer; I suppose it lowers the brightness to let you know a screen shot just occurred, just like on an iPhone, or when a photo is captured from Photo Booth on a MacBook.

share|improve this answer

As Ben and user142485 point out, Win + Print Screen takes a screenshot, dims the screen to let you know something happened, and saves a .png file to your pictures. This is an enhanced version of the screenshot functionality that has been in Windows going back to at least Windows 95. It might have even been in Microsoft Bob or Me, but thank goodness I never had the chance to find out. Good-bye Paint, or Gimp, or whatever else you used to paste the screen shot into before saving.

Curiously, Alt + Print Screen, which has also been around for just as long, continues to behave the way it did in previous versions of Windows. It captures a screen shot of the active window. However, the screen doesn't dim, and the screen shot is NOT saved to your pictures, so you'll need to continue to use Paint in this scenario.

share|improve this answer
I'm not sure if my keyboard doesn't support the simultaneous presses of Alt+Win+Print Screen or if windows doesn't support it. But that combination would be very useful! – Jochem Kuijpers Nov 5 '13 at 19:44

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .