Perhaps it’s time to remind the readers of your fine magazine about the old legacy Print Screen button and the many uses it has for drafters. Sometimes I get sent to a manufacturer’s web site that may not have their details available in a CAD-friendly format. Many vendors and manufacturers have viewable details posted on their site that are not downloadable or savable by any means. In these cases, I use the Print Screen button on the upper right hand side of the keyboard. Doing so writes a temporary snapshot of the screen to the clipboard. Once this is accomplished I just open an imaging program, such as Microsoft Paint, and paste in the screen image. Then just crop out the areas of the image you don’t want and save the image as a JPEG or BMP file or any other format you choose. Then you can just attach it to your drawing detail sheet and trace it or just use the actual image.
I also use this a lot when making vicinity maps. Just open your favorite online mapping service, zoom to the area of your project, and print the screen. Chop out your site and you have a nearly perfect vicinity map to sketch your site outline on. Of course, you can make an image out of anything on your screen. So often I shoot snapshots of my drawing and send them to the engineer as a JPEG for a quick, specific area review. I’m sure there are many more uses for this handy function as well.
Notes from Cadalyst Tip Patrol: The Print Screen option is universal. It is used so many different ways. You can use it to import images into a CAD file or to export CAD images to another application. Be sure that any information you capture from other sources and reuse in your own documents is not protected by copyright.