9 Best Ways To Take a Screenshot in Microsoft Excel

I’ll show you how to take a screenshot in Excel step by step in this comprehensive Excel tutorial. So read it until the end.

There could be hundreds of reasons for taking a screenshot in Excel. To fulfill this, you can use the Excel built-in tools, which I prefer the most, use built-in tools provided by the computer operating system, or install a third-party screenshot tool.

Since you’re working on Excel which might include private and confidential data, it’s wise to avoid third-party screenshot software. Because there are many security breach incidents with third-party apps as opposed to rare incidents or none with Microsoft Windows and macOS.

In this tutorial, I’ll show you the tried and tested methods to take screenshots using Windows and Excel native tools for free. These are also the most secure ways compared to online and offline screenshot apps.

Using the Excel’s Built-in Screenshot Tool

The upside of this method is you don’t need to bounce from one app to another and get distracted. Also, this tool is suitable for you if you need to take a full-screen or clipped-screen screenshot of the PC screen or another Excel worksheet.

Suppose, you’re working on a worksheet and need to take a screenshot of that and save it in the same workbook as a reference.

Screenshot tool of Excel
Screenshot tool of Excel

First, open a new Excel workbook. Go to Sheet1.

Now, go to the Insert tab and click on the Screenshot drop-down arrow.

You’ll see all the active windows from which you can create a screen capture.

Since the displayed thumbnails are tiny, you might be unable to determine the source.

Text description of the source
Text description of the source

So, hover on the window thumbnails one by one. Excel will show a text description on the mouse cursor.

Click on the one that shows the target workbook.

A screenshot will be taken from the active worksheet of the selected workbook. It’ll also be automatically inserted into the new worksheet you’ve opened.

Copying a screenshot
Copying a screenshot

Press Ctrl + C to copy the screenshot.

Pasting a screenshot in destination
Pasting a screenshot in destination

Go to the destination workbook’s worksheet and press Ctrl + V to paste the screenshot.

Keep the secondary workbook open for more screenshots if you need to create. Once done, close the empty workbook without saving the file.

The screenshot you’ve taken so far is a full-screen image of the system display. What if you’d like to capture a specific section of the screen?

For this, you can use the Screen Clipping tool in the Insert > Screenshot tool of Microsoft Excel.

Screen clipping tool
Screen clipping tool

To use it, first open the source window or Excel worksheet. Then, go to the secondary Excel worksheet and click on Screen Clipping inside the Screenshot tool drop-down menu.

Drawing a clipped screenshot
Drawing a clipped screenshot

You’ll be taken to the source window or Excel worksheet. Use the mouse cursor to draw a section on the screen for screen capturing.

Screenshot generated on a worksheet
Screenshot generated on a worksheet

The screenshot image will show up on the secondary Excel worksheet.

A critical downside of this method is that you can’t screenshot the source worksheet using the built-in Screenshot tool. You must do it from a second workbook.

Using the Paste as a Picture

This method is particularly helpful when you need to create small screenshots of Excel worksheets by manually selecting the cell ranges of interest.

Copy source for screenshot
Copy source for screenshot

Copy the source dataset, table, or content from an Excel worksheet using Ctrl + C.

Other paste options Picture (U)
Other paste options Picture (U)

Go to the destination workbook or worksheet. Right-click and hover the mouse over the Paste Special option.

You’ll see an overflow menu on the right side of the existing right-click context menu.

Choose the Picture (U) option under the Other Paste Options menu.

Screenshot of a cell range
Screenshot of a cell range

Excel will paste the copied data or table as a picture in the destination worksheet.

Let’s say, you’d like to take a screenshot of a worksheet by copying the cell content for a different app.

You can copy the cell range from the source using the Ctrl + C keys.

Pasting copied cell range on Paint
Pasting copied cell range on Paint

Open the Windows Paint app and paste by pressing the Ctrl + V keys.

Save as JPEG
Save as JPEG

Now, you can save the image as a JPEG or PNG image using the Paint app.

Using the Save as Picture Feature for Charts

You can generate HD screenshots of Excel charts using this method. Images are saved in resolutions like 1,600 pixels by 1,000 pixels or more.

Save as picture
Save as picture

Navigate to the worksheet where you’ve got the source chart or graph.

Click on the chart and right-click.

On the context menu, click on the Save as Picture option.

Save as picture dialog
Save as picture dialog

You should see the Save As Picture dialog.

Use the left-side navigation panel to choose the destination directory.

Enter a custom name for the screenshot in the File name field.

Use the Save as type field to choose between image file formats, like JPEG, PNG, etc.

Click the Save button to create the screenshot file.

Screenshot chart
Screenshot chart

The above is a sample screenshot of an Excel chart created by following the steps mentioned above.

Using PowerPoint

Suppose, you’re working on PowerPoint for a presentation. You need to quickly import a screenshot of a worksheet or table from a workbook. You can do it using the Screenshot tool of the PowerPoint desktop app.

Ensure that the source is the active worksheet of a workbook. An active worksheet is the currently opened worksheet when a workbook contains multiple sheets.

PowerPoint Screenshot
PowerPoint Screenshot

Navigate to your PowerPoint presentation slide where you’d like to add a screenshot of the source worksheet.

Go to the Insert tab on the PowerPoint ribbon menu and click on the Screenshot drop-down.

Find the right thumbnail on the context menu that shows up and click on it.

how to take a screenshot in Excel using PowerPoint
how to take a screenshot in Excel using PowerPoint

A screenshot of the source will show up on the slide.

Using the Print Screen Key

The Print Screen tool comes built-in with your Windows PC hardware. You should find the dedicated key on the keyboard as well.

It’s usually located in the upper right section of the keyboard. Often situated above the Insert key and to the right of the F12 key. It’s part of a cluster that includes the Scroll Lock and Pause/Break keys.

On the key, you should see any of the following markings:

  • Print Screen
  • PrtSc
  • PrtScn
  • PrntScrn

On some keyboards, you might need to hit the Fn key along with the Print Screen key.

To use this screenshot solution, go to the source worksheet.

Find and tap on the Print Screen key on the keyboard.

Your Windows OS copies the screen in the clipboard.

Save screenshot on Paint
Save screenshots on Paint

Open the Paint app and press Ctrl + V to paste the image data.

You can now save the file in JPEG or PNG format.

Using the Windows Snipping Tool

The Windows Snipping Tool is an advanced built-in screenshot tool. It offers features like Free-form Snip, Full-screen Snip, Window Snip, and Rectangular Snip. Also, you can introduce time delays of up to 5 seconds to grab any overlay or special cursor movements when snipping.

Snipping tool on Start menu
Snipping tool on Start menu

To use it, you must first launch the app from the Start menu.

Snipping tool on the source worksheet
Snipping tool on the source worksheet

Go to the source worksheet.

Now, bring up Windows Snipping Tool and click on the Mode drop-down on the menu.

Choose the type of screenshot you want to create. For example, I’ve chosen Rectangular Snip.

Drawing a rectangle for screenshot
Drawing a rectangle for a screenshot

As soon as you do that, an overlay will appear on the screen along with a cursor. You can use the cursor to draw a rectangle on the worksheet.

The cropped area of the active screen will show up on the Snipping Tool as an image.

Save as image
Save as image

Use the File tab of the tool to save the content as a JPEG or PNG.

Using the Windows Game Bar Tool

Windows Game Bar is another built-in screenshot tool for Windows 10 and 11 PCs. You can call the tool by pressing the Windows + G keys. This is more like a screenshot and screen recording overlay than a conventional software. If you need full-screen captures, you can also use this tool.

Windows game bar
Windows game bar

To give it a try, go to the source worksheet and keep it open.

Now, press the Windows + G keys to bring up the Windows Game Bar widgets.

Click on the Take Screenshot button as shown in the above image.

Click here to start sharing it
Click here to start sharing it

Windows will capture a screenshot and show a notification of that on the right-side edge of the display.

Click on the Click here to start sharing it link on the notification.

Windows Game Bar media display interface will open.

Open file location
Open file location

Click on the Open file location link to go to the directory to access your screenshot file.

Using the macOS Screenshot Tool on a Mac

If you need to take a screenshot in Excel on a Mac, you can use the built-in Apple screenshot utility. Here are the options to choose from:

  • Capture the Entire Screen: Press Shift + Command + 3 to generate a screenshot of the whole screen and save it to your Mac desktop.
  • Capture a Selected Portion of the Screen: Press Shift + Command + 4 to bring up a crosshair. Use that to crop an area on the display using your mouse or trackpad. As soon as you release the mouse or trackpad macOS creates and saves a screenshot on the desktop.
  • Capture a Window or Menu: First press Shift + Command + 4 and then hit the Space bar. Your cursor will change to a camera. Move the camera over a window or menu to highlight it, then click to capture the window or menu.

So, go to your worksheet on the Mac and choose any of the above hotkeys to create a screenshot.

Using window screen shot in MacOS
Using window screenshot in MacOS

For instance, I’ve used the Shift + Command + 4 and Space bar key combinations to capture the Excel for Mac backstage interface.

The macOS cursor changed to a camera icon.

I clicked on the Excel backstage interface on Mac.

Screenshot stored on desktop
Screenshot stored on desktop

macOS saved the selection as a screenshot on the desktop.

Using Excel VBA for Automated Screenshots

You can also automate the process of screenshot-taking in Excel using Visual Basic for Applications (VAB) programming.

Before you begin with this section of the tutorial, check out the steps mentioned in the following article to learn how to create a VBA macro using a script.

📒 Read More: How To Use The VBA Code You Find Online

Now, you can look at the following scripts and steps to automate different screen-capturing options using VBA:

VBA Macro to Screenshot a Specific Cell Range

You can use the following script to screenshot the selected range of the active worksheet:

Screenshot selected range VBA
Screenshot selected range VBA
Sub ScreenshotSelectedRange()

Dim ws As Worksheet
Dim rng As Range
Dim sMain As String, sFd As String, sPath As String, rpl As String

sMain = CreateObject("WScript.Shell").SpecialFolders("Desktop") & "\"
sFd = "Screenshot" & "\"
sPath = sMain & sFd

If Dir(sMain & sFd, vbDirectory) = Empty Then MkDir sPath

Set rng = Selection

If MsgBox("select a range ?", vbOKCancel) = vbCancel Then Exit Sub

Application.ScreenUpdating = False

Set ws = Worksheets.Add

Charts.Add

ActiveChart.Location Where:=xlLocationAsObject, Name:=ws.Name

With ActiveChart
With .Parent
.Height = rng.Height
.Width = rng.Width
End With
rng.CopyPicture xlScreen, xlPicture
.Paste
rpl = Replace(rng.Address, "$", "")
rpl = Replace(rpl, ":", "")
.Export fileName:=sPath & "rng-" & rpl & ".png", FilterName:="png"
End With

Application.DisplayAlerts = False
ws.Delete
Application.DisplayAlerts = True
Application.ScreenUpdating = True

End Sub
Select the range for screenshot
Select the range for screenshot

Before you run the script, select a range on the worksheet, for example, a table as you see in the screenshot.

Macro dialog
Macro dialog

Press Alt + F8 to bring up the Macro dialog box.

Click on the ScreenshotSelectedRange macro and hit Run.

You’ll see a notification dialog. Click OK on that.

You’ll find the picture in the Desktop within the Screenshot directory.

VBA Script to Screenshot a Graph

You can create a VBA macro using the following VBA script to automatically save charts as images so you can use that as a screenshot:

Example vba script for chart
Example VBA script for chart
Sub SaveChartAsPicture()
    Dim ws As Worksheet
    Dim chartObject As chartObject
    Dim chartName As String
    Dim savePath As String
    
    ' Prompt for worksheet name
    On Error Resume Next
    Set ws = Worksheets(InputBox("Enter the target worksheet name:"))
    On Error GoTo 0
    
    If ws Is Nothing Then
        MsgBox "Worksheet not found. Please enter a valid worksheet name.", vbExclamation
        Exit Sub
    End If
    
    ' Prompt for chart selection
    On Error Resume Next
    Set chartObject = ws.ChartObjects(InputBox("Select the chart to be saved as a picture:"))
    On Error GoTo 0
    
    If chartObject Is Nothing Then
        MsgBox "Chart not found. Please enter a valid chart name.", vbExclamation
        Exit Sub
    End If
    
    ' Prompt for save directory
    savePath = Application.GetSaveAsFilename(InitialFileName:=chartName, _
                                             FileFilter:="JPEG Files (*.jpg), *.jpg")
    
    If savePath = "False" Then
        MsgBox "No file selected. Operation canceled.", vbInformation
        Exit Sub
    End If
    
    ' Save chart as picture
    chartObject.Chart.Export savePath
    
    MsgBox "Chart saved successfully as a picture!", vbInformation
End Sub

Once you execute the above-mentioned script, you’ll see the following input boxes as instructions:

Enter sheet name
Enter sheet name
  • Enter the target worksheet name
Enter chart number
Enter chart number
  • Select the chart to be saved as a picture
Save output file
Save output file
  • Save As dialog box

Conclusions

If you ever need to take a screenshot in Excel for a different Excel workbook, PowerPoint, Word, etc., you can use the methods mentioned in this tutorial.

By using these methods for screen capturing, you save time and effort. Since all the techniques are based on built-in tools, you don’t need to swap through different apps.

If this article helped you in creating quick screenshots for school or work, share your feedback below. Do you know how to take a screenshot in Excel in a better way than the ones mentioned here? Don’t forget to comment and share your Excel experience with others!

About the Author

Bipasha Nath

Bipasha Nath

Bipasha is a technical content writer with 10+ years of experience in the technology industry. She previously worked in a SaaS software development company focused on SharePoint, OneDrive, Word, Excel, Word solutions.

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