Desktop operating systems almost always have some sort of built-in tool to take screenshots. In case you use an OS that doesn’t have a screenshot tool built-in, you can always find something free to install. As far as screenshot tools go, there’s no shortage of them. These tools run on your desktop i.e., they need an OS to run. If you need to screenshot a screen where the tool can’t run, the tools that can help you out are non-existent. If you need to take a screenshot of a screen that a screenshot tool can’t run on, consider taking photos of a screen instead.
You will of course need a phone with a fairly decent camera to do this but you also can’t use the default camera app on your phone which is widely geared towards people and objects, and not screens. Here’s how you can take photos of a screen.
We’ve already mentioned that you need a good camera so you’re probably wondering how good does it have to be? Any flagship phone that’s no older than 4-5 years will do the trick. Any other phone, so long as you can use it to take good, close up photos in low light will also work.
You also need an app to take the photo and this is where the real trick to taking a good photo of your screen lies. We recommend using Office Lens. It’s a free app available for both iOS and Android. It’s been developed by Microsoft and is meant for scanning documents with your phone. This app can detect document edges and straighten them out so that you have good image of a scanned i.e., photographed physical paper.
We’re going to use this feature to our advantage to take photos of a screen. There are other apps out there that you can use instead of Office Lens and it is entirely up to you to which app you ultimately use.
Set up the screen you want to take a photo of. The screen will emit light so it’s a good idea to minimize the light in the room. You want to minimize it such that your monitor’s bezels are dark and the screen edges, when the screen is on, really stand out.
Open Office Lens and point it at your screen. Make sure the flash is off. You will see the app detecting the edges of your screen. If it’s detecting the bezels of your monitor, consider reducing the light in the room further. Once it detects the edges correctly, take the photo.
Now you need to wait for the app to process it and it will give you a photo of your screen. The monitor edges won’t be included, and the image will be straightened out. Save it to your camera roll.
For what it’s worth, the above photo was taken with an iPhone 6. The only light in the room came from a small LED lamp.