Clipboard and Screen Capture

Mark Meshulam

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Many lack a clear understanding of the clipboard function built into Windows(tm) operating systems.

Basically, the clipboard is a temporary storage area where you can save and retrieve data.

The most well-known example would be when you drag the cursor across text to highlight it, then right-click/copy or right-click/cut. The highlighted text is saved into the clipboard awaiting further use. Place the cursor in a new location, right-click/paste, and the text appears in the new location.

Generally the clipboard holds only one item at a time, and that item will remain replaced. The clipboard is simple, works with any text-based application (including web pages) and is easily available when you need it.

Images can also be placed in the clipboard, but that requires more work. Press the PrintScreen button on your keyboard and a pixel-by-pixel image of your current screen will automatically dump into the clipboard.

You can right-click paste this image into documents which can receive graphical input, such as Microsoft Paint(tm) or even Microsoft Word, but this function works only for the entire screen display.

If you want to grab only a portion of the screen, most mortals have to paste the screen shot into a graphics software such as Paint(tm) or Adobe Photoshop (tm), then crop the image to ready it for use. That is an example of inefficiency Poingo abhors.

Now, folks who like enhancing their documents with images have a new tool which works with the same always-available simplicity of the clipboard. It is called Lightning Navigator, and it is one of the applications which comprise the Poingo Productivity Suite (

Lightning Navigator runs constantly in the background. You only know it is there by noticing the little lightning bolt icon in the “system tray", the little row of icons usually located at the lower right corner of your screen.

With Lightning Navigator running, simply click Control+Alt+Print Screen at the same time for on-the-fly screen capture. When you do this, you will see a crosshair cursor. Left-click/drag it across the screen area you want to grab. When you release the mouse button, the image will load into the clipboard and you will see a brief confirmation message.

Now you can right-click paste that image directly into your document and impress your co-workers and friends with not only the quality and clarity of your document, but also with the speed with which you produced it.

You will also notice a refreshing difference in your work process, as you grab and paste images into your documents with the ease previously reserved for text.

Lightning Navigator has capabilities far beyond screen capture. A general overview, screenshots and a free trial download of Lightning Navigator are available at For a more extensive discussion, visit

By the way, almost all of the cropped screenshots in both websites mentioned above were grabbed using the Control+Alt+PrintScreen function of Lightning Navigator.

Mark Meshulam offers hotkey keyboard shortcuts and a powerful email tickler system.


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