Software: PhotoImpact 12
Author: MaryLou White
Home Page: Wishing Well Tutorials

Title: Capture, Crop, & Save
Skill Level: Beginner

Description: This tutorial will show you how to capture any image on your screen even if you're not using PhotoImpact, how to crop it to the size you want, and how to save the cropped image.

PhotoImpact 12 has several preset work modes. For this tutorial, we will be using the Full Edit mode so all of the tools in PhotoImpact will be available to you.

As you work, use your mouse to drag this along with you to mark your place.


Capturing an image that's being displayed on your monitor is called a screen dump, a screen capture, a screen shot or a screenie. While PhotoIpact does have a built-in screen capture, this method proves to be easier for most beginners. This method was used to capture the images you see in the examples in this tutorial.

You can "capture" anything that is displayed on your monitor (other than videos), simply by pressing the PrtScr button on your keyboard. You don't have to be in PhotoImpact to do this, you can be anywhere on the net or in any other program.

Once you press the PrtScr key the entire contents of your screen is copied into the computer's memory (buffer or clipboard). It will remain in the buffer until you either capture another image, clear the buffer, or turn off your computer.

  • Open PhotoImpact. Press the PrtScr key to capture the screen. It will copy everything currently displayed on your screen. Since you have PhotoImpact open, that's what will be copied into the buffer.


  • On the menu, click Edit\Paste\As New Image. This will "dump" or paste a copy of the contents in the computer's clipboard into PhotoImpact.

Below is the screen that was captured for this tutorial. It was stored in the computer's buffer (clipboard). It looks a bit blurred because it's greatly reduced in size. The image you capture is the same as your monitor resolutioin. This image is actually 1024x768. If you go to View\Actual Size, you'll see it's a very sharp image.

For this example, we're going to crop the upper left corner. Click on the Crop tool on the left side of the workspace (it turns blue when selected). Position your cursor at the upper left corner of the area you want to keep. Left-click and hold the mouse button down, and drag the cursor to the diagonally-opposite corner of the area. Let go of the mouse button once the desired area has been selected. The area covered in color is that which will be discarded in the next step. Now you can adjust the shape and size of the area to be cropped by using the nodes to resize the box. Your cursor will change to a double-headed arrow when it is possible to drag the corner areas.

You can check the size of the area you are going to crop in the lower-left-hand corner of the PI workspace. Notice how the Width and Height of the area changes as you drag a node with your mouse.

Once you are happy with your selection, you can either double-click inside the selected area or click the checkmark on the menu bar. If you want to start over, you can click the X on the menu bar to clear the crop area. Once you crop the image, everything outside the crop box will disappear leaving only the desired area.


If your cropped image has a light or white background, you may want to put a thin border around the image to make it show up better on the screen. To add a border,

  1. On the menu, click Adjust\Expand Canvas. On the next screen, click the white Expand Color box and pick a dark color, make sure the Expand Sides Equally box is checked, and set the number of pixels to either 1 or 2. This will add a 1 or 2 pixel border around your cropped image.


Now that you have your image cropped, you need to save it. First, you must decide if you want to save it as a .gif or a .jpg image. A good rule of thumb is, if the image is a photograph, save it as a .jpg - otherwise, save it as a .gif.

  1. On the menu, click Web\Image Optimizer. This will activate the screen below.

    Since this is not a photograph, we'll save it in .gif format. Click the .gif button. Once you have selected the file type, click the Save As button. The window below will open. Enter a name for your file. Avoid using spaces and capital letters in file names. Navigate to the folder where you normally save your images, and click the Save button.

    Note: If you're doing this tutorial for the Beginner's Workshop, it's a good idea to have a separate folder in which to save all your projects.

    The saved image will still be in your PhotoImpact workspace. You can close the image since you're finished with it. When asked if you want to save "untitled", answer NO because you have already saved it.

Note: If you're doing this tutorial for the Beginner's Workshop, do a screen capture of your Desktop; crop it (make sure that the start button shows in the selected area and that the finished image, including the optional border, is no larger than 400x400); and save.

Each of these tools have many more options and features that were not covered. The purpose of this tutorial is to give you a quick start on how to capture, crop and save an image.

You're invited to join the PIRC Fourm! This is an active PhotoImpact Forum where you'll find a wonderful group of warm, friendly, talented, and knowledgeable people who are ready and willing to share their expertise with you. There are creative activities for all levels of PhotoImpact users. This forum is 100% free and everyone is welcome.

Copyright© MaryLou White.
This document may not be translated, duplicated, redistributed or otherwise appropriated without permission.