As a young kid, I first learned about the function of the Print Screen key that is available on any standard computer keyboard not by reading books or learning in a school, but while watching the Harrison Ford movie – The Fugitive (1993). In this movie, Dr. Kimble (a character played by Harrison Ford) tries to print a list being displayed on the computer screen simply by pressing the Print Screen key. I can only guess that the computer he was using was running on some variation of the Microsoft DOS operating system, but in the newer versions of Windows operating system the Print Screen key no longer prints the content of the screen to your printer. Instead it just captures the screen into the clipboard.
However, you can get back the same old functionality back in Windows using a free software called Hardcopy. After installing Hardcopy in your Windows PC, if you press the Print Screen key, it will capture the content of the entire screen and send it to the default connected printer. This is great if you have to print a lot of data that is visible on your screen throughout the work day.
But it is not only limited to returning the good old days of using the Print Screen key as it was once used in early 90s. It also allows you to print the contents of currently selected window by pressing the key combination Alt + Print Screen. You can also print the screen by clicking on the small Hardcopy icon in the notification area. Furthermore, it installs a printer icon in all the open windows and clicking on this icon will print that window’s contents.
It also modifies the functions of the various keys that are not really used that much – Scroll Lock and Pause. Just like Print Screen key sends the contents of your screen to your printer, Scroll Lock sends the contents of your screen to a file that is saved on your hard drive and the Pause key sends the contents as an attachment with an email message.
Hardcopy can be downloaded from http://gen.hardcopy.de/.