Thursday, April 16, 2015

How'd She Do That?! : Screenshot of a Census

Have you ever wondered how to take a picture of something you are looking at on your computer? You know, the little snapshot of the census record so that you can zoom in on a specific name? Or have you wondered how to add a little arrow to point to something specific?

It's called a screenshot or a screen capture and here's how to do it!

First, you need a screen capture computer service. I really like Jing, but there are several choices out there. You can google "screenshot service" or "screen capture service" and you will have several choices.

Jing can be downloaded for free to your PC or Mac computer. Once you have downloaded the service, you will see a little "sun" appear on the top of your screen.

Since Jing has some great tutorials on how to use the product, I won't go into too much detail. Be sure to watch their videos and learn the capabilities of this tool.

In this case, I want to show you how you can utilize Jing for your genealogy and family history. It is particularly nice when you have a census that you want to zoom in on.

Here is a census as a full page:

Digital image from FamilySearch of 1900 US Federal Census for Harlan, Kentucky

Some of you have no problem seeing the names on the record and others can't really make out what it says. But, if I zoom in and take a screenshot of just the part I am interested in, it will look like this:

Screenshot from FamilySearch of 1900 Federal Census for Harlan, Kentucky

Now, let's say I want to draw your attention to a specific detail on that screenshot. I can add boxes, arrows, or text to the image by using the tools at Jing.

Very nice!

Once you have the image just as you want it, you are able to save, share, or copy it to your computer's clipboard.

Remember to always cite where you got the image. If I use a screenshot of an image from, I will put a caption at the bottom that says something like "Screenshot of 1880 US Federal Census from".

I know this still might seem a little confusing, so I encourage you to watch the tutorials at Jing. I think you will really enjoy this tool!


  1. I love Jing! As a teacher, I make a lot of tutorials for my students. Thank you for creating this tutorial for the genealogical community.

  2. Thanks for providing the information about Jing. I think I will give it a try.

  3. Amie,

    I didn't know about Jing before. I use SnagIt for my screen captures. I love it, by the way. It looks like both Jing and SnagIt are by TechSmith. Thanks for sharing!

    I want to let you know that your blog post is listed in today's Fab Finds post at

    Have a great weekend!

  4. Amie,

    I also neglected to let you know that not only is your blog post listed in my Fab Finds post, but your blog is listed in my New Blog Discoveries list as well. :)

    1. Jana, Thank you so much for mentioning me! I was delighted to see that you had linked, not one, but two of my posts today!! (How'd She Do That?" and "Tennessee Research". Thanks again! PS...I enjoyed reading your blog as well!

  5. I often use the Snipping Tool. With that tool you can copy the whole screen or just a portion.

  6. Evernote has a screenshot now. I use that.

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  9. Evernote has a screenshot now. I use that.


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