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Thursday, April 25, 2013

Alt + Print Screen in ultraVNC

Print screen doesn't workPlease note that the behaviour of the "Print Screen" key (and certain other special Windows key combinations) in the Windows version of VNC Viewer can be modified by the "Pass special keys directly to VNC Server" setting. See
for details.
By default, this option is ON, so pressing "Print Screen" in a Windows VNC Viewer window will actually result in the key press being sent to the VNC Server machine (which will be interpreted differently depending on the OS running on that machine).
If you simply want to obtain a screen capture of the VNC Server machine and have it available on the VNC Viewer machine, you can either:
A) Leave this option on and handle all the screen capturing on the remote machine. E.g. on a Windows VNC Server machine, the "Print Screen" key will capture the screen to the clipboard, and it can be pasted into an image manipulation program such as Paint on that machine via keyboard/mouse input from the Viewer. The resulting file can then be transferred to the VNC Viewer machine via the File Transfer feature.
B) Turn this option OFF and handle the screen capturing on the local (VNC Viewer) machine. E.g. on Windows, pressing Alt + Print Screen will capture the active window, which you can ensure is the VNC Viewer window by clicking on it. Again, this will store an image in the Windows clipboard, and this can be pasted into Paint or another suitable application on the VNC Viewer machine.
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There is a key combination which will allow you to take a snapshot of the screen. I found this back when I was on XP but now I'm on Vista and it was not working, I thought. It still down but with using a different shift hey.

How to Screen Print or Snapshot in VNC:
1. In the OPTIONS \ INPUTS tab, uncheck the "Pass special keys directly to the server" option.

2. To get a Screen Print press the following keys:
In XP: Shift + ALT + Print Screen
In Vista: right SHIFT + right ALT + Print Screen

(in Vista, if you try the left Shift key, it brings up a Vista high resolution option, you probably don't need the right ALT in Vista but the key combo is hard to hit trying to use it.)

Before I figured this out in Vista, I was just using the Vista built in "Snipping Tool" which works very well.
Here is an AutoIt script that emulates the Alt-PrintScreen key press sequence. This executable program has to be located and run on the remote system. Once you run it, you could launch mspaint on the remote system to paste in your window capture.
The stand-alone executable program is here...
or if you are not permitted to download .exe files...
Here is the AutoIt3 source code...
Code: Select all
MsgBox(0, "Alt+PrintScreen", "This program will send
Alt+PrintScreen in 5 seconds, after you click the OK button." & @CR &
"This should give you time to move focus to the correct window." & @CR
& "Another dialog box like this one will appear after the Alt+PrintScreen
has been 'pressed'.")
MsgBox(0, "Alt+PrintScreen", "Alt+PrintScreen has been 'pressed'.")

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