Using Picasa to Post a Screenshot in a Forum Question

If you’ve ever used a forum to ask a questions, you know that a picture is truly worth 1,000 words.  Let’s say for example that you want to ask, “What are the buttons at the top of each folder in Picasa?”  Wouldn’t it be nice to have a picture of those buttons, so your reader knows exactly what you mean?  That’s called a screen capture and there are several ways to do it, but one of the easiest is by using Picasa and Picasa Web Albums.  Here’s how:

  1. Capture the whole screen.  Picasa makes this so easy!  As long as Picasa is open, all you need to do is press the PrtScn key on your keyboard.  That will capture the current screen from your computer and save it as a file in Picasa’s Screen Captures folder. (My Pictures/Picasa/ScreenCaptures)
  2. Crop to just the part in question.  Now there is no doubt what buttons you’re talking about.  And, to the practiced eye, the screenshot also provides other information.  The different buttons available can indicate what version of Picasa you’re using, the Blue icon indicates that you’re working with an album, etc.
  3. Upload to your Web Album: Upload this image to an album called Screenshots (or Screen Captures) and make it public.  This makes the image available to link into the forum, or maybe an email.  However you are communicating.
  4. Grab the URL for the image by opening the image on your Web Album and clicking on ‘Link to this Photo’.  Make sure to check the box for ‘Image only’ – and probably change the size from 144 to something larger also – then copy the code that appears in ‘Embed image.’  That is the URL or web address for that one image.
  5. Paste the URL code: Back in your forum, choose whatever tool is provided for inserting an image.  Most of them will accept the URL (http://lh3.ggp……jpg) that you copied in the previous step.

In the Picasa User forum, you put that URL below your message in the field for ‘images.’

In the Geeks on Tour forum you would paste that code after clicking the insert image button image  – right where it reads, “Image URL”  Then click ‘Insert’


My bet is that you’ll receive better answers to your questions when you include a screen capture image.