Printscreen doesn't work with Photoshop – Solution

Recently I've had a couple of incidents when pasting screenshots from printscreen into Photoshop didn't work — Alt Print Screen or Printscreen. Eventually, I couldn't even paste the screenshot into WordPad. This was strange, since I do this all the time, but only a reboot resolved it. Obviously, rebooting while you're working isn't too optimum.

Searching the Web, I found a thread at the Adobe forums in which a number of people complained of the same thing: Windows Clipboard won't paste in Photoshop CS3.

Well, I'm using Photoshop CS2, but at any rate, there's a link further down the thread to a page with the solution: How To Fix The Photoshop Clipboard (from the Microsoft News Channel at blognewschannel.com). And it takes about twenty seconds to fix.

I'm posting this here, since it took me a while to find it, and I'm not sure how many people will plow through the whole Adobe forums thread.

Added: the above link seems to error out now. Try this:

8 Comments to "Printscreen doesn't work with Photoshop – Solution"

  1. RCL says:

    Thanks allot mate! Been looking for a solution for this for quite some time now, finally found it!

  2. Diane Vigil says:

    You're very welcome. It's strange when that happens; glad my research helped!

  3. LiSe says:

    It is very
    easy: use printscreen, or alt-printscreen, or ctrl-printscreen,
    Then in photoshop file>new
    It will recognize your printscreen action and say "clipboard", if it doesn't, choose from the dropdown list.
    Press ok
    And then in that new little file: paste (ctrl-C or whatever you prefer).

    You can define the size before the 'ok', but that is up to you.


  4. Diane Vigil says:

    Thank you, LiSe. Yes, it easy to use the Printscreen functions to paste into Photoshop or other applications, although it's Cntrl V to paste.

    However, the above was written for when the Clipboard doesn't copy, so there's nothing to paste into Photoshop. That can occasionally happen (particularly when you've been pasting Printscreens into Photoshop quite a lot), and rebooting was the only solution — and not a great solution when you're working. So I wrote the post because the solution was difficult to find. Interesting that that solution was from Microsoft itself with regard to Photoshop CS3, so they recognize that there's sometimes a problem.

    In Photoshop, I usually just Cntrl N to start a new document; next time (if) this happens, I'll see whether File > New gives a Clipboard option.

  5. Diane Vigil says:

    Interesting, Rayzor. I wasn't getting a black screen on cntrl V … I was getting nothing at all. I'll try your tips next time — thanks.

  6. Rayzor Matthews says:

    1. Open Windows Media Player

    2. Go to "Tools" then select "Options"

    3. Select the "Peformance Tab"

    4. Click "Advanced"

    5. Under "Video Acceleration" uncheck "Use Overlays" and check "Use high quality mode"

    6. Click "ok" button.

    7. Click "Apply" button and you're set.

    press Ctrl+Alt+PrntScr at the same time to capture the image you want.

    Go to your active Photoshop CS3 window and click "ctrl n" and press "ctrl+v" your image is pasted the image won't be like it's under mask or something and once you saved to jpeg you won't see a black screen.

  7. A. van Dijk says:

    Tx so much for this solution

    kind regards
    a. van Dijk

  8. Nari B.E. says:


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