Versions of Windows beginning with Vista and 2008 R2 have a recent Microsoft security feature known as User Access Control (UAC). This UAC feature requires a program to request “elevated” full administrative access when needed – the user is then prompted with the option to allow or deny full access for the program requesting it.
If you write technical documentation or training materials, you will want a way to capture these UAC prompt dialog windows to include in your documents. Unfortunately the standard Print Screen key and built-in Snipping Tool screenshot features do not work to capture the special UAC windows. Fortunately there are two common workarounds to allow you to capture these strange on-screen prompts.
- The best option is to access the computer using Windows Remote Desktop (RDP), then create the screenshot from outside of your RDP window. Resize the remote window to be smaller on your screen with the UAC prompt showing. Use the Print Screen key or Snipping Tool to take a screenshot of your Remote Desktop window – complete with UAC prompt 🙂
- If you have difficulty using RDP, you can revert to a more rough screenshot technique. Use a digital camera (or phone camera) to take a picture of the screen, then import the picture for your document.
Hopefully one of the above methods will help you get the extra screenshots you need for your technical writing.