A screen grab is a still image of whatever is displayed on a computer monitor. There are a number of uses for these images, ranging from product promotion to software troubleshooting, and most computers have the capability to quickly generate a screen grab, making it easy for their users.
Most operating systems allow users to take a screen grab by pressing the command key and another key or two on the keyboard. When the grab is taken, the computer captures the image displayed on the monitor at that moment, preserving every visible detail. The resulting image is typically the same size as the monitor; users can size the images down to make them more usable, should they need to do so.
One of the most common uses of the screen grab is in promotional materials for software. Many computer games, for example, advertise with screen grabs which showcase the image quality and display of the game, trying to get users interested in the look and feel. You can also see grabs advertising other types of software, showing off the functionality and appearance of the software. Many companies also use these images in their user manuals, visually showing users how to do things.
Another common use of screen grabs is in troubleshooting. When a user encounters an error or problem with a program, he or she can take a screen shot to illustrate the situation. People sometimes also use screen shots to record other things, like the steps they took to perform a task. It is also not uncommon for people to pass humorous grabs which illustrate amusing situations or events around.
There are many other uses for these images. Bloggers, for example, sometimes use screen grabs when they link to other sites, to draw people in with interesting visual content. People may also take a screen grab of plagiarized or stolen content, so that they have proof even if the content is later taken down. Web designers also sometimes use this method to take note of visually interesting or intriguing pages online so that they can reference them later.