Dealing with Error Messsages

Error messages are important! Yes, I know they occasionally show up with such frequency that we just want them to go away, but you need to know what it said so you can fix it. So the next time you get a pop-up message you’re not expecting, take a second to read it. If you understand what it says, go ahead and click OK or cancel or whatever you need. If you don’t know what to do with it, though, either go find someone who might know, or take a screenshot (see below) and send it to them. Ideally, you’ll also jot down exactly what you were doing before the problem popped up. This way, those of us doing the troubleshooting can have a better idea of what happened, and maybe how to fix it. To take a screenshot:

  1. Hit Alt+PrintScreen to capture the active window.
  2. Open your favorite image software (Paint works just fine).
  3. Edit-->Paste or Ctrl+V.
  4. Save.
If you just need the text of the error message, Mike Perry pointed out that Ctrl+C will get just the that, which you can then paste into an e-mail or text file. It works for Vista & XP; more info is here. The nice thing about this is that you don't have to mess with an image file if you don't really need one.


MikePerry said...

Hi Kate

Here is another method that can be used for capturing error messages:


Take care, Mike

Kate M said...

Nice one -- and it works for XP, too.

I made a tinyurl, since the whole address is a little long: