Using the Snipping Tool

by Barry Dysert
(last updated November 5, 2018)

6

The Snipping Tool is a handy Windows utility that allows you to snip a portion of your display to be saved, edited, mailed, etc. The tool is a bit like doing a print screen, except that it lets you capture an arbitrary portion of the display.

Most people have the Snipping Tool on their desktop, so launching it is simply a matter of double-clicking its icon. If you don't have the Snipping Tool on your desktop, you can launch it in Windows 7 by going to Start | All Programs | Accessories | Snipping Tool. In Windows 8 you can press Win+C to display the Charms bar. Then, in the Search box, type "snipping" (without the quotes) and press Enter.

Once the tool has been launched, the display fades a bit to facilitate your capturing of whatever part of the screen you wish. The tool's control window also appears. (See Figure 1.)

Figure 1. The Snipping Tool's control window.

At this point, you can cancel the snipping operation by closing the window, or you can continue using the tool. If you click the Options button, Windows displays the Snipping Tool Options dialog box. (See Figure 2.)

Figure 2. The Snipping Tool Options dialog box.

Typically, you only need to set your options once, as they are saved for subsequent uses. The New drop-down list is used to specify what type of screen capture you want to do. There are four options in the drop-down list:

  • Free-Form Snip. This option lets you draw a shape around any part of the display you wish to capture.
  • Rectangular Snip. This option lets you capture a rectangular portion of the display.
  • Window Snip. This option is used to capture a window or a dialog box.
  • Full-Screen Snip. This option lets you capture the entire screen.

Whatever you choose in the drop-down list is persistent, meaning it is saved for subsequent uses.

Assuming you've chosen one of the first two snipping methods, at this point you can click and drag your mouse around the part of the screen you want to capture. When you release the mouse, the captured image appears in the Snipping Tool dialog box. (See Figure 3.)

Figure 3. The Snipping Tool dialog box is used to display what was captured.

Using the tools in the Snipping Tool dialog box you can annotate, edit, highlight, erase, save, and email the image. You may want to copy the image to the Clipboard so that you can paste it into another application. Or you may want to save the image to a file for subsequent processing. When you're finished with your snip, you can close the dialog box as normal or select File | Exit.

 This tip (12558) applies to Windows 7 and 8.

Author Bio

Barry Dysert

Barry has been a computer professional for over 35 years, working in different positions such as technical team leader, project manager, and software developer. He is currently a software engineer with an emphasis on developing custom applications under Microsoft Windows. When not working with Windows or writing Tips, Barry is an amateur writer. His first non-fiction book is titled "A Chronological Commentary of Revelation." ...

MORE FROM BARRY

Everything

If you want to be able to find any file on your hard disk in just seconds, Everything is a utility you'll find ...

Discover More

Process Explorer

Process Explorer is a very well built utility that does a lot, from helping you with performance analysis to finding the ...

Discover More

Using N.R.S. Ghost Control

Ghost Control is a nice utility when you need to save your keystrokes and mouse movements while doing repetitive tasks. ...

Discover More
More WindowsTips

Personalizing the Mail App

The Mail app found in Windows 10 allows for a personalized experience. Discover the personalization that you can quickly ...

Discover More

Be On Time with the Alarms & Clock App

In a busy world, with so much going on it's often important and necessary to track time. Fortunately, the Alarms & Clock ...

Discover More

Capturing a Screen Shot

There are a lot of reasons why you may want to capture screen shots. This tip shows how easy it is to do it.

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WindowsTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is three more than 8?

2018-11-05 21:36:46

Lou Jones

Actually this works with Windows 10 also. Click on the Cortana icon in the taskbar and search for "snip".


2018-11-05 13:27:29

Henry Noble

I do have a few devices configured for "Insider" updates, but my primary PC is configured for "Semi-Annual Channel (Targeted)". However, to enable updates on my schedule, I used the Media Creation Tool to put all editions of 1809 on a USB, and then walked it around. Updates (without any lost data) were completed before Microsoft halted distribution of 1809 a month ago.


2018-11-05 13:25:52

Barry

Ok, so how can I get 1809?


2018-11-05 13:19:43

Allan

Absolutely one of the best, if not the best, tool in the Windows 7 tool box. I use it daily many times.


2018-11-05 12:21:04

Barry

I'm only at 1803. Are you an "insider"?


2018-11-05 11:34:41

Henry Noble

Version 1809 of Win10 brings with it an app called Snip & Sketch. The new app allows some drawing features of Paint to be applied to the image captured by the Snipping Tool.


Newest Tips
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WindowsTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.