The Many Uses of Windows 7's Snipping Tool
Snipping Tool = Awesome
If you happen to have Windows 7 on your computer, I certainly hope you have discovered the amazing Snipping Tool. In my opinion, it is really the best new feature Microsoft opted to give Windows 7. When we upgraded to the Windows 7 operating system at work, it was tough getting accustomed to it. However, it has all been worth it because of a beautiful feature called the Snipping Tool. Please let me explain.
The Snipping Tool is easily found in the Accessories folder in the Menu. Once you find it, by all means, make a shortcut for it because you will use it often. When you click on the Snipping Tool, you can easily outline anything on your computer screen and capture it. Sure, you might be asking how this is different from a screen shot. I am happy to tell you!
You can choose a very specific area that you want to save using the Snipping Tool. After that, you can even highlight what you want on the captured image or use a built-in Snipping Tool pen to write more information on the snipped image. Once you've customized your image, you can save it as a photo. You might also opt to capture an image, and copy and paste it into an email or document instead of saving it.
I can give you some examples of why the Snipping Tool can make your life easier and help you achieve many tasks much quicker.
Sometimes you just simply want to capture one small portion of what you are seeing on a computer screen. For instance, perhaps you just really like the GEICO gecko. You see an ad with him in it, and you would just like the gecko, but without all the annoying slogans associated with him. When you find a GEICO ad you like, you can simply click on the Snipping Tool, outline the gecko, save the photo, and then use it for your computer background if you like. It literally takes about 10 seconds to do that instead of dealing with more complex software.
Perhaps you really like a nice photo a friend posted of you on Facebook. Unfortunately, your annoying Uncle Ernie is in the background making an ugly face. You can simply use the Snipping Tool to outline you and then save just your lovely face in JPEG format. Thanks, but no thanks to Uncle Ernie! It is really simple to eliminate him... of course, not out of your life or anything that harsh.
Illustrate Your Instructions
I've also found the Snipping Tool is extremely useful for writing online. Sometimes I am trying to explain how to do something online, but I want a screen shot of it. Instead of using the screen shot function which often includes way more than needed, I can use the Snipping Tool to focus on exactly the topic I am covering. I can even highlight certain sections for readers to understand what I am explaining better.
Not only is there really helpful for blogging, this is great for step-by-step how-to manuals, too. We recently created a new website at work, and a Word document full of basic instructions was needed. Within minutes, I was able to create an entire Word document using the Snipping Tool. Everyone had step-by-step instructions and were able to maneuver the website with ease. Please note you do not have to save the image as a photo for this type of activity. Right clicking on a snipped image, copying it and pasting it into a Word document works just as well for instruction manuals.
Once again, I've found another use for the Snipping Tool at work that saves plenty of time. Our system does not automatically create receipts for each payment at work. In the past, we had to create a Word document for anyone that requested a receipt. You can imagine how time consuming that was. Also, we found some customers did not like the "" look of the Word documents. Well, all of that is in our past now! unprofessional
With the Snipping Tool, I simply take a "snip" of the screen during the transaction. When I get to the payment screen, I make sure to include all the important information in the image. Then I use the built-in Snipping Tool pen to black out the credit card or personal information a customer would not want others to see. I right click on the image, copy it, and then paste the image into an email. I email it right away and I've actually gotten compliments on how our new "receipts" look so much more professional now. Thanks, Snipping Tool!
There was a time when the IT department at any job had to hope anyone with a technical issue would take a screen shot of a problem just before a computer crashed. If not, hopefully that person would remember what the error message said. With the Snipping Tool, a person can easily capture the message, save it, and email that information to the IT staff.
Even if your computer is not about to explode, there are times when you might want to save a message that has popped up on your screen. Perhaps you need to email that information to someone. Sometimes you may even want to save messages for evidence. I know someone that used the Snipping Tool to capture images from someone's Twitter page to show to an attorney. This is perfect because even if that information is deleted later, you can save everything just as it was using the Snipping Tool.
Create Your Own Maps
Maybe you would like to create your own personal obsessive map and MapQuest or Google Maps just are not giving you enough options. With the Snipping Tool, you can find a map online and then highlight what you find most important on a map. Forget about MapQuest and all their silly restrictions!
For instance, perhaps you'd like to make a map highlighting the best restaurants in a certain area. You can assign colors to different types of restaurants. You can use the highlighter or built-in pen functions to achieve this. Furthermore, you can also customize the built-in pen to use different colors and different levels of thickness. You can obsessively track every single location with your own color coding system in no time!
This is also perfect for friends that are visiting you for the first time. If they need some extra assistance, but refuse to use MapQuest or Google Maps themselves, you can do the search for them, highlight or draw on the map, and then email it to them. Draw on the map where they will see the convenience store on the right, the broken down truck in your neighbor's yard, and show them were to turn when they see the Walmart on the left side of the road.
So Many Options, So Little Time!
As you can see, I am a big fan of the Snipping Tool. It has helped me become far more efficient in many areas of my life. When you in the middle of a technology crisis at home or work, stop and ask yourself, "How can the Snipping Tool help me?" Sure, it can't always help, but it can help much more than you think. Whatever you need that your computer system is lacking, how can the Snipping Tool help? Chances are, it can and it will help you!
Copyright ©2013 Jeannieinabottle
Windows 7 in 77 Seconds: Snipping Tool
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