ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel
  • »
  • Technology»
  • Computers & Software»
  • Operating Systems»
  • Windows

How to Print Screenshot Capture on Windows 7

Updated on May 16, 2013

How to Use Snip Tool to Get Windows 7 Screen Shot

There are many different way to take a picture of your computer screen. I admit I've been guilty of simply using my cell phone camera in the past but then I started to use the old "prtscrn" (printscreen) button on my PC, pasting into paint, saving, etc. etc.

Another way I got hooked on was pressing a print screen icon that used to be on my task bar or simply accessing the print screen function via the start button. Those days are over though. Recently I got a new PC at work and part of the upgrades eliminated that icon / command but replaced it with cool little diddly called the "Snip Tool"

This post will show you how to use the Snip Tool on Windows 7. This probably works on other versions including the dreaded Windows 8 (from what I've heard) but definitely on 7 if this is part of your package.

Step 1 to Using The Snip Tool

Open the page, file, document, etc. that you want to take a screen shot of.

For the sake of this article, well use a Word document to take an image of but you can do this on just about anything.

Searching For The Snip Tool
Searching For The Snip Tool
That Little Window Appears When You Fire Up The Snip Tool on Your PC
That Little Window Appears When You Fire Up The Snip Tool on Your PC

Step 2 Find The Snip Tool in Programs and Files

Then click that little windows logo at the bottom of the screen. In the "Search Programs and Files" type "Snip"

Step 3 - The Snip Tool Window Opens

The Snip tool window / prompt box should appear and your cursor will turn into a cross. The Snip window will instruct you to take your cursor and drag it over the area you want to capture (ie take a screen shot of) on your screen

The Area We Are Capturing
The Area We Are Capturing

Step 4 - Choose the Shape Of Capture Area

You can choose from taking a rectangular, square, free form, etc screen shot by selecting the down arrow on the Snip tool window / prompt box. In this case I picked (if I recall :-) a rectangular box to capture the area around "Sample Screen Shot :-) " on the document as well as some of the items in the upper left tool bar.

Step 5 - Save Your Self Screen Capture Misery! Read This!!

OK, make sure you read this step. It will prevent you from balling up a fist and destroying your computer monitor. Seriously, remember this step....

Is your Snip Tool window always closing before you get a chance to frame the area you want to capture? Is it? OK, here's why.... you are closing the box before you are capturing the area.

Hint: Don't close the Snip Tool window before you drag your circle or square or rectangular border around the area you want on your screen. I did this a few times and it drove me nuts.

Do not, do not, close out the Snip Tool window. Just pretend it isn't there and begin to frame / capture the area you want. In other words, keep the box on the screen as you drag. When you start to drag out the area the window will automatically disappear and it will be OK.

Step 6 - Your Screenshot Will Appear

Once you have dragged out the area you want and entirely new snip window will appear. This window will display the area you dragged the border over. From here you have two options......

Captured Screen Area Appears in Window.  I circled the save / email buttons
Captured Screen Area Appears in Window. I circled the save / email buttons

Save Your Screen Shot

1. You can save it to file or folder just like any document on your hard drive. To save it, simply click the picture of the disk (funny how they still use an old floppy disk as an icon) on the top of the screen, then choose drive/folder etc.

Use The Snip Tool To Email Your Screenshot

2. You can email it too. If you click the envelope at the top of the screen it will automatically embed the image into an email for you to send. Now, I must admit, I can't say if this will work the same on all email platforms and software but it does work this way for me using Lotus Notes 8.

Wait! What About Printing Snipped Screen Shot?

Boy, this one I thought would be easier. Not that it is hard to do, it is just that it doesn't seem as intuitive. I thought once I captured the area and that new window appeared (as in Step 6) I could just click the print button. That option doesn't exist (if you find out how to print directly let me know.

Instead what I did was I pasted the snipped area in a MS Word document and saved it that way.

My guess is that you could paste in Microsoft's Paint program as well and other options but I couldn't find a way to print directly off that captured area. You'll see what I mean :-)

Screen Capture Poll

Ever Take a Screen Shot of Your Computer Screen

See results

Wait! Don't Go Away!

Do you just pull your USB drive out of the port without giving any thought to removing in correctly? Do you hate your computer? Do you hate your USB drive and the information on it?

Well, don't hate it! Show it a little love by reading the next post that explains out to properly remove your USB drive so you don't damage the information or anything else.

Proper Removal Of USB Drive From PC Port

Thanks For Stopping By!

I hope that helped to teach you how to use the Snip tool. Taking a screen shot is easy to do but sometimes it isn't as intuitive as you might hope. I'm hoping that this post has you taking a nice, clean, easy, picture of your computer screen in no time.

Thanks again and please check out some of my other posts.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 4 years ago from England

      Well I never knew that! what a useful hub! I actually opened the snip tool when reading this just to check what you were talking about! lol! I got it! but yes I will probably have trouble trying to print the darn thing, but what a great idea! voted up and shared, nell