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Snipping Tool: Perfect Way to Capture a Screenshot on your Desktop

Updated on July 6, 2013

Snipping Tool captures a screen shot of anything on your desktop. You can then annotate, save or share the snips! This is the easiest way to save a copy of something by just taking a snapshot of the screen.


Tired of pressing PrintScreen on your keyboard, then copy and edit it again to Paint so you can save the image as JPEG? Tired of using your camera to capture a full image on your screen?

Different types of snips
Different types of snips

You have nothing to worry about it now because here comes our new best friend, the SNIPPING TOOL!

You can find this on the Accessories Folder: Start Menu -- All Programs -- Accessories.

Note: Snipping Tool is available only in the Home Premium, Professional, Ultimate, and Enterprise editions of Windows 7.

What is a Snipping Tool?

This is one of the Windows' accessory tools that capture a portion or whole screen on your desktop so you can save, annotate or share the image.

It does not only save the image as JPEG (Joint Photographic Experts Group) but also in other file extension formats such as

  • PNG (Portable Network Graphic)
  • GIF (Graphics Interchange Format), and
  • Single File HTML (MHT)

You can also send the captured file as email attachment. Even moving videos stopped so you can capture one magic moment right in just one click! It has also a COPY action on the menu bar that lets you copy the whole image and transfer it to Word, Paint, Powerpoint, Excel and even E-mails.

Not just that, you can also choose what snip type you would want to do on the screen:

  • Free-form snip – this is the type of snip wherein you can freely draw an irregular line or shape such as wavy circle around an object.
  • Rectangular snip – the captured image is in perfect rectangular shape. Drag the cursor around the area you want to capture.
  • Window snip – you can use this to select the window you want to capture on screen.
  • Full screen snip – it captures the entire screen when you select this type of snip.

I know many of us here know how to capture images using the Snipping Tool but for all those who just stumbled upon this one, I'll walk you through on how to capture and save an image using the different type of snips.

Different Snips

Click thumbnail to view full-size


Yes, you can add text with your own free-style font! Just like paint, Snipping Tool has a variety of pen colors to choose from. The default colors are Red, Blue and Black. You can also customized your pen, having a wide range of colors to choose, round or chisel tip and fine to dark point pen.

And look, we also have HIGHLIGHTER! If you made a mistake don't worry, we still have the Eraser.

Choose your colors!
Choose your colors!


Once you have already chosen your image, go to Menu Bar, located on the lower portion of the name "Snipping Tool" icon. Click FILE, and then SAVE AS. Another window will appear. You can then write your own filename.

JPEG is the default file format extension but if you want to choose other file formats, you can click the drop-down arrow on the"Save as Type"located under the "Filename".

Choose JPEG
Choose JPEG

This tool is the most convenient and the easiest way to capture what's in your screen and converts it automatically to the image format we always love, the JPEG. You have the option to capture an image of your entire desktop or just a portion of it. Like Paint, you can write and choose color options before saving the image.

It can really save time and editing hassles!

© 2012 Mycee. All Rights Reserved.


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    • unknown spy profile imageAUTHOR

      Not Found 

      6 years ago from Neverland - where children never grow up.

      Thank you too Jo. thanks for visiting my lair.

    • tobusiness profile image

      Jo Alexis-Hagues 

      6 years ago from Lincolnshire, U.K

      This looks interesting, I'll be bookmarking for later. great informative hub.

      Thank you Unknown.

    • unknown spy profile imageAUTHOR

      Not Found 

      6 years ago from Neverland - where children never grow up.

      Thank you Rony!

    • Rony09 profile image


      6 years ago

      good explanation about how snipping tool works. thumbs up.

    • unknown spy profile imageAUTHOR

      Not Found 

      6 years ago from Neverland - where children never grow up.

      Oh thank you Jools for reading. Im glad you find this useful This is a great way other than Printscreen.

    • Jools99 profile image

      Jools Hogg 

      6 years ago from North-East UK

      Unknownspy, what a brilliant hub. I didn't even know that Snipping Tool existed - I will be using this a lot, many thanks.

    • unknown spy profile imageAUTHOR

      Not Found 

      6 years ago from Neverland - where children never grow up.

      Hi Nithya thank you for the support.

    • Vellur profile image

      Nithya Venkat 

      6 years ago from Dubai

      Very well explained. This tool is great and easy to use. Voted up.

    • unknown spy profile imageAUTHOR

      Not Found 

      6 years ago from Neverland - where children never grow up.

      Hello Kashmir! Thank you so much! Yes, there's third party software programs that offers same uses like that of a snipping tool. :)

    • kashmir56 profile image

      Thomas Silvia 

      6 years ago from Massachusetts

      Hi M. great well written hub about a very useful tool. I do not have windows 7 so i have not used the snipping tool but i have a freeware program the work almost the same way .

      Vote up and more !!!

    • unknown spy profile imageAUTHOR

      Not Found 

      6 years ago from Neverland - where children never grow up.

      Hi Sue, thank you for reading and for the message

      Hi Rajan, thanks for the share and glad you find this useful :)

      Hi Jen. Big thanks! You should use this more often.saves time!

    • Jennifer Stone profile image

      Jennifer Stone 

      6 years ago from the Riverbank, England

      Great hub spy, thanks! I was reading a "how to" hub the other day that said to "use the snipping tool" and I've been wondering where, and how ever since! So this couldn't have come at a better time my friend! All the votes from the riverbank, and off to give it a try! Jen

    • rajan jolly profile image

      Rajan Singh Jolly 

      6 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

      Though I know about the snipping tool I didn't know it could be used in so many ways.

      Thanks for sharing this info unknownspy.

      Voted up, useful and interesting. Sharing this.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Hi Unknown spy

      I never heard of a snipping tool. Very interesting and useful information.

      Thanks for sharing.

      Voted up and awesome

      Have a good weekend. :)

    • unknown spy profile imageAUTHOR

      Not Found 

      6 years ago from Neverland - where children never grow up.

      Teaches, thank you..a friend inspires me to write this one because she doesnt know how to use Snipping tool.

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 

      6 years ago

      I use this tool on occasion and find it very handy in capturing different items of interest and storing them for future reference. Thanks for the detailed information.

    • unknown spy profile imageAUTHOR

      Not Found 

      6 years ago from Neverland - where children never grow up.

      Hi TT, Snow, Peggy, Mark, Joyce, Sunshine, Mhatter..

      Thank you all for reading and leaving wonderful comments :) Glad you find this useful. :)

    • Mhatter99 profile image

      Martin Kloess 

      6 years ago from San Francisco

      Thank you!

    • Sunshine625 profile image

      Linda Bilyeu 

      6 years ago from Orlando, FL

      Well done M! I'm often asked how to use the snipping tool, from now on I'll direct them to your hub! Thanks! :)

    • writer20 profile image

      Joyce Haragsim 

      6 years ago from Southern Nevada

      Thank you for putting this hub on. I have windows 7 and I will look for the snipping tool.

      Voted up, useful and very interesting, Joyce.

    • Curiad profile image

      Mark G Weller 

      6 years ago from Lake Charles, LA.

      Great tip M, I have used it and it is an awesome tool!

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 

      6 years ago from Houston, Texas

      This is a tool that I have never used but I liked your explanations and photos. Will have to give it a try sometime. Thanks! Voted up, useful and interesting.

    • snowdrops profile image


      6 years ago from The Second Star to the Right

      Great hub! Very informative and useful. One can really learn a lot from this.

    • TToombs08 profile image

      Terrye Toombs 

      6 years ago from Somewhere between Heaven and Hell without a road map.

      Great job, Spy. Very helpful information! Thank you for this.

    • unknown spy profile imageAUTHOR

      Not Found 

      6 years ago from Neverland - where children never grow up.

      Dwachira, thank you for reading.. Snipping tool is the easiest way, you should try it. works well with capturing images. Thanks much!

    • dwachira profile image

      [ Danson Wachira ] 

      6 years ago from Nairobi, Kenya

      I rarely use Snipping tool but with your illustrations here i will try hands on it especially if i can use it with images. A very useful hub, voted up, useful and shared.


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