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The hidden gem of Windows: Snipping Tool

Updated on June 19, 2016

What is the Snipping Tool?

The snipping tool is one of the few features I really like about Windows if only because it makes it very easy for my coworkers to capture areas of the screen for issue reporting or making quick guides. It's hard to believe, but for some people, screen capturing is not the most intuitive thing.

This great feature was added in Windows Vista and was otherwise only available as a PowerToy before that.

(I actually used the Snipping Tool to capture the image on the right from the Wikipedia page on the Snipping Tool!)

How can I use the Snipping Tool too?

Finding the snipping tool

Just type "Snipping tool" into the search box from the Start Menu. Then click on the icon that results that says "Snipping Tool". It will look the icon in the image of the top of this page (Reminder, I got that using the Snipping Tool, how cool is that?)

OK, how do I use it?

There are three icons on the program when it comes up: New, Cancel, Options

Cancel cancels a snip once you start it in order to avoid having to capture a snip. I never use this since if I mistakenly snip something, I just resnip or close the software.

Options I've never thought about changing any of these since they always work well for me.

New You get four kinds of snips:

Freeform snip - You can draw an area around the snip and then grab that. I don't like this since it usually results in something that it would have made more sense and would have been easier to clean up in GIMP or Photoshop using masks.

Rectangular snip - This is the one we usually use, you select a rectangular area on the screen of your choosing.

Window snip - this works like the screen capture tool but only for a selected window.

Full-screen snip - this captures the entire screen, just like hitting the print screen key.

There are some more tips here:

How to use snipping tool

How to use snipping tool & print screen


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