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How to take screenshots using the Snipping Tool in Windows

How to take screenshots using the Snipping Tool in Windows

by AshwinJanuary 23, 2016

Screenshots are often very useful, for blogging, troubleshooting issues, or just for the sake of sharing contents with friends.

Snipping Tool Windows
Earlier this week, we told you how to save screenshots automatically to OneDrive.

But what do you take screenshots with? Print Screen + MS Paint aka Microsoft Paint has long been the most common combo, thaks to the fact that is free and available on every Windows PC. But the biggest problem with this method is that you do not have any other options or modes of taking screenshots.

Another problem is that you have to manually open MS Paint and then paste it, to edit the screenshot, and then save it.

A better way to take screenshots exists right in Windows, it’s called the Snipping Tool. This exists in almost every version of Windows, from XP, Vista, 7, 8, 8.1 and of course Windows 10.

First of all, let’s create a quick access shortcut for the application. To do so, click on the start button and type “snipping tool” and open the app from the search result. Now right-click on the task bar icon and pin it to the taskbar/start.

You can also press Windows + R, and type “snippingtool” and hit enter to open the application directly.

How to take screenshots using the Snipping Tool

There are many ways to take a screenshot in Snipping Tool, and the most basic one is the Full-Screen Snip. To take one, do the following.

1. Open the Snipping Tool.
2. Click on the arrow next to the “New” button.
3. Select Full-Screen Snip.
4. This will immediately capture the full-screen screenshot and open the built-in image editor.

Snipping Tool Windows editing options

This image editor, allows you to save the image in four formats:

  • PNG
  • GIF
  • JPEG

You can also edit the file using the editor’s pen, highlight an area and also erase an area in the image.

Other screen-shot modes:

Snipping Tool Windows options

Free-form Snip:

You can use the Snipping Tool to take a free-form capture (draw with a pen cursor to capture the content within that area:

Rectangular Snip:

Draw a rectangle to capture a screenshot with the contents inside the rectanglular area. Alternatively you can press the key combo Control + Print Screen, to start a rectangular snip. But for this to work, you need to have the app open already.

Window Snip:

Captures a screenshot of an app’s Window, without you having to need to draw a rectangle to match its size. Additionally it will fit the app’s window exactly, and skip any backgrounds to make it look much better, than a manual effort would.

The Snipping Tool in Windows 10 is actually a little better than those available in prior versions of Windows. This is because the Windows 10 application has a Delay option, aka a timer based screen capture setting, which you can use to capture timed screenshots (from 0 to 5 seconds). This is useful to take screenshots of menu’s or other pop-up windows.

Screenshots taken with the Snipping Tool are saved in the default Pictures folder.

If you’re looking for a more professional screen capturing tool,  check out our Snagit 12 review.