Computer Tips

How To Take Screenshots With The Snipping Tool In Windows


The built-in screen capture utility in Windows is great, but it’s not the most robust or versatile when it comes to saving a snapshot of your screen. The Snipping Tool is another built-in Windows utility that has allowed users to better define and capture portions of their desktop display as a screenshot since the introduction of the program in Windows Vista.Snipping Tool

Windows’ Snipping Tool allows users to capture a screenshot, or a snip, of the entire screen or a portion of the screen. The captured screenshot will appear in the tool’s Mark-up Window. From the Mark-up window, users may save the snip, copy and paste it, email it, or annotate (i.e. highlight and write on) it. Learn how to use the Snipping Tool in Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7, and Windows Vista. There’s even a way to capture screenshots of menus that normally disappear when you click away!

Aside from taking a screenshot of the entire screen and active window, the tool allows free-form outlines and rectangular screenshots for a more adjustable selection, as well as built-in annotation and sharing options.

Step 1: Open the Snipping Tool: Click the Start menu, navigate to the Accessories folder (in Windows 10, the folder is called Windows Accessories instead) and select Snipping Tool from the list of native Microsoft software. The icon depicts a pair of blue scissors with two white ovals beneath. Alternatively, search and open the program from the Windows search bar. If using Windows 8, click the down arrow in the bottom left, press Ctrl + Tab, or swipe downward from the center of the display to access the Apps View. From there, select the Snipping Tool.

Step 2: Choose the snip type: Once open, click the down arrow to the right of New in the upper left-hand corner of the program window and select your desired snipping type from the list of drop-down options. The free-form snip allows you to draw irregular shapes, the rectangular snip specified-sized rectangles, the window snip the active window, and the full-screen snip the entire screen.

Step 3: Define the selection: Use your mouse or trackpad to manually define your screen-capture selection. Obviously, the full-screen snip and window-snip don’t provide a ton of leeway in terms of versatility and selection choice, but the latter will still require you to choose the appropriate window before continuing.

Step 4: Save the screenshot: Perform any edits you want, such as highlights or annotations, and click the main File option in the top-left corner. Afterward, select Save As, title the new file, choose a save location, and select your desired file format from the drop-down menu. If your screenshot includes text, you’ll notice increased clarity if you save in the .png file format. If you prefer, you can click the envelope icon to directly email the screenshot as an attachment. Click the gray Save button in the bottom-right corner when finished.

Windows 10 is modernizing the experience to take screenshots with the new Snip & Sketch app, which combines the legacy Snipping Tool with Screen sketch (previously part of Windows Ink Workspace).

The result is a single experience to take and annotate screenshots of the desktop, apps, and games without the need for third-party tools, and an app that will be frequently updated through the Microsoft Store.

In this Windows 10 guide, we’ll walk you through the steps to get started with the new Snip & Sketch app to take screenshots with the October 2018 update.

  • How to take screenshots with Snip & Sketch
  • How to enable Print Screen button to use Snip & Sketch
  • How to edit screenshots with Snip & Sketch

How to take screenshots with Snipping Tool & Sketch

Using Snip & Sketch, there are at least three ways to access and take screenshots on Windows 10:

Using Snip & Sketch app

The easiest way to get to the snipping tools is to use the Snip & Sketch app with these steps:

  1. Open Start.
  2. Search for Snip & Sketch, click the top result to open the experience.
  3. Click the New button in the top-left corner.
  4. Select the type of snip you want to use, including:
    • Rectangular Clip.
    • Freeform Clip.
    • Fullscreen Clip.
    • Take the screenshot.
  5.  Take the Screenshot

Using Action Center quick button

If you want to take a screenshot to paste on a document, you can use the new Screen snip button using these steps:

  1. Open Action Center.

    Quick tip: Use the Windows key + A keyboard shortcut, or click the Action Center button in the notification area to open the experience.

  2. Click the Expand button.
  3. Click the Screen snip button.
  4. Select the type of snip you want to use, including:
    • Rectangular Clip.
    • Freeform Clip.
    • Fullscreen Clip.
  5. Take the Screenshot

Using the Print Screen button

If you enabled the option, you can take screenshots on Windows 10 using the Print Screen key.

  1. Hit the Print Screen button.

    Quick Tip: Alternatively, you can use the Windows key + Shift + S shortcut to open the snipping toolbar.

  2. Select the type of snip you want to use, including:
    • Rectangular Clip.
    • Freeform Clip.
    • Fullscreen Clip.
  3. Take the Screenshot.

Unlike using Snip & Sketch app when using the Screen snip button or the Print Screen key, the screenshot will copy to the clipboard. If you want to annotate the snip or save it into a file, you need to click the Snip & Sketch notifications in Action Center.

How to enable Print Screen button to use Snip & Sketch

You can also bring up the screen snipping tool using the Print Screen button on the keyboard, but it’s an option that you need to enable manually using these steps:

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Click on Ease of Access.
  3. Click on Keyboard.
  4. Under “Print Screen shortcut,” turn on the Use the PrtScn button to open the screen snipping option.

After completing the steps, you can hit the Print Screen key on your keyboard to take screenshots on Windows 10.

How to annotate screenshots with Snip & Sketch

Alongside the ability to quickly take screenshots on Windows 10, the app includes a number of tools to annotate images virtually any way you like.

Once you’ve taken the screenshot (or you can use the open (folder) button to load an image), the image will open in Snip & Sketch. While in the experience, you can use a number of tools to annotate the screenshot, including ballpoint pen, pencil, and marker. All of which you can click to customize the color and thickness.

In addition, there’s an eraser to delete one or all the strokes from the screenshot. You can use the digital ruler to draw straight lines, and there’s a cropping tool to trim the excess.


These tools have been designed to work best using a stylus on a touch-enabled device, but they also work with a keyboard and mouse.

On the far-right corner, you’ll find the options to save the snip as a PNG file. You can also use the copy button to copy the image to the clipboard, which you can then paste on any document.

Finally, there’s the share button that brings up the experience to send the screenshot to another person using email, nearby sharing, or another supported application.

Was it Helpful? Then don’t forget to share this with others too, you may never know that your share may be proven helpful for many of the users out there. So, keep sharing and keep helping.



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