Friday , 19 July 2024
How to Use Snipping Tool Tips and Tricks for Beginners

How to Use Snipping Tool: Tips and Tricks for Beginners

Screenshots have become an essential part of our digital lives. Whether you’re capturing a moment from a video, saving a snippet of a document, or troubleshooting a problem on your computer, the ability to take a quick screenshot is invaluable.

Enter the Snipping Tool, a handy utility built into Windows that allows users to capture parts of their screen effortlessly. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore everything you need to know about how to use the Snipping Tool effectively.

Table of Contents:

What is the Snipping Tool?

The Snipping Tool is a screenshot utility included in Windows operating systems since Windows Vista. It allows users to capture various parts of their screen and save them as images or share them directly. This tool is particularly useful for capturing and sharing error messages, documentation, and quick image edits.

Why Use the Snipping Tool?

Why would you choose the Snipping Tool over other screenshot utilities? Simply put, it’s convenient, built-in, and easy to use. Unlike other third-party tools, there’s no need to download or install anything additional. Plus, it integrates smoothly with other Windows features and applications.

How to Access the Snipping Tool

Using the Start Menu

To access the Snipping Tool, click on the Start menu and type “Snipping Tool” into the search bar. Once it appears in the search results, click on it to open the application.

Pinning to the Taskbar

For quicker access, you can pin the Snipping Tool to your taskbar. Right-click the Snipping Tool in the Start menu and select “Pin to taskbar.”

Using Windows Shortcut

If you prefer shortcuts, press Windows Key + Shift + S to open the Snipping Tool immediately.

Exploring the Snipping Tool Interface

The Snipping Tool’s interface is user-friendly and straightforward. Upon opening, you’ll see a toolbar with options for creating new snips, modes, delay, and other settings.

Toolbar Functions

  • New: Starts a new snip.
  • Mode: Choose between free-form, rectangular, window, or full-screen snip.
  • Delay: Set a delay before the snip is taken.
  • Options: Customize the tool’s behavior, such as including the URL below snips or changing the ink color for annotations.

Types of Snips: Understanding Your Options

Free-form Snip

The Free-form Snip allows you to draw any shape around the area you want to capture. This is useful for capturing irregular areas on your screen.

Rectangular Snip

The Rectangular Snip lets you select a rectangular area of the screen. This is the most commonly used snip type for its simplicity and precision.

Window Snip

The Window Snip captures an entire window. This is perfect for documenting specific applications or dialogues without the surrounding desktop clutter.

Full-screen Snip

The Full-screen Snip captures the entire screen. This is ideal for taking comprehensive screenshots, especially when using multiple monitors.

How to Use the Snipping Tool

Using the Snipping Tool is a breeze. Once you understand the basics, you can quickly and easily capture screenshots for any purpose.

Taking Your First Snip

  1. Open the Snipping Tool: Click on the Start menu, type “Snipping Tool,” and press Enter.
  2. Select Mode: Choose the type of snip you want to take (free-form, rectangular, window, or full-screen).
  3. Capture: Click on “New” and select the area you want to snip.
  4. Edit: Annotate or highlight parts of your snip if needed.
  5. Save or Share: Save the snip to your computer or share it directly via email or other applications.

Annotating and Editing Snips

After capturing a snip, you can annotate it using the pen, highlighter, or eraser tools available within the Snipping Tool. This is particularly useful for adding notes or highlighting important sections.

Saving and Sharing Snips

Saving Snips

To save your snip, click on the disk icon or press Ctrl + S. Choose the location where you want to save the image and select the desired file format (PNG, JPEG, GIF, or HTML).

Sharing Snips

You can share your snip directly from the Snipping Tool by clicking the email icon, which opens your default email client with the snip attached.

Snipping Tool vs. Snip & Sketch

With the introduction of Windows 10, Microsoft released Snip & Sketch, an enhanced version of the Snipping Tool. While Snip & Sketch offers more advanced features and a modern interface, the Snipping Tool remains a favorite for its simplicity.

Snipping Tool Keyboard Shortcuts

Essential Shortcuts

  • New Snip: Alt + N
  • Save Snip: Ctrl + S
  • Copy Snip: Ctrl + C
  • Send Snip: Ctrl + P
  • Cancel Snip: Esc

Creating Custom Shortcuts

To create a custom shortcut, right-click the Snipping Tool in the Start menu, select “Properties,” and assign a shortcut key in the “Shortcut key” field.

Using Snipping Tool with Multiple Monitors

When using multiple monitors, the Snipping Tool can capture screenshots across all displays. Select the full-screen snip mode to capture all monitors or choose a specific monitor using the window snip mode.

Common Problems and Troubleshooting

Snipping Tool Not Opening

If the Snipping Tool doesn’t open, ensure that your Windows operating system is up-to-date. You can also try restarting your computer or checking for any software conflicts.

Snips Not Saving

If snips aren’t saving correctly, verify that you have sufficient storage space and the appropriate permissions to save files in the selected location.

Advanced Features and Tips

Delayed Snip

The Delayed Snip feature allows you to set a timer before the snip is captured. This is useful for capturing context menus or other transient elements.

Customizing Ink Colors

Customize the pen and highlighter colors in the Snipping Tool options to suit your preferences or match your branding requirements.

Integrating Snipping Tool with Other Apps

Microsoft Office

You can easily paste snips into Microsoft Office applications like Word, PowerPoint, and Excel using the Ctrl + V shortcut.

Email Clients

Attach snips directly to emails by using the send option within the Snipping Tool or by dragging and dropping the saved snip into your email client.

Snipping Tool for Business Use

Businesses can leverage the Snipping Tool for various purposes, including creating documentation, capturing error messages, and enhancing training materials.

Snipping Tool for Educational Purposes

Educators can use the Snipping Tool to capture and annotate educational content, making it easier to create engaging lesson plans and resources.

Enhancing Productivity with Snipping Tool

By incorporating the Snipping Tool into your workflow, you can streamline tasks such as creating tutorials, reporting bugs, and sharing information quickly and efficiently.

Customizing Snipping Tool Settings

Options Menu

Access the Options menu to customize settings such as including the URL below snips, changing the ink color, and enabling or disabling prompt before snipping.

Personalizing Shortcuts

Customize the Snipping Tool shortcuts to align with your workflow and improve efficiency.

Security and Privacy Concerns

While using the Snipping Tool, be mindful of sensitive information that may be captured. Always review snips before sharing to ensure no confidential data is included.

Mobile Alternatives to Snipping Tool

For mobile users, there are several alternatives to the Snipping Tool, such as the built-in screenshot capabilities on iOS and Android, or third-party apps like Lightshot and Snagit.

The Future of Snipping Tool

As Microsoft continues to evolve its software, the Snipping Tool may receive further updates or be replaced by more advanced utilities like Snip & Sketch, offering even greater functionality.

Community and Support Resources

Online Forums

Join online forums and communities such as Microsoft Community and Reddit to exchange tips and seek advice on using the Snipping Tool.

Tutorials and Guides

Explore tutorials and guides on platforms like YouTube and LinkedIn Learning to deepen your understanding and discover new ways to use the Snipping Tool effectively.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. How do I open the Snipping Tool quickly?

Press Windows Key + Shift + S to open the Snipping Tool immediately.

2. Can I capture a menu with the Snipping Tool?

Yes, use the Delayed Snip feature to capture menus and transient elements.

3. How do I save a snip?

Click the disk icon or press Ctrl + S to save your snip.

4. Can I annotate my snips?

Yes, use the pen, highlighter, and eraser tools to annotate your snips.

5. What file formats does the Snipping Tool support?

The Snipping Tool supports PNG, JPEG, GIF, and HTML formats.

6. Is the Snipping Tool available on Windows 11?

Yes, the Snipping Tool is available on Windows 11, though it may be integrated with Snip & Sketch.

7. How do I share a snip via email?

Click the email icon in the Snipping Tool to attach the snip to an email.

8. Can I use the Snipping Tool on multiple monitors?

Yes, you can capture screenshots across multiple monitors using the full-screen snip mode.

9. What should I do if the Snipping Tool isn’t working?

Ensure your operating system is up-to-date, restart your computer, and check for software conflicts.

10. How do I change the ink color in the Snipping Tool?

Go to the Options menu and select your preferred ink color.

11. Can I use the Snipping Tool to capture videos?

No, the Snipping Tool is designed for capturing still images only.

12. How do I take a free-form snip?

Select “Free-form Snip” from the Mode menu and draw around the area you want to capture.

13. Is there a delay feature in the Snipping Tool?

Yes, you can set a delay before capturing a snip using the Delay option.


The Snipping Tool is a powerful, yet simple utility that can enhance your productivity and streamline your workflow. From capturing screenshots for documentation to annotating images for presentations, knowing how to use the Snipping Tool effectively can save you time and effort. By mastering its features and integrating it into your daily tasks, you’ll find that taking and sharing screenshots has never been easier.


The information provided in this article is for educational purposes only. While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the content, the author and publisher assume no responsibility for errors or omissions, or for any damages resulting from the use of the information contained herein.