Take a screenshot in Windows with the Snipping Tool
Shortcut Key Window+shift+S
Cut a window, a rectangle, or an arbitrary shape.
In the early days of Windows, you had to use the less intuitive method of hitting the Print Screen key and pasting it into a graphics program if you wanted to add markup and save a screenshot. Then Microsoft included in Windows Vista and later versions of Windows a utility called the Snapshot Tool to make screenshots much easier.
Of course, there are plenty of free screen capture tools for all versions of Windows if your needs are more complex than just taking a screenshot. But if you don’t want to, or have to, get into trouble, here’s how to take a screenshot with the slicing tool.
These instructions apply to Windows 10, Windows 8, and Windows 7.
Here’s how to use the draggable Windows Snipping Tool.
- Select the Start menu or press the Windows key and type “cut” in the search box.
- Select the Snipping Tool from the search results. A window with tools will appear on the screen.You can move it to the edge of the screen so it doesn’t get in your way, but it will also disappear when you start dragging the selection area.
- The cut tool assumes that you want to create a new cut as soon as you open it. Your screen will dim and you can click and drag your cursor to select the area to copy. The selected area will be darker as you drag, and will have a red border around it if you’ve never changed the Cut Tool options.
- When you release the mouse button, the captured area will appear in the cut tool window when you release the mouse button. Click the New button to try again.
- Click the second button to save the screenshot as an image file when you’re happy with the clipping.
- If your screenshot contains a limited number of colors and you want to keep clear lines and keep the file size small, save it as a GIF file.
- If your screenshot contains a lot of colors and you want to keep clear lines and full quality, save it as PNG.
- If the screenshot has a lot of colors and you want to reduce the file size, save it as a JPEG.
- You can use the pen and selection tools in the cut toolbar to mark up a screenshot before saving it. The Eraser tool removes marks made with the pen and selection tools.
- You can email a screenshot without first saving it using the Send button on the toolbar.
- Select the Options menu to change how the tool works. You can change the color of the selection outline by selecting a new ink color, or disable the outline entirely by unchecking “Show selection ink after snips are captured”.