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Windows 7 Snipping Tool

Lee OsborneSenior Infrastructure Engineer
I'm sure that at some point, the majority of people have wanted to, or been asked to, take a screenshot of a window, application, desktop, or error message.

Windows 7 introduces the Snipping Tool - a handy application which can easily capture all of these requirements, and save the capture to file or the clipboard.
 Snipping Tool
Even that image was captured using the Snipping Tool! This tool is easily available from the Start Menu > All Programs > Accessories > Snipping Tool. You can also simply type 'snip' into the new Windows 7 Start Menu > Search Box and the Snipping Tool will be the first result in the list. Last but not least you can simply press Windows+S to get the Snipping Tool - and that comes most handy.

The Snipping Tool has a few different options:
Snipping Tool
- Free-form Snip - Drag your mouse freely around the area you want to capture.
- Rectangular Snip - Capture a rectangular area created by dragging the mouse around the area.
- Window Snip - Select an active window to capture it in full, with no surrounding areas or background.
- Full-screen Snip - As it says, capture the whole visible screen.

Once you have 'Snipped', you can then save the image as a .gif, .jpg, or .png.
You can save it to the Clipboard.
You can email the image to a recipient as an attachment.
Or, you can use the Pen, Highlighter, or Eraser to indicate areas accordingly.
 Snipping Tool
In general, this is a tool I've used a lot (especially to take these screenshots!) since I've had Windows 7. From am IT Support point of view, it's handy for the users who have error messages appear on their screens and need to capture the information to send to the helpdesk.

This new utility from Microsoft definitely gets my vote. If only there was an alternative in Vista or Windows XP.

Lee OsborneSenior Infrastructure Engineer

Comments (3)

Yes, the snipping tool is great.  Just a quick note, it's part of the tablet PC tools for Windows XP and is available in most versions of Vista as well, it's just one of those features most people overlook.
Top Expert 2009

I used the snipping tool to capture a lot of the screenshots for personal web page on Windows Vista and Windows 7.  One problem I found with it was:  since it uses the mouse to activate the screenshot capture, it is difficult to capture a screenshot of a menu window, such as the Start Menu or a toolbar menu.  But there is a tip available on how to do that on this page: 

The tip can be found under the caption "To capture a snip of a menu" on the above page.

Qlemo"Batchelor", Developer and EE Topic Advisor
Top Expert 2015

Great and useful tip, LeeTutor!

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