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How To Capture Screenshots Using Snipping Tool In Windows 7 / Vista

Windows 7 / Vista comes with a build-in accessory called Snipping Tool which can be used for taking accurate screen shots. This tools lets you select a certain area on your desktop screen or any other opened window and copies the selected image section into your system clipboard. You can either save the copied picture directly from it making no modifications to it, also you can export the copied image to a third party photo editing software like Adobe Photoshop, Paint.NET, etc as your choice.

Starting the Snipping Tool

Navigate to Start > All Programs > Accessories > Snipping Tool , or you can go directly by typing Snipping Tool in Start Search.


The snipping tool should now be started and you will see a screen similar to the one below:


Exploring Snipping Tool Options


Hide Instruction Text: It hides the instruction text in the main Snipping Tool window.

Always copy snips to the Clipboard: If this is enabled it will copy all snips to your Windows clipboard so you can paste them into another applications directly.

Include URL below snips: With this enabled if you save your snip as a Single File HTML, or MHT document, and the snip was taken from an Internet Explorer browser window it will show the url of the page that you took the snip from.

Prompt to save snips before exiting: If enabled, when you exit the snipping tool it will prompt you to save any snips that were created.

Display icon in the Quick Launch Toolbar: When enabled an icon for the Snipping Tool will be placed in your Quick Launch Toolbar.

Show screen overlay when Snipping Tool is active: If enabled, when you are creating the snip the Snipping Tool interface will disappear.

How To Take Screenshots

There are four different selection types that you can use from the menu to take a snip using the Snipping Tool:

  • Free form snip
  • Rectangular snip
  • Window snip
  • Full screen snip

Free form snip

This method allows you to draw a shape around your selection using a mouse or a stylus. Once the selection shape is drawn and you close the shape so there are no open sides, the snip will be created and shown to you. An example of a free-form snip is below.


Rectangular Snip

This method simply allows you to create a rectangular selection around a portion of your screen and anything in that rectangle will be used to create the snip. An example of a rectangular snip is below.


Window snip

When you use this method, the Snipping Tool will capture the contents of the entire window that you select. An example of a window snip is below.

Full screen snip

This method will capture the entire screen on your computer. An example of this type of snip is below.

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