Snipping tool

  • September 6, 2023

What is the Snipping Tool and how to use the Snipping Tool in Windows 11?

What is the Snipping Tool?

The Snipping Tool is a built-in screenshot utility in Windows operating systems, including Windows 11 which allows users to capture screenshots of a specific window, rectangular or free-form area, or the entire screen. The tool also has basic editing features, like highlighting, annotating, and adding text to the captured image. The Snipping Tool is useful for creating instructional materials, documenting technical issues, or sharing information with others. 

History of Snipping Tool

The Snipping Tool was first introduced in Windows Vista back in 2006. It was developed as a more advanced alternative to the Print Screen feature, which was limited to capturing the entire screen and necessitated users to paste the image into a separate image editing program to make any alterations or crops.

The Snipping Tool represented a significant improvement over the Print Screen function, as it allowed users to capture specific areas of the screen in different shapes and sizes. Additionally, it provided basic editing tools such as a highlighter and pen, making it easier for users to add annotations or marks to the captured image.

The Snipping Tool has been updated and improved over the years, with new features being added to make it more user-friendly and versatile. For instance, the delay timer introduced in one of the updates allows users to capture pop-up windows or menus that appear only briefly. Furthermore, in Windows 10, Microsoft introduced a new app called Snip & Sketch, which offers more advanced features such as a ruler, crop and resize tools, making it an even more powerful tool for capturing and editing screenshots.

In Windows 11 released on August 12, 2021, both Snip & Sketch and the old version of Snipping Tool were merged into an new version of Snipping Tool, which has an interface similar as old Snipping Tool.

Despite these changes, the Snipping Tool remains a useful and widely used screenshot utility in Windows operating systems.

How to use the Snipping Tool in Windows 11?

Here is how to Use the Snipping Tool on Windows 11:

1. Click on the Start button and search for “Snipping Tool” in the search bar. Or can press Windows key + Shift + S keyboard

2. Click on the Snipping Tool app from the search results to open it.

3. Click on the “New” button to start the snipping process.

4. Use the cursor to select the area of the screen you want to capture.

5. Once you have selected the area, release the cursor to capture the screenshot.

6. The screenshot will then appear in the Snipping Tool window.

7. You can then save the screenshot by clicking on the “Save As” button and selecting a file location and format.

The Snipping Tool is a simple and efficient way to capture screenshots on your Windows 11 computer.

New features in the Snipping Tool

1. Improved delay options: You can now set a delay timer before taking a screenshot, which is useful when you need to capture a pop-up window or context menu that disappears quickly.

2. New annotation tools: The Snipping Tool now offers new annotation tools, including a highlighter pen, a pencil, and a ruler. With these, it is easier to mark up your screenshots and add additional information.

3. Ability to save screenshots automatically: You can now set the Snipping Tool to automatically save your screenshots to a location of your choosing. This saves time and eliminates the need to manually save each screenshot.

4. Improved support for touchscreens: The Snipping Tool now offers improved support for touchscreen devices, making it easier to take screenshots on devices like tablets.

5. Screen Recording: You can record videos with Snipping Tool. The Snipping Tool can record a selected app or section of your screen or the entire desktop. You can preview, save, or share it with others.

How to use Screen Record in the Snipping Tool

In addition to its screenshot functionality, Windows 11’s Snipping Tool now includes a built-in screen recorder that allows users to capture and share videos of their PC screen.

1.      Launch the Snipping Tool with the keyboard shortcut Windows key + Shift + S,

2.      Select the record option and choose the section of the screen you wish to record before pressing start.

Although the Snipping Tool’s screen recorder lacks certain features like audio recording, multiple video formats, and editing tools, it still serves as a valuable tool for quickly capturing and sharing information on your screen.

More settings in Snipping tool

The Snipping Tool offers various customization options, allowing you to change many effects according to your preferences. For instance, you can assign the Snipping Tool to the Print Screen key on your keyboard, replacing the typical screenshot experience, and basically doing the same as the Windows key + Shift + S keyboard shortcut. This takes you to the Windows 11 Settings, where you can enable the feature. Other options include whether you want screenshots to be saved automatically, whether you want to copy edits you make to an image to the clipboard automatically, and whether you want the Snipping Tool to ask you to save screenshots you’ve edited before closing. You can also choose to automatically add a border to your screenshots or whether new screenshots should be opened in a new Snipping Tool window if one is already open. Additionally, you can change the app theme if you prefer not to follow your Windows theme.

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