Tips ‘N’ Tricks – Windows – Quickly Capture Screenshots using Snipping Tool in Windows 7

Capturing Screenshots is a very common task that each one of us perform at one or the other point. Sometimes, we capture whole screen and often times, we capture parts of the screen. Irrespective of whether we are capturing complete/partial screen, the traditional approach is to press PrtScn (Print Screen) to capture full screen and Alt+PrtScn to capture active window/dialog, paste it into MS Paint, highlight the required portions, and then post it appropriately (save to disk, copy to email etc.).

Windows 7 makes this task very simple with the help of a great feature called Snipping Tool, which can be used to capture screenshot of complete screen or portions of screen. Here is how it works.

Let us say that you want to capture the results of a particular query as part of one of your analysis on a customer reported issue about an employee’s details and your screen looks something as shown below.

Say you want to make some highlights in the above query & results and send it to the customer in an email.

Keeping the above screen active, launch the Snipping Tool, Start (Windows Icon at Left Bottom Corner) | All Programs | Accessories | Snipping Tool, as shown below.

Now when the Snipping Tool is launched, your screen will look something as shown below.

Now, with the Snipping Tool active on your screen, select the portion of the screen which you want to capture and when you leave your mouse button (which you were holding for selection), you will see the portion of the screen captured and available inside the Snipping Tool Editor for further editing and posting, as shown below.


As you can see in the above screenshot, Snipping Tool has a Toolbar with rich set of options. In the above screenshot, the options available on the Toolbar are as follows (From left to right):

  • New – Use this if you want to capture another screenshot.
  • Save – To save a file to the file system.
  • Copy – For copying the screenshot (the one that is visible inside the Snipping Tool Editor) to other places like some PowerPoint Presentation, Email, Word Document, and so on.
  • Email – Use this option to include this screenshot into an email either as part of the body or as an attachment (has two options in the drop-down as shown in the below screenshot).
  • Pen – To highlight the portions of the captured screenshot as shown in the below screenshot (the one which has portion rounded in blue color).
  • Highlighter – Use this option to highlight portions of the captured screenshot as shown in the above screenshot (the portions highlighted in yellow).
  • Eraser – To erase something on the captured screen.

Following screenshot shows the emailing options available in the Snipping Tool.

When the first option is selected in the above screenshot for emailing, then the screenshot captured in the above editor is pasted into the body of a new email as shown below.

Pen option can be used to highlight the things a little differently as shown below (the portion highlighted in blue). Also, it has various options to change the color of pen etc.

Using a Snipping Tool in Windows 7 is as simple and as effective as that! If you had a different experience working with this tool, or, if you know of any other tools or effective way of doing this, then please do share it by leaving a comment below.

Note: The above steps are based on Snipping Tool on Windows 7.

Take a look at the other Tips and Tricks in this Series on Tips, Tricks, Techniques, and Shortcuts to Improve Productivity, and Design and Coding Skills.


About Dattatrey Sindol (Datta)

Datta is a Microsoft BI Enthusiast, passionate developer, and a blogger. View Full Profile

Posted on May 25, 2012, in Computers, Shortcuts, Tips 'N' Tricks, Windows, Windows Tips and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

What are your thoughts?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: