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Windows 7: Snipping Tool

20 January 2009 8 Comments

The Snipping tool comes back for another go around in Windows 7 that makes screen capture a lot easier. The Snipping tool can be found can be found in the Start menu under “Accessories”.

Snipping Tool Window

When opening the Snipping tool, you are presented with a tiny window at the top portion of the screen. Also, the rest of your screen goes a transparent white, similar to the UAC window background. Also, the cursor is changed to a + and is preset to select a part of the screen chosen with the cursor. To make a selection, position your cursor at a corner of the object you want to capture. Then click and hold down the mouse as you drag your cursor to the opposite corner and form a box around your object. If you mess up, press Esc and then on the Snipping tool window, press “New”. When completed, let go of the mouse and you will be presented with a window to make minimal changes to your selection.

I would recommend saving the image and then editing it further in Photoshop, Paint, GIMP, or any editor of your choice.  You can save your image in either JPEG, PNG, GIF, or a single HTML file. I would recommend saving it in PNG, especially if you are planning on emailing it or posting it to a website. Alternatively, your capture is also added to the clipboard, so you can paste in another application if you don’t want to save it.

For easier convenience, I made the Snipping Tool launch when I press Ctrl + Alt + P. To do this, right click on the shortcut in the Start Menu and choose Properties. Click on the “Shortcut Key” box and press any combination. Windows seems to only like combinations involving Ctrl + Alt, but maybe you’ll have better luck.

As an alternative, you can stick to the key combination: Alt + Print Screen, which will capture the current active window only and send it to the Clipboard.

Now anyone can post screenshots!
- James Hartig

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  • Luthian said:

    This is most deffinetly NOT new in Windows 7, It’s been there since day one in Vista.
    A truly new tool is the math input panel.

    • James Hartig (author) said:

      Woops! Wow, my bad! Post updated.

      • John Campbell said:

        Have read your article on the snipping tool and its availability in Windows 7 beta. Have installed Windows 7 beta  on my laptop but am unable to locate snipping tool where you suggest it should be. In Windows Vista it is located in system 32 in the Windows directory. I’ve looked in system 32 in Windows 7 but there is no sign of the snipping tool. I’m wondering whether my version of Windows 7 beta was earlier and did not have this useful application included. What is your opinion on this subject?