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Monday, September 15, 2008

Capturing a Screen Shot with the Snipping Tool

Windows Vista Snipping ToolSource
Before Windows Vista, if you wanted a screen shot you had to use the less than intuitive method of pressing the print screen key
and pasting the screen shot into a graphics program to add markup and
save it.
With Windows Vista, Microsoft has included a utility called
the Snipping Tool to make capturing screen shots easier.
Of course, there are many free screen capture tools for all versions of Windows if you have not upgraded to Windows Vista yet.

Note: The Sniping tool is not available in Windows Vista Home Basic
Edition. It comes with Vista Home Premium, Business, Enterprise, or
Ultimate Editions.

Time Required: 1 minute
  1. Click on the Start Menu and start typing "snipping" into the search box.
  2. Snipping Tool should show up in the Programs list above the search box, and you can click on it to start it.
  3. The
    Snipping Tool window will appear on your screen. You may move it to an
    edge of the screen so it's not in your way, but it will also disappear
    when you start dragging a selection area.
  4. The Snipping
    Tool assumes you want to create a new clipping as soon as you open it.
    Your screen will dim, and you can click and drag your cursor to select
    an area to copy. As you drag, the selected area will be darker, and
    surrounded by a red border if you've never changed the Snipping Tool
  5. When you release the mouse button, the captured
    area will open in the Snipping Tool window. If you're not happy with
    the selection and need to try again, click the "New" button.
  6. When
    you are happy with your clipping, press the second button to save the
    screen shot as an image file. See the tips below for file format


  1. If your screen
    shot contains a limited number of colors and you want to retain crisp
    lines and keep the file size small, save as a GIF file. If your screen
    shot contains many colors and you want to retain crisp lines and full
    quality, save as a PNG file. If your screen shot contains many colors
    and you want to make the file size small, save as a JPEG file.
  2. Before
    saving your screen shot, you can use the Pen and Highlighter tools in
    the Snipping Tool toolbar to add markup to your screen shot. The eraser
    tool will remove marks made with the Pen and Highlighter Tools.
  3. You may email a screen shot without saving it by using the "Send To" button on the Snipping Tool toolbar.
  4. Go
    to Tools > Options to change the way the Snipping Tool operates. For
    instance, you can change the color of the selection outline by
    selecting a new ink color, or turn the outline off entirely by
    unchecking the box for "Show selection ink after snips are captured."
  5. Enable the option "Display icon in the Quick Launch toolbar" if you want to keep the Snipping Tool handy for quick access.

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