How to use Snipping Tool

Snipping Tool

The dictionary definition of the word Snipping is to cut something with scissor or like objects, stroke or put succession strokes with similar objects.  This definition is just for general knowledge and not applicable to the computer knowledge. However, for computer knowledge the term used for snipping is Use SNIPPING TOOL.


Snipping tool is software that is used to cut or put strokes or succession strokes to any objects in the computer. Snipping tool is a tool that is used to take screenshots of almost anything i.e. an open window, rectangular areas, free-form areas or the entire screen. Snipping tool along with screenshot allows us for basic editing of the images with different pen color, eraser, and highlighter.  You use snipping tool not only to screenshot objects but also snip of any objects on your screen and annotate, save or share the images.

In the earlier days, the traditional method of taking screenshots was to use the Print Screen key on the keyboard which captures the whole screen and then it was upon the user to edit those screenshot and isolate that area in the image that actually was needed by the user. Editing and isolating were done with the help of the Software like Paint or Photoshop. But Introduction of Snipping tool in the Windows Vista and later version of Windows proved to be a boon for many users, as it had the entire feature in the single software. You can take screenshots, also snip in that screenshot and edit the screenshot.

Features of Snipping Tool | Use Snipping Tool

Snipping tool is an attractive tool due to its various features. The feature and the Use of Snipping tool are:

1. It is a powerful tool.

2. It is available free of cost.

3. It allows you to take a screenshot of a specific part on the screen rather than the entire screen.

4. It saves time and efforts.

5. It is great for beginners.

6. It holds some basic functions that a screenshot tool should have.

7. It does require us to open addition software like Paint or Photoshop.

8. It is helpful and very convenient to use.

This was a brief description regarding the introduction of the Snipping tool. What snipping tool is and what are their features. Further, let us go to detailed knowledge of Snipping tool.

Where Do we Find or Access Snipping Tool? | Use Snipping Tool

Snipping tool is an inbuilt feature in Window 7, window 8 and window 10. Snipping tool will be found by default in the start menu of the Windows.

In Windows 7, Snipping tool will be found in the default start menu.

  • Click on the start menu.
  • Click on All programs
  • Select Accessories
  • Click on the Snipping tool.

In Window 8, Snipping tool too will be found in the default start menu.

  • Click on the down arrow in the bottom-left corner.
  • Swipe downwards and search for Apps View.
  • Select the Snipping tool.

In Window 10, Snipping tool will be found

  • Click on the Start.
  • Select All Apps.
  • Choose Window accessories.
  • Select the Snipping Tool.

The most convenient and the best way to find Snipping Tool is to search in the search program option.

Different Ways to Open Snipping Tool in your Device | Use Snipping Tool

There are three different ways to open the Snipping tool which are explained in the steps below:

1. Going through the Start menu.

  • Click on the Start.
  • Select All Apps.
  • Choose Window accessories.
  • Select the Snipping Tool.

2. Open by searching in the search program.

  • Click on Start.
  • In the search option type Snip
  • Click on Snipping tool

3. Run command:

  • Press Window + R.
  • Enter “snipping tool”
  • Click OK.

Add Snipping tool to your Taskbar or Toolbar | Use Snipping Tool

If you use Snipping Tool many times you would need it to appear in your taskbar. Snipping tool on your task or toolbar can make your work quick and you will not have the need to go through the process of opening it.  This is basically we are creating a shortcut to open and use Snipping tool from the desktop or from the taskbar. The procedure or the steps to add snipping tool to the taskbar is almost the same for all versions of Windows.

Procedure to add and Snipping tool to the taskbar:

1. Click on the Search menu in the lower left corner of the screen.

2. Type Snipping tool.

3. The result will appear at the top.

4. Right-click the mouse and choose Pin to Taskbar.

5. You will see the Snipping tool icon in the taskbar.

Another way to add Snipping tool to your taskbar is as follow:

1. Click on the Search menu in the lower left corner of the screen

2. Type Sniping tool.

3. The result will appear at the top.

4. Select with the help of mouse and do not leave the mouse and drag it to the taskbar. 

Pin to Taskbar - Use Snipping Tool

Suppose, you have assigned various shortcuts in your taskbar but now you want to unpin Snipping tool from the taskbar due to any reason like your usage of snipping tool as becoming less, you have various icons and you want to remove icons from the taskbar.

The procedure to Unpin Snipping tool from the taskbar is as follow:

1. Take your mouse pointer to the Snipping tool icon.

2. Rightclick on the mouse.

3. Click on unpin Snipping tool from the taskbar. 

Unpin from taskbar - Use Snipping Tool

How to create a Snipping Tool Shortcut | Use Snipping Tool

A specific shortcut is not assigned to open Snipping tool. You need to create your own shortcut or hotkey to open Snipping tool. The quick way to open Snipping tool with the help of keyboard is as follow:


1. Go to start > All Apps > Window accessories.

2. Right click on Snipping tool and select more.

3. Click on Open File Location to open window accessories folder.

4. Right click on Snipping tool and go to Properties.

5. Under Shortcut tab, Click on shortcut key and enter a keyboard shortcut you want to assign.

  • Suppose you want to assign S as the shortcut then it will appear as CTRL + ATL + S.
  • You can assign 1 key also like suppose I assigned F6 as the shortcut key to open Snipping tool.

6. Click OK. 


  • You must remember the shortcut that you have assigned to Snipping tool. So always assign such shortcut which is convenient and easy for you to remember.
  • In Windows 10, you can press Window logo + Print screen keyboard shortcut to capture the entire screen.


1. Go to start > All Programs > Accessories.

2. Right-click on the Snipping tool and select Properties.

3. Go to the Shortcut tab, in the shortcut key assign a short by pressing any key from the keyboard.

  • Suppose you want to assign S as the shortcut then it will appear as CTRL + ATL + S.
  • You can assign 1 key also like suppose I assign F6 as the shortcut key to open Snipping tool.

4. Click OK. 

Create Shortcut - Snipping Tool

One more way to use a keyboard shortcut to open Snipping tool is when you see the Snipping tool assigned in your taskbar. You use the window key along with the numerical key from the keyboard to launch the program. Like, suppose Snipping tool is the 5th Icon in my taskbar after the Window icon. Then if I press window key + 5 from the keyboard it will launch the program.

The other Keyboard shortcut after launching Snipping tool is as follow:

  • ALT + M will choose a snipping mode for you.
  • CTRL + S will save the captured snip.
  • ALT + N will create a new snip using the last used mode.
  • CTRL + N will create a new snip.
  • ALT + D will delay capture by 5 seconds. (This feature was introduced in the Window 10.)
  • SHIFT + Arrow keys will move the cursor to select a rectangular snip area.
  • CTRL + C will copy the captured snip to the clipboard.
  • Esc will cancel the snip selection.
  • CTRL + P will print the snip.


This all shortcut might work only with Windows 10. Only a few of the above shortcuts might work with Windows 7.

After capturing a screenshot, you can press ALT key > Press T > Press P to choose Pen. Press H to choose highlighter. Press E to choose the eraser.

Set up or Customize your Snipping Tool Options | Use Snipping Tool

Before you start using the Snipping Tool, we must set the Snipping tool options. You also see other options as you open the Snipping tool. The Snipping tool has basic features like taking screenshots, canceling a screenshot that you took, taking a delayed screenshot and the option which has many features in it. The option buttons help us to set our preferences on how we want the program to operate.

We will take a detailed look at this optional feature in the Snipping tool below:
The Snipping Tool options dialog box is divided into two selections:

A. Application

The application selection allows you to change five sets:

1. HIDE INSTRUCTION TEXT: When you check or select this setting it will hide the instructions which are written down of the icon in the Snipping tool. In other words, if you enable this option it will hide the instruction text.

2. ALWAYS COPY SNIPS TO THE CLIPBOARD: This setting is used to copy all the snips into the clipboard. So that you can paste it into the other applications. Checking the box will allow and unchecking will not allow you to copy screenshots to the clipboard.

3. INCLUDE URL BELOW SNIPS (HTML ONLY): Checking this box will let you include only HTML URL below the screenshots. It saves your file as Single File HTML or MHT documents. When you take a screenshot from the web, the URL of the webpage is by default included in the screenshots.

4. PROMPT TO SAVE SNIPS BEFORE EXITING: When you close the Snipping tool this option will let you prompt whether to save the existing screenshot or no. If this option is not selected in the options then it will not ask whether to save your current snip or not and directly exit.

5. SHOW SCREEN OVERLAY WHEN SNIPPING TOOL IS ACTIVE: While you are taking a screenshot with the Snipping tool, a white overlay displays on the area that you want to capture. If you don’t want to see such white overlay you can turn off this option.

B. Selection:

The selection section of the Snipping tool option allows you to change the following settings:

1. INK COLOR: Ink color is the selection color of the border that you display when you create a snip. You can change any color by using the drop-down menu.

2. SHOW SELECTION INK AFTER SNIPS ARE CAPTURED: This option shows the selection area with the ink color after the snaps are captured. If this option is turned off then it won’t show ink color border.

After you are done with the required selection from the option setting you can click ok and return to the main Snipping tool window. My suggestion for you when selecting or customizing your option setting enables all the options in the application group other than Include URL below snips (HTML ONLY) and show screen overlay when Snipping tool is active. For the selection group, I would suggest you disable.

Show selection ink after snips is captured.

Customize Tooling Options - Snipping Tool

Rapid Overview of the Snipping Tool Features | Use Snipping Tool

The Snipping tool when you open shows up like a small little window. It is so small that it has only five simple features. Snipping tool shows the following five features: NEW, MODE, DELAY, CANCEL, and OPTIONS. Options feature is already explained above. Let us go now deep into the remaining features of the Snipping tool.

NEW: The new feature of the Snipping tool allows you to take a new screenshot. When you click on the new feature it will take the screenshot of the display by using the mode which was used last. The mode feature is explained below.

MODE: This feature lets you select the mode in which you want to take the screenshot. There are four modes in which you can screenshot your screen. They are as follow:

  • Free-Form Snip: This mode will let you do the free-form shape around an object. With the help of mouse pointer yo,u can draw around the object or picture and take the screenshot.
  • Rectangular Snip: This mode of snipping allows you to take the screenshot of the object in a rectangle shape. The object or the image is cut into rectangle shape while taking the screenshot. With the help of the cursor, you drag on the screen to create a rectangle selection.
  • Window Snip: This mode selects a window such as a browser window or dialog box that you want to capture. This mode will let you take the screenshot of the visible part of the Window. The off-screen portion will not be captured.
  • Full – Screen Snip: This mode will let you take the screenshot of the full screen that is displayed on the screen. If multiple displays are open then it will take screenshots of all the multiple displays.

When you open the drop-down menu in the mode, you will see that a black dot will be visible in one of the mode types. This means that the particular mode is selected for taking a screenshot. The default selection will be the selection that was last selected.

  • Cancel: The cancel feature in the Snipping tool will cancel the current selection mode that you have selected. Suppose you selected a particular mode and then you changed your mind you can click on cancel and select the other mode.
  • Delay: The Delay feature is the new feature introduced in the Window 10. This feature allows you to delay your screenshot timing. It delays screenshot by the maximum of 5 seconds. When you click on the drop-down arrow of the delay function you will see a list with 0-5 seconds. Select the timing by which you want to delay selection by. The delay timer bargains time to open another window along with the previous one before disappearing. When you open drop down you see a black dot as you see in the mode function. This dot tells you what timer is selected. The delayed timer tells how many seconds will it wait before clicking the picture.

Snipping Tool Features -Use Snipping Tool

Steps to save the picture or the file after taking Screenshot | Use Snipping Tool 

After you have taken the screenshot with your Snipping tool, you can directly save your file by clicking on the save option or through keyboard shortcut CTRL + S.

Save Picture - Use Snipping Tool

Suppose you want to edit your screenshot before saving it. You have 3 features like highlighting, pen and eraser.

  • Highlight option: Highlighting options lets you highlight important points in the screenshot with the help of your mouse pointer. Just move the mouse in the direction you want to highlight. The highlighter will be yellow in color.
  • Pen option: Pen option is available to allow you to enter information in the image with the help of the mouse. The pen option is available in different colors like red, blue, black, customize your own color.
  • Eraser: The eraser option lets you eraser the things that you once highlighted with the highlighter or wrote with the pen. You can erase with the help of the mouse.

Snipping Tool tools - Use Snipping ToolsYou can even share the image and copy the image before saving the image. The images or the snips are stored as the image file (PNG, GIF, or JPEG file) or an MHTML file.

  • If you want the file size to be small and the snip contains the limited number of colors, save it as a GIF file.
  • If you want full file quality and your images contain too many colors, save it as PNG file.
  • If you want small file size but many colors are there in your snip save it as a JPEG file.

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