Sunday, February 4, 2024


4. Use the Snipping Tool

Snipping tool in Windows 11
(Credit: Microsoft)

Windows 11 cleans up the previous confusion of how to take a screenshot in Windows by taking all the functionality from Windows 10’s terrific Snip & Sketch tool and rolling it into the new Snipping Tool.

The easiest way to get to the Snipping Tool is to press Windows Key-Shift-S. That keyboard shortcut gives you a choice to take a screenshot using a rectangular snip, freehand selection, window, or full-screen capture (that’s the order of the icons you choose from in the image above). If you change your mind after you press Windows Key-Shift-S and don’t want to take a screenshot, use the Esc key to back out.

For the first two options, draw with the cursor to select the area you want to capture. For the window option, just click over the target window; the full screen capture happens as soon as you click on that last button.

Snipping tool notification in Windows 11
(Credit: Microsoft/PCMag)

Once you release the cursor, you see a notification in the lower right with a thumbnail image of the screenshot. You can ignore it if you plan to paste the screenshot into another app because the image is already saved to the clipboard. Or you can click the thumbnail to open the Snipping Tool interface (shown below). Here, you can mark up the screenshot with a pen or highlighter, crop the image, or use a ruler to draw straight lines. And a finger button lets you draw on a touch screen.

Editing screenshots in Windows 11 using the Snipping Tool
(Credit: Microsoft/PCMag)

With recent Windows 11 updates, you can set the screenshots to save immediately to a folder of your choice. If you don't want to take up the disk space, you can change it in the Snipping Tool's Settings, accessible from the app's three-dot menu at top right.

Snipping Tool Settings
(Credit: Microsoft)

You can save the screenshot and any edits using the disk icon (some visual metaphors never die). A Share button lets you send the image using Windows 11's standard share panel. You can also print the image or open it in another app from the menu options.

One beef I have with this utility’s crop feature is that it doesn’t offer aspect ratio options. I’d like to be able to, for example, choose a 16:9 widescreen size, and I doubt I’m alone in that. As it is now, you have to take the image into Microsoft Paint, Paint 3D, or some other image-editing program to get this simple capability. I also wish the Snipping Tool gave access to previous screenshots as the OneDrive option above and the SnagIt option below do.

Add a Delay Timer to the Snipping Tool

If you want to use a delay timer before taking a screenshot, simply type Snipping in the Start menu and open the program window, rather than using the keyboard shortcut. In the small menu bar that appears, look for the clock icon and choose to add a delay of 1, 3, 5, or 10 seconds before you take a screenshot.

Use the Snipping Tool's New OCR Feature

The Snipping Tool now offers optical character recognition (OCR) technology, meaning any words that appear in an image are identified and become searchable. The OCR tool can copy text found in an image and automatically redact info like names, email addresses, and phone numbers. You get to the tool from the text-page icon, shown below.

OCR in Windows Snipping Tool
(Credit: Microsoft/PCMag)

Record Your Screen With the Snipping Tool

The Snipping Tool in Windows 11 can record video of your screen. To record your screen, you cannot use keyboard shortcuts but instead must open the Snipping Tool app first. Once the app is open, tap the movie camera icon, then press New. Choose a screen area to record, wait for a 3-2-1 countdown, and do your thing on the screen. When you're finished, press Stop. Once you stop, you see a playback of the video, and you can save or share it just as with a still screenshot.

Recording the screen with Windows 11 Snipping Tool
(Credit: Microsoft)

Other Snipping Tool Tricks

Three last tricks:

No comments:

Post a Comment