February 15, 2021

Snipping Tool – All The Shortcuts to Use It

Snipping tool is basically a Microsoft Windows Screenshot software being incorporated in Windows Vista and all the later versions. The screenshot utility was initially released in November 2002 i.e. 18 years ago. So, this is quite an old software but many people are still not aware of it or do not know how to use it.

The software is used to take screenshots of any rectangular area, an open window, a free-form area, or the whole screen. These snips can be then used for annotation by using a tablet or mouse. The captured screenshots are saved as an image file (GIF, PNG, or JPEG file), emailed, or an HTML file. Moreover, the snipping tool also lets the users perform basic image editing of the screenshot in which the users can use pens of different colors, a highlighter, or an eraser, etc. Today, the software is again being used widely owing to the digital working over laptops and desktops due to lockdown and work from home scenarios.

What are the Shortcut Keys to use Microsoft Windows Snipping Tool?

The Microsoft Windows Snipping Tool is a very simple and easy to use screenshot utility. Using Microsoft Windows Snipping Tool, one can either capture an entire window or a rectangular part of the screen or simply make use of the freedom tool to draw around objects and only capture that selected part of the screen. Besides, the latest version has a unique delay feature that facilitates the users in capturing pop-out or right-click menus.

As for the shortcuts, the know-how of shortcut keys about a particular software not only speed up the work process but also adds an element of efficiency to the work. But these shortcut keys, in order to work, require the Snipping Tool utility to stay open and focus. However, there is no Snipping Tool shortcut key to open Windows Snipping Tools but a keyboard shortcut can be made though!

Capture Screenshots in Windows

When you are over the Start Screen or Metro UI, you simply need to click on the Snipping Tool icon to open it. After the tool gets opened, you can find yourself immediately on the desktop. Whereas, in the Desktop Mode, you just need to type the Snipping tool in the Charms Bar Search to find and open the tool. Besides, you can create a desktop shortcut for easy access if there is regular use.

In Windows 8 Start Screen, you can pin the app as a Tile by right-clicking on the screen, then clicking on the “All App” option, and finally selecting the Snipping Tool in all apps. Now, you need to choose the “Pin to start” option to pin the app as a tile on your start screen.

Upon clicking a screenshot from a browser and saving it as an HTML file, there appears a URL below the snip. To prevent the appearance of URL, you need to open Options and uncheck the Include URL below the snips (HTML only) checkbox.

Use of Hotkey to Open Snipping Tool

As stated earlier, there is no short key to open Microsoft Windows Snipping Tool but you can create a hotkey for frequent use. In order to do so, you need to open the System32 folder and then right-click on the Snipping Tool.exe or its shortcut in the folder of Program/Accessories. Now, select properties and from herein you can create a hotkey for it. For example, you can select F5 as a hotkey and so the next time you just have to press F5 to open the snipping tool.

Different types of Screenshots

The Snipping Utility facilitates the users to capture four different types of screenshots as listed below:

  • Free- form Snip let the users draw and capture irregular part of the screen.
  • Rectangular Snip lets the users drag the cursor around an object to make a rectangle.
  • Window Snip lets the users select an open window, such as a browser window or dialog box, and capture it.
  • Full-Screen Sniplet the users capture the entire screen.

After changing the settings to the desired requirements, the users can now click on New or Ctrl+PrtnScr to take snapshots.

Win+PrntScr in Windows

Win+PrntScr is the short key that lets you capture the snapshots as per your desired settings. The screenshotted image gets automatically saved in the Pictures folder.

Snipping Tool Other Keyboards Shortcuts:

  1. Alt+M – For choosing a Snipping mode
  2. Alt+N – For the creation of a new snip in the same mode
  3. Shift + Arrow Keys – For moving the cursor to select a rectangular snip area
  4. Alt + D – For delaying the capture by 1-5 seconds
  5. Ctrl + C – For copying the snip to the clipboard
  6. Ctrl + S – For saving the screen capture.
  7. Ctrl + E – For editing in Paint 3D
  8. Ctrl + P – For printing the screen capture
  9. Alt + F – For Accessing the File menu
  10. Alt + F then T then E – For sending the snapshot as an e-mail.
  11. Alt + F then T then A – For sending the snapshots as an attachment in a mail
  12. Alt + T F then P – For selecting Pen tool
  13. Alt + T then P then R – For Red Pen
  14. Alt + T then P then B – For Blue Pen
  15. Alt + T then P then L – For Black Pen
  16. Alt + T then P then P – For Customizing Pen Color
  17. Alt + T then H – For Selecting Highlighter tool
  18. Alt + T then E – For selecting Eraser tool
  19. Alt + T then O – For setting Snipping Tool options

Capture part of screen Using Hotkey

Winkey+Shift+S is the short key to capture a part of the screen in Windows 10. One can even create a desktop shortcut by using the command snipping tool/clip in the location box.

Capture parts of Windows 8 Start Screen

To capture a part of the start screen in Windows 8, you need to open Snipping Tool, press Esc. Then, press the Win key to switch to the Start screen, afterward press Ctrl+PrntScr and move your mouse cursor around the desired area. These steps facilitate the users to capture a part of your Windows 8 Start screen. While, in order to capture the entire Start Screen, you need to press Win+PrntScr. 

Capture Context Menu by Snipping Tool

In order to take screenshots of your context menu, you need to start Snipping Tool and click on Esc., afterward, right-click on the desktop, file, or folder, and then press Ctrl+PrntScr. By doing this, the users can capture the right-click context menu. This trick also works in Windows 7 to capture the start menu.

The Snipping Tool is a great tool at the user’s disposal. If you know the right ways to use it, you can utilize it to its full potential.


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