Before Windows Vista, if you wanted a screen shot for troubleshooting purposes, you had to remember the less than intuitive method of pressing the print screen key and pasting the screen shot into an application to add markup and save it or using one of a myriad of free or shareware utilities available on the net. With Windows Vista and later, however, Microsoft has included a utility called the “Snipping Tool” to make capturing screen shots easier.
Here’s How to find and use it:
1. Click on the Start Menu and start typing “snipping” into the search box.
2. Snipping Tool will appear in the Programs list above the search box. Simply click on it to start.
3. The Snipping Tool window will appear on your screen. You can elect to move it to another part of the screen so that it is not in your way. It will also disappear when you start dragging the area selected
4. The Snipping Tool assumes you want to create a new clipping as soon as you open it. You will notice that your screen dims; 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 border (Red is the default color, but you can change this in the settings).
5. When you release the mouse button, the captured area will open in the Snipping Tool window. If the selection isn’t what you wanted, 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.
Tips for saving the image file:
1. There are various formats that may be better based on size, color and look of your image.
• Select GIF format if your screen shot contains a limited number of colors and you want to retain crisp lines and keep the file size small
• Select PNG format if your screen shot contains many colors and you want to retain crisp lines and full quality
• Select JPEG format if your screen shot contains many colors and you want to make the file size small
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 easily email the screen shot without saving it by using the “Send To” button on the Snipping Tool’s toolbar.
4. If you want to customize or modify the default settings. Go to Tools > Options. For instance, you can change the color of the selection outline by selecting a new ink color rather than the default red.
5. If you do a lot of screen shot capture and you want to have it handy you can do the following:
• Enable the option “Display icon in the Quick Launch toolbar” for quick access in Windows Vista.
• In Windows 7, you can pin it to your taskbar by right clicking on the icon in the start menu and choosing “Pin to Taskbar.”
Note: There are many free screen capture tools for all versions of Windows if you’ve not upgraded to Windows Vista or Windows 7. If you are using the newer Operating Systems, this tool is already onboard, so why add another utility.
Give your screen shots a summer clip by giving them a Snip.