Snipping Tool is a utility coming with Windows Vista and later which allows taking screenshots on Windows. It has various capture modes including full-screen, a selected region, rectangular shape, free form, and an open window. The screenshot can be taken by dragging or clicking the mouse on a specific region based on your needs. The captured images will be saved as a PNG, GIF, HTML, or JPEG file in the selected export folder, again based on settings. Additionally, the tool can be used as an image editor for editing captured screenshots. Unsurprisingly, it is not advanced as professional image editing programs such as Photoshop. Let’s dive into it.
Instructions to access the Snipping Tool in Windows Vista
There are several methods to access the Snipping Tool based on the version of the Windows operating system. Let’s have a look at them one by one.
First, getting into Snipping Tool on Windows Vista is quite easy—you have to follow the instructions given below. If you can’t find the snip screen capture tool in there, check out the following section.
- Click on the Start Menu icon.
- Go to All Programs.
- Click on the Accessories folder.
- There you can see the option. Clicking it will launch the tool for snipping screenshots on Vista.
Activate Snipping Tool in Vista
Some Windows Vista versions such as basic will not have the tool enabled by default. You have to manually activate it from Control Panel, and to do this, follow these instructions:
- Open Control Panel either from the desktop icon or from the Start menu.
- Click on Programs option.
- Then on Program and Features.
- Click Turn Windows features on or off option on the left panel.
- Click Continue if the Windows prompted for the action.
- This is where the real thing happens. You will see a list of available features hidden from you. Scroll through the list and check the box next to the “Tablet PC Optional Components” option.
- Click OK, and that’s it, you’ve successfully enabled the Snipping Tool in Windows Vista. Follow the steps in the previous section to access the tool for taking screenshots.
How to open Snipping Tool in Windows 7
A little different from Vista, it is equally effortless to get into Snipping Tool on Windows 7:
- Click the Start button.
- Type “Snipping Tool.”
- You will see the eponymous option shown there so click it to access it.
You can also press the Windows logo key + S + Shift to open the tool directly.
Run Snipping Tool in Windows 8 or 8.1
Both Windows 8 and 8.1 versions have the same steps for accessing the snip screenshot tool. Here’s how to proceed to open the Windows 8/8.1 version of Snipping Tool:
- Click on the Start.
- Enter “Snipping Tool.”
- Click on the shown icon with scissors and a circle. Snipping Tool will start and you can use it.
Once again, you can press Windows + Shift + S to launch the Snipping Tool directly.
Open Snipping Tool in Windows 10 and 11
Late Windows 10 versions and Windows 11 introduced a secondary (some say superior) tool named Snip & Sketch that works similarly and co-exists. However, our focus is on demonstrating how opening Snipping Tool in Windows 10 or 11 works:
- Click on Search. If you disabled the option, press the Windows logo key or click the Start menu.
- Type the tool’s name in the search box.
- Click on the Snipping Tool icon shown in the screenshot to launch the eponymous tool for taking screenshots.
Like above, you can press the default key combination, Windows + Shift + S to launch the tool. There’s a Microsoft Page you can use to install it, too. Now you know the meaning and can begin taking screenshots at will.
Snipping Tool options and configuration
While you can surely draw a rectangle on the screen and save it, there are many options you can configure. After opening Snipping Tool, you’ll see these options:
- New — Lets you discard a current selection and create a new screenshot.
- Mode — Permits you to choose one of 4 modes of taking screenshots:
- Rectangle mode — Lets you take a rectangle screenshot using your mouse. Default mode.
- Window mode — Saves the screenshot of an open window.
- Full-screen mode — Takes a screenshot of the whole screen.
- Free-form mode — Lets you make any shape you want to take a screenshot.
- Delay — Lets you put a timer on screenshot-taking of up to 10 seconds.
- Cancel — Cancels the most recent action or taken screenshot.
- Options — This lets you use one of the following options:
- Hide instruction text — Only put a checkmark once you become an advanced user.
- Always copy snips to clipboard — Useful as a backup in case you discard your screenshot.
- Include URL below snips — Self-explanatory, but only applies to HTML snips.
- Prompt to save snips before exiting — Self-explanatory.
- Show screen overlay when Snipping Tool is active — Makes the rest of the screen darker while taking snips.
Frequently asked questions about Snipping Tool in Windows
Here are some of the most frequently searched queries about this tool in Windows. Looking at them will help you solve many of your doubts.
1. What is the Snipping Tool shortcut?
Even the Snipping Tool for capturing Windows screen comes with a very user-friendly interface, there may be some situations where you have to use some screenshot shortcuts with it. So, the Microsoft developers have included several shortcuts with their handy utility. To easily take a screenshot using the tool in older versions of Windows, press the Win + PrtScn keys together. The screen will flash for a second which means your screenshot is successfully taken. Note that in some keyboards, especially in mini keyboards, the “Fn” (Function) key may be needed to invoke the “Print Screen” button. So in such keyboards, also press that alongside these keys.
Another useful shortcut is the Ctrl + PrtScn buttons which will work instead of the “New” button on the Snipping Tool window. This will only work with the Snipping Tool running on the screen. Instead of the regular mouse cursor, this shortcut will bring the crosshair which could be used for capturing screenshots.
2. What is the Microsoft Snipping Tool download link?
There is no need to download the Snipping Tool as an extra utility or software. Most or all Windows versions from Vista will have this feature by default. As mentioned in the previous sections, you have to activate this option in Windows Vista Basic version from the control panel. In all other versions, you could find it from the Start menu. The only exception is Snipping Tool on Microsoft Store for Windows 10 and 11.
3. Is the tool on Windows 8 different?
In Windows 8, there is no difference in the process or usage of this tool for taking screenshots. Everything will work fine as in any other version of Windows. Even screenshots will be the same as mentioned in the previous sections. You don’t have to download or configure anything extra.
4. How to use the tool?
The usage of the Snipping Tool is described very well in our previous article on taking screenshots on Windows. Have a look at it to find out the step-by-step tutorial to use Snipping Tool without problems. Alternatively, watch the following video for a live tutorial.
5. Is there Snipping Tool for Mac?
There is no inbuilt option named like that on the Mac macOS/Mac operating system. Instead, they are coming up with a function namely Grab Utility tool. You can find out the usage of the tool in our article on capturing screenshots on Mac. However, some external applications may use a similar name, but they can’t be considered the official replacement for Snipping Tool on Windows.
6. Where is my Snipping Tool in Windows 10?
It is thoroughly described and pictured in the section above. Navigate to your Start menu and search for the screenshot-taking tool by name. You will find the option and clicking it will open Snipping Tool in Windows 10 as we demonstrated.
7. Is Snipping Tool a complete screenshot software?
No, Snipping Tool can be only considered a basic solution to print your Windows screen. If you need professional software for this purpose, you better try some third-party applications such as Snagit, which we reviewed.