How to Take a Screen Capture with the Snipping Tool in Windows 7

One of the easiest ways to take a screen capture, or screenshot, with Windows has always been to hit the PrtScrn button and then paste the image in MS Paint. Windows 7 now features a better tool to grab a screen capture, although it takes a few more steps to capture and save the image you want. There are other free tools on the market that can grab screen captures for Windows, and these tools provide some advanced functionality such as the ability to draw arrows and highlight over the image, as well as share the image on the Internet. If you just want to use the options provided within Windows 7 to capture a screenshot, though, here’s how to use the Snipping Tool.

take a screen capture with snipping tool windows 7First, you’ll need to launch the Snipping Tool to use it to capture an image on your screen in Windows 7. The fastest way to do this is to type “snipping” into the search box in the Windows 7 Start menu and then press Enter. Windows will then launch a small dialog box with the option to create a new snippet. If you click on New you will see that there are four options, including the ability to define a rectangle by clicking and dragging, as well as the Window snip, which automatically selects whatever window your cursor is within. You will also see free-form and full-screen snip. Under options, you can choose how your snips are taken and the ink color to edit your snips with.

To take a screen capture with the snipping tool, click on New and choose your tool. If you only want one part of your screen, choose the Rectangular snip. You can then save the image (just be conscious of where you save the image) or draw on or highlight the snipped image. You can also copy or email the snipped screenshot from here. Unfortunately, there aren’t many advanced options, but it is a welcome new feature provided in Windows 7 to more easily select and save screenshots — especially compared to PrtScrn, which only selects the entire screen.

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  • Jim Baney

    The Snipping tool will be a lifesaver, thanks!

  • Jim Baney

    The Snipping tool will be a lifesaver, thanks!

  • http://twitter.com/rdcogan Rick Cogan

    You do realize that you can use Alt-PrtScrn to only grab the current active window? I use that all of the time. It’s a nice addition to be able to select a portion of a window, though.

  • http://twitter.com/rdcogan Rick Cogan

    You do realize that you can use Alt-PrtScrn to only grab the current active window? I use that all of the time. It’s a nice addition to be able to select a portion of a window, though.

  • http://twitter.com/ayesamson Samson J. Loo

    In windows 7 open the run dialog and type in PSR and hit enter. This will activate the Problem Step Recorder. Great for end users to illustrate the problems they are experiencing as well as the steps they took to get to that point.

  • http://twitter.com/ayesamson Samson J. Loo

    In windows 7 open the run dialog and type in PSR and hit enter. This will activate the Problem Step Recorder. Great for end users to illustrate the problems they are experiencing as well as the steps they took to get to that point.