Capturing All or Part of the Screen with the Snipping Tool
Using the Print Screen function is quick and easy, but it isn’t all that flexible. When you need more options in terms of what you capture and how, use the Snipping Tool found in Windows Vista and Windows 7.
The Snipping Tool is essentially a basic screen capture program built into Windows. With the Snipping Tool you have the following options for what you can capture:
- Entire screen
- Active window
- Any rectangular area
- Any area (freeform)
In addition, you can opt to save your screen captures (or “snips,” as it calls them) in JPEG, GIF, or PNG-format image files – or in a master HTML file. You can take multiple snips and save them in multiple files, and not have to worry about pasting them from Windows’ clipboard into another application.
To capture all or part of your screen with the Snipping Tool, follow these steps:
- Open the snipping tool by opening the Windows Start menu and selecting All Programs > Accessories > Snipping Tool.
- From the Snipping Tool, pull down the New list and select what you want to capture: Free-form Snip, Rectangular Snip, Window Snip, or Full-screen Snip.
- If you selected the Free-form or Rectangular Snip, use your cursor to draw an outline around the area you want to capture.
- If you selected the Window Snip, select the window onscreen you want to capture.
- The Snipping Tool now captures the selection and opens a larger Snipping Tool window with the captured image displayed. To save this image, click the Save Snip button (or select File > Save As). When the Save As dialog box appears, enter a name for the image into the File Name field, select a file type from the Save as Type list, then click the Save button.
- You can also email the captured image to a third party. Click the Send Snip button to open a new message in your chosen email program; the captured image is included as an attachment to this message.
Figure 1 Creating a screen capture with Windows’ Snipping Tool.
Figure 2 Saving a captured image with the Snipping Tool.
To capture another screenshot, click the New button from the Snipping Tool window.