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Screenshots are useful for a lot of things — I won’t ramble on about all of the possibilities here — but Windows doesn’t exactly make it easy to take them.

Print Screen is always an option The Ultimate Guide on How to Take a Screenshot The Ultimate Guide on How to Take a Screenshot Most people would think taking a screenshot was a simple and straightforward process, and that it would be much the same on every platform they encounter. Well, they'd be wrong. The process of taking screenshots... Read More (as is Alt + Print Screen), but then you have to open an image editor, paste from the clipboard, crop and resize the image, and then save/export in whatever format you want. You could always use a third-party tool 4 Best Tools For Creating Screenshots Compared 4 Best Tools For Creating Screenshots Compared CTRL + SHIFT + 4. Three keys - that's all you need for perfect screenshots. It doesn't need to be a hassle! Try these advanced screen capturing tools and you won't ever look back. Read More , but wouldn’t it be better not to?


As it turns out, there’s a little-known utility called the Snipping Tool that you can launch just by opening the Start Menu (or Cortana) and searching for Snip. With it, you can snip in four convenient ways:

  • Freeform: Snip whatever shape you can draw.
  • Rectangular: Snip a custom box selection.
  • Window: Snip a particular window.
  • Full-Screen: Snip the entire screen.

Once you’ve snipped, an editor window pops up with the selection in it. Here you can draw, highlight, or erase. When you’re ready, you can quick save as a file, copy the image to clipboard, or share it by email directly. Way easier than Print Screen, isn’t it?


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Funny enough, the Snipping Tool has been around since Windows 7 How To Take Awesome Screenshots In Windows 7 How To Take Awesome Screenshots In Windows 7 In principle, taking a screenshot is very simple. With the right technique however, you can save yourself a lot of time and hassle and greatly improve the look of your screenshots. In this article I... Read More , yet so many people still don’t know about it. Give it a try. It’s definitely the best way to take screenshots in Windows How to Take Screenshots in a Snip with these Windows Tools How to Take Screenshots in a Snip with these Windows Tools Windows offers many ways to capture your screen. Microsoft Snip takes the Snipping Tool to the next level, but many others compete for the top spot. We have summarized your options. Read More .

Is Print Screen enough for you? Or will you be switching to the Snipping Tool? Got any other screenshotting tricks? Share with us in the comments below!

Image Credit: Screen Capture by Vectors1 via Shutterstock

  1. Victor
    March 1, 2016 at 1:57 am

    It might not be included on every computer and be quite as simple as Snipping Tool but you can't do an article about screenshots without mentioning cool options like ShareX ( It has loads of features including screenshot edition, scrolling capture (grab a whole web page), uploading to image sharing sites, even video recordings (user JL mentioned saving a recording as an MP4).

  2. Nandini Menon
    February 16, 2016 at 12:53 pm

    This was actually always my go-to tool. I always thought people knew about it...

    • Joel Lee
      February 18, 2016 at 4:19 am

      Seems like an obvious tool, but it's funny how many people don't know it exists. I've been using Windows forever and only just found out about the Snipping Tool this year. Sheesh. :P

  3. JL
    February 14, 2016 at 8:23 pm

    How can you save it as an MP4?

    And why would you when you can use video-capture in Win 10.

  4. Bruce Roberts
    February 14, 2016 at 3:32 pm

    Snip (Editor) is not included with Windows 8 or 10 but can be downloaded from Microsoft Garage:

  5. Maryon Jeane
    February 12, 2016 at 4:25 pm

    I take loads of screenshots, for all sorts of reasons, and they rarely remain 'as is' but nearly always need editing (certainly at least rescaling). I don't like using the built-in tools in Windows (actually that goes for everything in Windows because nothing with Microsoft simply gets better, built on what works, but is always fiddled around with, mucked around with, etc. and ad nauseam), so I always use a third party program. My perennial favourite has always been Snagit, but over the last year or so I've also been using HyperSnap. Between the two of them they do everything I need in the graphics line, so effectively I have two functions in one program. As I'd need a graphics program anyway, I'm not adding another program into the mix, and being able to snag something and leave it until later before deciding how to use it and whether or not it needs editing - and then being able to edit it there and then in the same program, is just right.

    I always prefer having discrete programs to perform the functions I need - that way you get the best performance in each case and you're not reliant on an OS which (please heaven) you may want to give up on at some point.

  6. Orbit1212
    February 12, 2016 at 3:50 pm

    Anyone ever hear of Cropper I've been using it for a while and I really like it, i personally have never liked using the Win Snipping Tool

  7. Shawn Wayne
    February 12, 2016 at 2:56 pm

    I've been using the print screen key or combination alt+print screen since probably Windows 2000. Since 7 came out the Snip Tool has been very valuable. I don't take a lot of screenshots, but it is very handy for occasional use.

  8. lt
    February 12, 2016 at 2:56 pm

    Microsoft Outlook allows you to insert screen shot (clip) from within an email.

  9. Fik of borg
    February 12, 2016 at 1:33 pm

    The Snipping Tool is awful. Too many clicks and options to take a screenshot of something that may be brief. I use an old version of Faststone capture, configured to capture and save the screen or the active window with one keystroke.
    Didn't know about Win+PrtScn, it would be useful when I need to see what is on friend screen and said friend is not saavy enough to capture - paste - save - find the image - send the image.

    • Joel Lee
      February 18, 2016 at 4:18 am

      Snipping Tool definitely isn't optimal, but if you want to crop a screenshot and don't want to use a third-party tool, then it's the best option. At least it's better than Print Screen > Paint > Paste > Crop > Save!

  10. Charlie Tiffin
    February 12, 2016 at 12:45 pm

    I've been using PrintKey2000 for years on all Windows versions since 98. Great tool.

  11. Peter Buyze
    February 12, 2016 at 12:27 pm

    Windows 8.1 (don't know about 10) has another screenshot tool: Snip Editor. It sits at the top of your screen & is automatically mapped to the PrtSc key. It allows freehand annotation.

  12. Paul Parkinson
    February 12, 2016 at 11:05 am

    Also, Dropbox has the capability to take a screengrab and save it automagically.

  13. Mohan
    February 12, 2016 at 10:47 am

    you can use Win+PrtScn to take screenshots and it will be stored automatically in Pictures inside a folder named Screenshots.

    • Joel Lee
      February 18, 2016 at 4:16 am

      Thanks Mohan! Can't believe I didn't know about that one.

  14. Demola
    February 12, 2016 at 10:38 am

    What happened to the Win+PrtSc combination?

    • Joel Lee
      February 18, 2016 at 4:17 am

      Just learned about it now! It's a good one. Very nice.

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