Software & Apps Windows How to Use the Windows Snipping Tool This Windows screenshot capture utility is quicker than other methods By Jacci Howard Bear Writer A graphic designer, writer, and artist who writes about and teaches print and web design. our editorial process Jacci Howard Bear Updated December 21, 2019 Susanne Jutzeler/Pixabay Windows The Ultimate Laptop Buying Guide Tweet Share Email When you want to take a picture of your computer screen, you have choices. To capture a quick and simple screenshot of the whole screen, press the Print Screen key. If you want to capture parts of the screen and make changes to the screenshot, use the Snipping Tool utility in Windows. The instructions in this article apply to the Windows 10 operating system. Activate the Snipping Tool To open the Snipping Tool in Windows 10, press the Windows key, then enter Snipping Tool. When the Snipping Tool appears in the menu, select it. The Snipping Tool window is invisible in any screen captures you take. Explore the Snipping Tool The Snipping Tool opens in a small window with a toolbar that contains five commands: New: Initiates the snipping command.Mode: Sets which type of snip to perform.Delay: Creates a delayed timer to capture images.Cancel: Stops a capture.Options: Contains additional settings for how the Snipping Tool behaves. Here's what you'll find in of each of these menus. Take a Screenshot from the New Menu After you set up the screen you want to capture and set screen capture parameters such as the mode of capture and any delay, select New to take the screenshot. Choose the Parts of the Screen to Capture from the Mode Menu Unlike Windows Print Screen, which captures either the entire screen or the active window, the Snipping Tool captures any portion of the screen or any open window, not just the active window. The Mode menu provides 4 different ways to capture a screen: Free-form, rectangular, window, and full-screen snips. Select Free-form snip to use a lasso tool to encircle the part of the screen to capture. Select Rectangular snip to capture a uniform rectangular selection. This may be a portion of the screen or the full screen. Select Window snip to capture the live windows. Select Full-screen snip to capture the entire screen, including the taskbar and desktop shortcuts. Set a Timer with the Delay Menu When you need time to select dropdown menus or other items that would otherwise not get captured immediately, go to the Delay menu. Use the options in the Delay menu to set the amount of time the Snipping Tool waits before it takes the screenshot. Choose a delay between 1 and 5 seconds. Or, select No Delay to capture the screen immediately. Automatically Save Screenshots and More with the Options Menu The Snipping Tool has several options that can be applied to every screenshot you capture. The screen capture options can be changed at any time. To go Options to: Always copy snips to the clipboard.Prompt to save snips before closing.Show selection ink after a snip is captured. To add a border around the screen capture, select the Show the selection ink after snips are captured check box, then select the Ink color dropdown arrow and choose a color. Use the Snipping Tool Before you take a screenshot, open any windows that you want to capture, then use the Snipping Tool. Go to Mode, then choose the shape you want to capture. Go to Delay, then choose how much of a delay, if any that you want for your snip. Go to Options, then select any additional settings. Select New. The screen fades when the Snipping Tool is in capture mode. Select the area you want to include in the snip. To save the snip, either select the disk icon on the menu or select File > Save As. Edit and Share Screen Clippings Once you have a snip, additional options appear on the toolbar. These options include Copy, Email Recipient, Pen color, Highlighter, Erase, and Edit with Paint 3D. Select Copy to copy the snip to the Clipboard, then paste the screenshot into applications or documents. Select Email Recipient to send the snip as an email or an email attachment. Select Pen color to change the ink color used to make markups on the snip. Select Highlighter to highlight any portion of the snip. Select Eraser to erase any or all of the snip. Select Edit with Paint 3D to open the Paint 3D application. Use Paint 3D to make more refined edits to the snip.