How to Use the Snipping Tool

Imagine yourself working on a project and something goes wrong. You’ve never seen an error message like this before and want to give your IT technician a visual aid. However, you’ve recently transitioned to Windows 10 and aren’t sure how to proceed. You could take a shot of the entire screen, but that may make it difficult to point out the actual issue. This is not a solution the “print screen” (PrtSc) key can solve. What if you were trying to create a training document and needed images of certain portions of certain windows? Without a reliable way to capture specifically what you want, you’re left trying to resize one large screenshot after another.


There are countless situations where a screengrab is necessary to simplify your life, and Microsoft makes it easy for you. This week, we discuss the Snipping Tool in Windows 10, how to find it, and how to use it to store screen captures.

The Microsoft Snipping Tool is a convenient way for you to capture screenshots without needing to resize or figure out where the screenshot was saved. With the Snipping Tool, you can take a snapshot or, in this case, a “snip” of a portion or the entire screen with just a few quick clicks.

  • When you first open the Snipping Tool, either by typing it into your start menu or using the prtscn key to open it, the app is set up to take rectangular screen snips by dragging your cursor to create a box. Once you outline the item you wish to capture, you can paste the image to another medium or application by using the paste function or by pressing Ctrl+V.
  • If you have an awkward space to screenshot, you can select the freeform option to create a custom outline of the exact space you need to capture and paste it accordingly.
  • There may be something difficult to capture such as a dropdown menu that goes away once you click to snip. You can delay the screen capture in the snipping menu for up to five seconds to set up the perfect screenshot.
  • You can also save any snips you take for permanent storage or to edit/scale them appropriately.


Microsoft has recently added a new tool to their arsenal called the snip & sketch. This snipping tool allows you to immediately annotate a screenshot with your pen, touchpad, or mouse, and paste it to the intended document or surface. This offers you the ability to transcribe your creativity straight to the screenshot without any additional editing tools.

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