What is Snipping Tool?

By Matt Estesst2

“Can you take a screenshot?” asks your resident technology guru when you have an end-of-the-world computer problem.

“Erm… sure,” you reply, inwardly befuddled.

So what do you do? How do you take a picture of your computer screen? Do you run go dig out a digital camera from the storage closet? Do you try to take a clear picture using your cell phone? No. You use snipping tool.

Snipping Tool is a built in program on the Windows operating system. It comes installed with Windows Vista and later, making it one of the only innovations Vista did correctly as an operating system.

The steps to using it are simple.

  • Snipping Tool's user interface.
    Snipping Tool’s user interface.

    Open snipping tool.

  • Select “New Snip.”
  • Drag the cursor over what you want to save as a picture.
  • Save the picture or copy it to your clipboard.

The program has a multitude of uses, from diagnosing problems to comparing different colors on the screen. Use it to copy Flash images or produce mosaic art.

You can even highlight words or write on the image inside the program.

There are other ways to take a screenshot. If you’re using an earlier version of Windows, you can use the “PRTSC” button on the keyboard. That will copy a full image to the clipboard. If you’re using a Mac, you can press Command, Shift, and the number three on the keyboard simultaneously. This will automatically save the screenshot to the desktop.

Contact thw writer: mestes1@aum.edu