Master the Basics: A Beginner’s Guide to Using the Snipping Tool

Are you tired of trying to capture screenshots using the old-fashioned methods of Print Screen and cropping? Well, fear not! The Snipping Tool is here to make your life easier. Whether you’re a student, professional, or just someone who loves sharing cool stuff online, mastering the basics of the Snipping Tool can greatly enhance your productivity. In this beginner’s guide, we’ll walk you through everything you need to know to start using this handy tool effectively.

What is the Snipping Tool?

The Snipping Tool is a built-in utility in Windows operating systems that allows users to capture screenshots of any portion of their screen. It offers various snipping modes, including Free-form, Rectangular, Window, and Full-screen, giving users flexibility in what they capture.

Getting Started with the Snipping Tool

To access the Snipping Tool, simply type “Snipping Tool” in the Windows search bar, and it should appear as one of the results. Click on it to open the application.

Understanding Snipping Modes

Once the Snipping Tool is open, you’ll notice the “New” button. Click on it to choose your snipping mode:

  1. Free-form: This mode allows you to draw any shape around the area you want to capture.
  2. Rectangular: With this mode, you can capture a precise rectangular area on your screen.
  3. Window: This mode enables you to capture the entire window of a specific application.
  4. Full-screen: As the name suggests, this mode captures the entire screen.

Capturing Screenshots

After selecting your preferred snipping mode, simply click and drag your cursor to select the area you want to capture. Once you release the mouse button, the selected area will be captured and displayed in the Snipping Tool window.

Annotating and Saving Screenshots

Once you’ve captured your screenshot, you can annotate it using the pen or highlighter tools available in the Snipping Tool. This is particularly useful if you want to emphasize specific parts of the screenshot or add notes.

To save your screenshot, click on the “File” menu and select “Save As.” Choose the desired location on your computer, give your screenshot a name, select the file type (JPEG, PNG, or GIF), and click “Save.”

Sharing Screenshots

With your screenshot saved, you can easily share it with others. Whether you want to include it in a presentation, send it in an email, or share it on social media, the Snipping Tool makes it simple.

Tips for Efficiency

  • Keyboard Shortcuts: To speed up the process, you can use keyboard shortcuts to open the Snipping Tool (Windows Key + Shift + S) and capture screenshots directly to your clipboard (Windows Key + Shift + S + Spacebar).
  • Customizing Settings: Explore the settings of the Snipping Tool to customize options such as where screenshots are saved and whether the tool should show the ink after capturing a snip.


The Snipping Tool is a powerful yet easy-to-use tool for capturing and sharing screenshots on Windows. By mastering the basics outlined in this guide, you can streamline your workflow, enhance your communication, and become more efficient in your day-to-day tasks. So why wait? Start snipping away and unleash your creativity with the Snipping Tool!

Remember, for more tips and tricks on screen capturing tools and other tech-related topics, visit Happy snipping!