How to use the snipping tool

If you are wondering how to use the snipping tool, we are here to help.  The snipping tool is a Windows gem for capturing images from the screen and has a number of options.  In this guide, we show you how to take a rectangle snip with the snipping tool.  This method enables you to draw a box around what you want to capture. We also provide instructions on how to use the other options.How to Use the Snipping Tool

How to use the Snipping Tool

  1. Press the Windows key to activate the text box on the taskbar.
  2. Type Snipping Tool in the text box on the task bar 
  3. Either press Enter or select the Snipping tool from the list which appears above.
  4. The Snipping Tool will open 


  1. Click the down arrow next to the word New. This will open the Snipping options (listed below.) If you are using Windows 10 this will be under the word Mode
  2. Select Rectangle Snip.
  3. Press and hold either of the mouse buttons and drag a box around the part of the screen you wish to capture with the mouse.
  4. When you release the mouse button you will be presented with the image in a new window,
  5. Under the Tool tab, you can may use the rubber to tidy up the image or highlighter to highlight etc.
  6. To save by press the disk button or Click File for more options. 

Functions of the snipping tool.

The above instructions are how to use the snipping tool to take rectangle snip, however you can choose from the following options to use the snipping tool to take different screen grabs. Below is a list of the options and a brief explanation.

  • The free-form snip – This enables you to custom draw around the object you require free hand.
  • The rectangle snip  – This enables you to neatly select a rectangle or square shape.
  • The window snip – This enables you to take a perfect copy of any Windows object ( for example the taskbar, an alert box, system properties etc.) simply click the required Windows object
  • The full-screen snip – This will take a full copy of everything on the screen(s).

There is a delay option, which is useful if you want to take a screen capture of something which doesn’t stay on the screen when you move the mouse away from it.

Additional information on the snipping tool

The quality of a small image will be higher using the snipping tool compared to the old-fashioned print screen (PrtSc) key and paste into Microsoft Paint method. This is because instead of taking a giant image and editing it down to a small image you are only capturing the exact part you require. It is also a much neater way at capturing Windows objects.

Microsoft also has information on the snipping tool which you can access by clicking here

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