If you need to take screenshots often, the snipping tool can be an essential utility to use. Whether for work or gaming, it allows you to take a quick picture of something on your screen. It also allows you to quickly annotate and share the screenshot online. This guide shows you how to use the snipping tool to take screenshots in Windows 11.
Launch Snipping Tool from the Search Bar
The first and most common way to launch the snipping tool is using the search bar.
- Open the Search icon. You’ll find it in the taskbar.
- Type in “snipping tool.”
- Click on the Snipping Tool icon that appears in the search results.
- Select a screenshot mode from the drop-down menu
There are four screenshot modes available in the Snipping Tool:
Free-form mode: Draw any shape you want on your screen.
Rectangular mode: Drag the cursor to select a rectangular area on your screen.
Window mode: Select a specific window, such as a web browser or document.
Full-screen mode: Take a screenshot of your entire screen.
- The screen will dim once you select a screenshot mode, so you can draw or pick the area you want to screenshot.
- When you finish, release the mouse button.
- Once you have completed the steps, the Snipping Tool editor will appear; this is where you can crop, annotate, save and share your screenshot.
Launch Snipping Tool from Keyboard Shortcut (Windows key + Shift + S)
You can also launch the Snipping Tool from a keyboard shortcut – this method is much faster and can save you a few clicks.
- Press Windows key + Shift + S on your keyboard
- Once you press the shortcut keys, your screen will dim, and you will see a small toolbar appear at the top of your screen.
- Select the mode you want to use from the toolbar.
- Drag the cursor to select the area you want to screenshot.
- When you finish, release the mouse button, and the snipping tool will save your screenshot to your clipboard.
- To open the screenshot on the snipping tool, click on the “snipping tool” message in the bottom right corner of your screen.
How to Edit Screen Captures with the Snipping Tool
After taking a screenshot, you can edit it with the Snipping Tool. The editing options are fundamental, but they are enough to make simple changes to your screenshot.
1. Ballpoint Pen
The ballpoint pen is for adding annotations to your screenshots.
Click on the Ballpoint Pen button and then start drawing on your screenshot.
If you want to call attention to a specific part of your screenshot, the highlight tool is perfect for you.
Click on the Highlighter button and then drag the cursor over the area you want to highlight
The eraser tool will erase any annotations you don’t want.
Just click on the Eraser button and start erasing.
The ruler tool adds straight lines to your screenshot or measures distances.
Click on the Ruler button and drag the cursor over the area you want to measure.
If you want to rotate the ruler, move your mouse over the degree number (0° by default) in the center of the ruler and use the scroll wheel or two fingers to rotate it.
The protractor is similar to the ruler tool, but it’s for adding angles to your screenshot.
To use the protractor, click on the Protractor button and drag the cursor over the area to which you want to measure or add an angle. Also, you can change the scale of the protractor by scrolling the mouse or utilizing two of your fingers to make it smaller or bigger.
6. Touch Writing
The touch writing tool is for adding handwritten annotations to your screenshot. Select the Touch Writing button and start writing on your snapshot.
The crop tool is a feature that allows you to choose the portion of your image you would like to keep. Click on the “Crop” button in the toolbar and select the area you want to keep.
8. Undo (Ctrl + Z)
If you make a mistake while annotating your screenshot, hit Ctrl + Z on your keyboard, and you can undo your last action.
9. Redo (Ctrl + Y)
If you change your mind again, you can hit Ctrl + Y to redo the last action.
How to Delay the Snipping Time
Windows 11 added a new feature that allows you to delay your snip for up to 10 seconds. This feature can be helpful if you want to snip a popup or if you want to take a screenshot of something that you need to open first.
- Select the mode you want to use from the toolbar.
- Set the “Delay snip“ to a specific time after which you would like to snap a photo.
- After choosing one of three pre-defined time delays: Snip in 3 seconds, Snip in 5 seconds, or Snip in 10 seconds, click New.
- When the delay is up, the snipping tool will pop up. Use your mouse to select the area you want to snip and release the mouse button to start the process.
Note: This option is not available in the Full-screen mode.
When you finish editing your screenshot, you might want to save it, share it with someone, or print it out. Windows 11 makes it easy for you to do all of that!
To save your screenshot, click on the “Save as“ button. You can also press Ctrl + S on your keyboard.
After selecting Save, a window will appear, allowing you to select the location and name for your screenshot.
If you want to share your screenshot, select the Share button and choose how you want to share it. For example, you can share it as a link, an email, or even a social media post.
Print Screenshot (Ctrl + P)
You can print the snipped photo by clicking on the Print button.
You can find it by selecting the three-dots icon in the upper right corner of the app. Once you hit the three-dot menu button, a drop-down menu containing the Print option will appear. Click on it, then pick the printer connected to your device to print the photo.
If you only need a copy of your screenshot and don’t want to save the whole file, click on the Copy option or hit Ctrl + C on your keyboard. This method will copy your screenshot into your clipboard, so you can paste it into another document, app, or even a social media chat.
How to Adjust the Snipping Tool Settings
This new version of the Snipping Tool also allows you to adjust the settings to work better. There are a lot of settings to choose from. We will discuss them to allow you to use your snipping tool like a pro!
First, to open the settings menu, you need to click on the three-dot icon and select Settings. A new window will appear with different options.
Auto copy to clipboard
After taking a screenshot, the “Auto copy to clipboard” setting copies it to your clipboard. It can be helpful if you want to quickly paste your screenshot into another document or an email or chat.
The Save snips feature asks if you want to save the capture when you close the editor.
You can use this feature to open several snipping windows, if you wish to take numerous screenshots simultaneously or compare screenshots.
The snip outline adds borders to each snip. If you want to alter the border thickness and color, click on the downward arrow. Then, under Color and Thickness settings, you can select a new color or change the thickness of the outline.
The Appearance setting allows you to adjust the theme of your snipping tool. There are three options:
- Light – light mode
- Dark – dark mode
- Use system settings – snipping tool will use the theme that is already on your computer.
How to Enable Print Screen Key to Launch the Snipping Tool
If you want to launch the snipping tool with just one button, Windows 11 gives you this functionality.
- Go into your Snipping Tool settings and select Change in Settings under the “Shortcuts” section.
- A window that asks you if you want to switch apps will appear. Select Yes.
- The previous step will open the Windows 11 Settings page. Scroll down until you find the “Use the Print screen button to open screen snipping“ option.
- Click on the toggle switch to turn it on.
- That’s it! Now you can take snippets by pressing the Print Screen key on your keyboard.