Screen Captures with Snipping Tool

Post in News, Tips by TerryVannoy on 2nd August 2017

Taking screenshots of your computer desktop or capturing pictures of things on your screen is easy using a free Windows tool called the Snipping Tool.

These “snips,” as they are called within the app, can be saved as pictures, written on with digital ink (colored pens and highlighters), and pasted into documents. These snips are very handy when creating worksheets or tutorials for your teacher friends or your students.

To make the Snipping Tool available, go to your Start/Programs tool in the lower left corner of your PC screen. Type “snip” and click on the Snipping Tool to activate it. Below is what the Snipping Tool toolbar looks like.  

Let’s look at all of the features involved here:


  1. New — This is the starting point when using the Snipping Tool. Click on “New” to gray out the screen. Click and drag to select the part of your computer screen you want to capture. When you release the mouse click, you’ll have the option of deciding what to do with your snip.

NOTE:  Sometimes to get to a menu item that only pops out when you do a mouse over (hover), click on Delay, choose a number of seconds, then take the snip once the screen freezes again. Give it a try to take snips of those hidden menu items!

  1. Once you take a snip, you can click on the Save tool (floppy disk icon). You are given a choice of what to call your picture and where to save it. 
  2. If you don’t need a picture file created from your snip, just copy and paste it into your document. Click on the Copy icon, go to your destination file and Paste (hold the Ctrl key and V together).
  3. Send Snip — Another option is to email your snip to someone. Click on the Send Snip tool in the toolbar and you’ll see options to send it within an email message or as an attachment. 
  4. Use the annotation tools Pen and Highlighter to mark up your picture immediately after you capture your snip. When you click on the Pen tool you’ll see the choices of red, black and blue. If you choose the Customize choice, you will see up to 16 different colors, 3 levels of thickness, and 2 types of pen tips. If you make a mistake in your markup, click on the eraser to fix it.

To Learn More

If you want to learn about more apps and other types of instructional technology for your classroom, try signing up for a trial of Online Professional Development at

I hope you try this and let us know your ideas for using the Snipping Tool.  Do you have any that you like to use in your teaching? Email us your classroom success stories and ideas at

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