Take Screenshots with Windows 7 with the Snipping Tool

One of my favorite free tools Microsoft built into Windows 7 and Windows Vista is the Snipping Tool. The Snipping tool essentially lets you take screenshots or “snips” of your screen, add limited annotations to the screenshot then email or save the file so you can share it or store it for later.  Although not as powerful as a pro, paid tool like Snagit or the screenshot tool built into Office 2010, overall the Snipping Tool does just fine if you’re only looking to capture screenshots vs. creating a screencast (video).

Although the tool has been around since the days of Windows Vista, I discovered we haven’t talked about it here on groovyPost yet so I thought I’d take 10 minutes and give you a quick Screenshot Tour showing you where you can find it as well as a few of its features.

Where is the Windows 7 Snipping Tool?

To get started, you can find the Snipping tool by typing Snipping into the Windows 7 Search Box.

Alternatively, you can also find it the old-fashioned way in the Start > All Programs menu.

Next, expand the Accessories Folder, and then click Snipping Tool.

Snipping Tool Features

If you click Options, you can change the way that the snips are taken. For example, the option to “show screen overlay” may be selected as an opaque layer that covers your display until you take a snippet. Also, the color of the outlines may be changed to outline the area of the screenshot to make the area more visible.


To create a snip of a particular section on your computer, click the down arrow next to the New button. Four different options are available: Free-form Snip, Rectangular Snip, Window Snip, and Full-Screen Snip.

  1. Free-form snip allows you to draw what shape and size you want your snip to be.
  2. The rectangular snip creates a perfect rectangle of any size.
  3. A Window snip takes a snip of a highlighted window that is open (such as a webpage).
  4. A Full-screen snip creates a snip of the entire image on the computer. For the purpose of these instructions, the rectangular snip has been chosen.

Pen Tool

The Snipping Tool has Pen features which you can use to draw on the SNIP / Screenshot you just took. The Pens come in a variety of Colors which you can customize by clicking the customize button. There you can customize the Pen TIP type, line thickness, and color.

Once selected, draw away.

Eraser Tool

The eraser tool is useful if you make a mistake while drawing.

Share your screenshot – snip

If you use Outlook as your mail client, your snip can be sent through email using the Snipping Tool software.

The great thing about this tool is it’s free and straightforward to use once you know, it exists.

Guest Contributor: Joanna Danek
Joanna is a groovyReader turned contributor with a love for all things technology. Joanna specifically enjoys writing about Windows 7 and mobile technology so don’t be surprised to see an article from Joanna pop on the site from time to time.

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Ziggy

    Another screen capture tool is “DuckCapture”. Nifty, easy to use and it’s FREE! Do a Google search or follow this link:-


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