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How to get started with the Snipping Tool app in Windows 11

Windows 11 Snipping Tool
Windows 11 Snipping Tool (Image credit: Windows Central)

Windows had the ability to take screenshots for a long time with the Snipping Tool, but Windows 11 replaces the classic Snipping Tool and Snip & Sketch apps with a new version that combines the best features from these apps with an updated interface.

The new app lets you take various types of screenshots, select a rectangle or use the free mode, or quickly capture a window or the entire screen. The second part of the experience is the new editor that lets you crop, annotate, and save or share the screenshot.

In this Windows 11 guide, we will walk you through the steps to take screenshots using the Snipping Tool app.

How to start using Snipping Tool

The Snipping Tool is a straightforward app. You can take screenshots on Windows 11 through the app or shortcut. In addition, the app includes various settings you can configure, including the ability to use the Print screen button instead of the Windows key + Shift + S shortcut.

Screen capture via app

To take screenshots through the Snipping Tool app, use these steps:

  1. Open Start.
  2. Search for Snipping Tool and click the top result to open the app.
  3. Select one of the available screen capture modes, including:
    • Rectangle mode — creates a rectangle screenshot using the mouse.
    • Window mode — saves a screenshot of a window.
    • Full-screen mode — takes a screenshot of the entire screen.
    • Free-form mode — allows you to use the mouse to select any form you want from the screen.

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)
  1. (Optional) Use the Delay option to delay the capture for up to 10 seconds.Quick note: This option can come in handy when trying to capture a particular action.

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)
  1. Click the New button.

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)
  1. Create the screenshot with the mode you selected.

Once you complete the steps, the screenshot will open in the Snipping Tool editor, where you can save the capture or annotate before sharing it.

Screen capture via shortcut

Alternatively, you can also use a keyboard shortcut to quickly bring up the tools to take a screenshot on Windows 11. Here's how:

  1. Use the Windows key + Shift + S keyboard shortcut.
  2. Select one of the screen capture modes:
    • Rectangle mode.
    • Window mode
    • Full-screen mode
    • Free-form mode.

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)
  1. Create the screenshot with the option you selected.

After you complete the steps, the capture will open with the Snipping Tool editor.

Editing screenshot

To edit and save the screenshot, use these steps:

  1. Click the Image Crop tool in the command bar.
  2. Use the edges to crop and resize the screenshot.
  3. Click the Check button to apply the changes.

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)
  1. Use the Ballpoint pen, Highlighter, or Touch Writing features to annotate the image.Quick tip: The Ballpoint pen and Highlighter have different options to change the color and stroke size to annotate the image.

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)
  1. (Optional) Use the Ruler to draw straight lines.

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)
  1. Use the Eraser to delete strokes.
  2. (Optional) Click the Copy button from the top right to copy the image to the clipboard and paste it on a document.
  3. Click the Save button from the top right to save the screenshot as an image file (.jpg, .png, or .gif).

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)
  1. Click the Share button from the top right to share the capture with other people using different apps.

Once you complete the steps, the screenshot will save on the computer.

Adjust settings

In this new version of Snipping Tool, you can configure various settings.

To change the app settings, use these steps:

  1. Open Start.
  2. Search for Snipping Tool and click the top result to open the app.
  3. Click the See more (three-dotted) menu and select the Settings option.

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)
  1. In the Settings page, enable or disable the options as needed:
    • Auto copy to clipboard — Copies the capture in the clipboard for easy pasting onto documents.
    • Save snips — Asks to save the capture as you close the editor.
    • Multiple windows — Launches a new instance of the app for each capture.
    • Snip outline — Inserts borders to each snip automatically.

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)
  1. Under the "Appearance" section, select the App theme setting.
  2. Select the color theme. Options available:
    • Light.
    • Dark.
    • Use system setting.

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)
  1. Under the "Shortcuts" section, click the Change in settings option for the Print Screen shortcut setting.

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)
  1. Click the Yes button.
  2. Turn on the Use the Print screen button to open screen snipping toggle switch to use the Print screen button instead of the Windows key + Shift + S shortcut to open the tool.

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)

After you complete the steps, the settings will apply automatically.

More Windows resources

For more helpful articles, coverage, and answers to common questions about Windows 10 and Windows 11, visit the following resources:

Mauro Huculak is technical writer for WindowsCentral.com. His primary focus is to write comprehensive how-tos to help users get the most out of Windows 10 and its many related technologies. He has an IT background with professional certifications from Microsoft, Cisco, and CompTIA, and he's a recognized member of the Microsoft MVP community.

2 Comments
  • Shame they haven't added to ability to add basic shapes and text. Would really help with marking up.
  • I agree with @collins2k1. There must be a reason they don't include the ability to create basic shapes, like a square. Heck, this article couldn't have used the Snipping Tool as the screen shots have red squares around highlighted items.