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

Windows 11 Snipping Tool
(Image credit: Future)

Windows could take screenshots for a long time with the Snipping Tool, but Windows 11 replaces the legacy 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 screenshots in different ways. You can select a rectangle, use 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 screenshots.

This guide will walk you through the steps to take screenshots using the Snipping Tool app on Windows 11.

How to use Snipping Tool to take screenshots

The Snipping Tool is a straightforward app. You can take screenshots on Windows 11 through the app or shortcut. In addition, the app includes 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.

(Image credit: Future)
  1. (Optional) Use the Delay option to delay the capture for up to 10 seconds.

(Image credit: Future)
  • Quick note: This option can come in handy when trying to capture a particular action.
  1. Click the New button.

(Image credit: Future)
  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 it 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.

(Image credit: Future)
  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.

(Image credit: Future)
  1. Use the Ballpoint pen, Highlighter, or Touch Writing features to annotate the image.

(Image credit: Future)
  • Quick tip: The Ballpoint pen and Highlighter have different options to change the color and stroke size to annotate the image.
  1. (Optional) Use the Ruler to draw straight lines.

(Image credit: Future)
  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 onto a document.
  3. Click the Save button from the top right to save the screenshot as an image file (.jpg, .png, or .gif).

(Image credit: Future)
  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 Snipping Tool settings

The Snipping Tool lets you 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.

(Image credit: Future)
  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.

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

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

(Image credit: Future)
  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.

(Image credit: Future)

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

More 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.