Want to email a question about something on your screen without having to print a PDFor open Photoshop just to point at something? Here’s a Windows doodad that makes annotated screen captures much more useful.

In Vista/Windows 7/Windows 8, there is a built-in program called Snipping Tool. You can get to it by hitting the Start button and typing “Snip”. It should be the top search result (unless you have other programs named “snip”-something). The most convenient way to get there (all keyboard, no mouse) is to hit the Windows key,


…type “snip” and hit enter.

Your screen will fade out, and there will be a little tool floating in the middle of your screen.


Click “New” to start dragging a rectangle around the area of the screen you want. As soon as you let go of the mouse, you’ll see your screenshot with some additional tools up top:

  • Save (as PNG, GIF, JPG)
  • Copy to clipboard
  • Send as email attachment
  • Markup (pen)
  • Highlight
  • Erase Markup or Highlight

You can change markup and highlight colors. Also, before you start your screenshot you can change to free-form snip, active window or full-screen (drop-down menu next to the “New” button). If you want, see official documentation with video here:

Snipping Tool – Microsoft Windows

It’s a nice way to snapshot your screen (say, something you’re drawing in Autocad), circle the area you have a question about and email it to someone in just a few seconds.

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