Snip & Sketch tool: Making Screengrabs Easy to Capture and Share

Like its predecessors, the newest screen grab tool from Windows, Snip & Sketch, is easy to learn and versatile for so many uses. The tools and options which we cover in this article are an improvement on the snipping tools of yesteryear. 

    Aloha. This KB article is about how to take a screen grab using Window’s built in Snip & Sketch tool. This is an upgraded version of the snipping tool that’s been around for over 15 years. Basically, it’s a tool that lets you take a screenshot of just a particular section of your screen easily and quickly. You can use it to grab an image to send to someone. What we find useful in IT troubleshooting is when a user snips an error message to include in their help desk request. This helps the assigned technician diagnose what is wrong with your computer. 

    Where to find Snip & Sketch

    Go to your search bar and type in “Snip”. This should bring up the options for Snip & Sketch (as well as the simpler, and soon to be retired snipping tool.) Helpful tip, if you do end up using this all the time, pin it to your taskbar for ease of access.

    On Windows 10 your search bar is in your taskbar, but on earlier verisons of Windows you just have to go to the start menu.

    Capture Features

    New

    Tapping “New” automatically starts a snip. Your screen will look whitewashed/faded. Click wherever you want your snip to start, drag and release where you want the snip to end. Then your image will appear in the Snip & Sketch window.

    The new button is bright blue, or you can use the keyboard shortcut Ctrl + N.

    You also have the option to change from a rectangle select to a free form select or capture the full screen at the top of your screen.

    This will appear at the top of your screen to give you selection options, but it is small and unobtrusive.

    Delay

    Tap the arrow on the right of the New button to get the option to delay your snip by either 3 or 10 seconds. This is especially useful for capturing a drop down menu or hover text. Just set the delay for however long you need. Once that time counts down the snipping tool will activate, and you can capture what you need.

    Delay options can be helpful for different uses. Just click the circled arrow.

    Open

    The file folder icon next to the new button allows you to open an existing image file. Using this you can use the mark up feature from snip and sketch on a file you already had. I recommend this for quick edits and annotations only.

    The open file button is located directly next to the new button as indicated by the yellow highlight.
    You can also use the keyboard shortcut Ctrl + O.

    Mark Up Features

    The editing features in Snip & Sketch are fairly limited and are truly just for quick mark ups. They are a marked improvement on the original snipping tool but mostly rely on your free hand ability. For higher quality editing, save the image and open it in your preferred image editing software.

    Undo/Redo

    The first two buttons in this section are to reverse or undo and repeat or redo any changes you make using the other editing tools.

    Undo and redo have been fairly standard on windows applications.
    You can also use the keyboard shortcuts Ctrl + Z to undo and Ctrl + Y to redo.

    Touch writing option

    Enabling this option in conjunction with one of the writing tools allows you to draw mark ups from your touchscreen. When this is turned off, using your touchscreen will instead move the image around the window.

    Touch writing will have a blue line under it and the writing tool used when activated.

    Pen tool

    This is for writing on your snip. I usually use this tool for drawing circles and arrows to really point out what I’m trying to show. This allows for a variety of colors and has a sliding bar for adjusting the size. In addition when drawing/writing this will smooth your edges a bit so your lines and shapes come out better than pure free hand.

    This example uses a few pen colors to add arrows and underlines to this image.

    Pencil tool

    This is similar to the pen tool, but it is less opaque. It reminds me very much of the old “spray paint” tool in MS Paint.

    You can use this to write over the image without totally blocking it, as displayed by the black and teal pencil lines.

    Highlighter

    This tool can be used to draw a highlight on text or images. It’s great for emphasizing specific words or sections. This tool has 6 neon color options and a size slider, similar to the pen and pencil tools.

     

    This example uses a few different colors to highlight parts of the Valiant website main page.

    Eraser

    Another way to undo any mistakes you made with the writing tools. Unlike the undo button this doesn’t have to be in a specific order. Just click on the lines, highlights, etc., that you drew to erase them one stroke at a time.

    Oops, better use the eraser tool to get rid of the jagged red line I drew in error with the pen tool.

    Ruler and protractor

    These are very useful for making straight lines or perfect arcs. You can move the ruler or protractor around by dragging it, then use one of your writing tools to write along the line. You can use your mouse scroll to rotate the ruler if you need a line at an angle. Use the same mouse scroll to change the size of the protractor to increase or decrease the arc.

    Using the ruler as a straight edge tool to write with blue pen.
    Making a 78 degree arc with the protractor tool.

    Image crop

    This feature allows you to crop your image as needed. Very helpful in a snipping tool as it is easy to include too much in the image at first snip when you want the focus elsewhere.

    This works similarly to other crop tools. You can expand or decrease the selected size by dragging the white dotted corners.

    Share Features

    Once you have your image and have marked it up, the next few features are for whatever you want to do with it.

    Save

    Use this first option to save your snipped image to your computer. Just navigate to the folder you want to save to. I recommend renaming your file so its easier for you to find and organize than the default.

    The save icon is the ubiquitous floppy drive symbol. Remember those?
    You can also use the keyboard shortcut Ctrl + S.

    Copy

    This option will copy the image to your clip board. From there you can paste wherever needed such as the body of an email or in a chat with a coworker.

    The green arrow is pointing to the copy symbol.
    You can also use the keyboard shortcut Ctrl + C.

    Share

    This button allows you to share your image using the applications on your device. This might be email, social media, or nearby sharing across WiFi or Bluetooth. However, you have to set up your device with those applications.

    You can see in my example image that I have not set up frequently contacted or installed some popular social media applications on my device yet.

    Additional options

    Clicking the ellipses at the far right of the window reveals has a few additional options for what to do with your image. The first is “Open with” which is great if you follow the above advice to make edits in a more robust editing software. You can print directly from the Snip & Sketch tool. Since this is a new tool, they are open to feedback which you can relay with the send feedback button. Of course, this is where you will find settings, and lastly, Tips & Tricks, aka help.

    Always check the additional options and settings, highlighted in purple here.
    You can use the keyboard shortcut Ctrl + P to print without having to click though these options.

    Final Thoughts

    Despite the many paragraphs above, it’s a really simple and majorly useful tool. If you’ve never used a snipping tool, hopefully you will find this to be an intuitive approach to screen grabs. If you have used Windows snipping tool in the past, you’ll notice some marked improvements that Snip & Sketch provides. Either way, I hope you use this a lot as I did when making this article. All the above images were snipped and marked up using Snip & Sketch. Try it for yourself!

    Valiant Technology is the award-winning managed service provider to innovative industries in New York.

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