How to use the Snipping Tool in Windows 11

In Windows 11, Microsoft offers an improved Snipping Tool app that promises to be better than previous versions. It’s a simple application that many people are familiar with already, yet some of its new features are worth looking into. That’s why, in this tutorial, we decided to show you how to snip on Windows 11. So, without further ado, here’s how to use Snipping Tool to take screenshots in Windows 11:

How to open the Snipping Tool in Windows 11?

One of the fastest ways to open Snipping Tool in Windows 11 is to search for it. First, click or tap on the search button on the taskbar, and then start typing “snipping tool.” Once the search results appear, click or tap the Snipping Tool result on the left, or select it and press Open on the right pane.

How to open the Snipping Tool in Windows 11 using search

The fastest way to start taking a screenshot with Snipping Tool is by using the keyboard shortcut Windows logo key + Shift + S. However, this does not show you the Snipping Tool from the start. Instead, it instantly takes you to the screenshot taking part, where you can directly select what you want to screenshot.

The fastest way to start Snipping Tool is to use its keyboard shortcut

Another reasonably fast way to open Snipping Tool in Windows 11 is to use its Start Menu shortcut. Open the Start Menu, go to All apps, and then scroll down to find the Snipping Tool. When you do, click or tap on its shortcut.

How to open Snipping Tool in Windows 11 from the Start Menu

You can also use the Run window to launch Snipping Tool. First, press Windows + R on your keyboard to open Run. Then, type snippingtool in its Open field and click or tap the OK button.

Launch Snipping Tool from Windows 11's Run

Note that if you’d like to always have the Snipping Tool at hand, you can also pin it to the taskbar or the Start Menu. To do that, find it using the search or in Windows 11’s Start Menu, right-click (press-and-hold) on it, and select Pin to Start or Pin to taskbar, according to what you prefer.

Pin Snipping Tool to the Start Menu or taskbar in Windows 11

Now that you know how to open Snipping Tool in Windows 11, let’s see what it looks like and what its interface has to offer:

How to screenshot in Windows 11 with the Snipping Tool

Windows 11’s Snipping Tool is relatively simple, but it packs everything you need to create all kinds of screenshots. When you open Snipping Tool, this is what you get:

The Snipping Tool app

As you can see, it’s a relatively small window with only a few buttons and information. However, its simple interface cleverly hides various screenshotting options and features, as you’ll soon find out.

First of all, Snipping Tool’s menu gives you the + New button. Clicking or tapping on it initiates the screenshotting process. You can also start by using the keyboard shortcut Windows logo key + Shift + S. But, before taking your first Windows 11 screenshot, you should understand what screen capture Modes are available.

The New button from Snipping Tool

Next to the + New button, you see the screenshot type enabled in Snipping Tool. By default, it’s called Rectangle mode. If you click or tap on it, Windows 11’s Snipping Tool shows you a list of four different screenshot modes:

  • Rectangle mode: lets you take rectangular screenshots, which you define using your mouse or using touch
  • Window mode: takes a screenshot of the window you select by clicking or tapping on it
  • Full-screen mode: captures the entire area of your screen
  • Free-form mode: allows you to use your mouse or touch to draw freely any form on your screen

You can select any screenshot mode you’d like to use before even taking a screenshot, but it’s not mandatory, as you can also switch between them during the actual screenshotting process.

Screenshot modes in Snipping Tool

When you’re ready to take a screenshot in Windows 11, either press the + New button from the Snipping Tool window or use the Win + Shift + S keyboard shortcut. Then, your entire screen dims, and a small menu shows up at the top-center of the screen. There, you can switch between the four screenshotting options.

Snip options for taking a screenshot

After choosing the type of screenshot you want, with your mouse or using touch, select the area you want to capture. For example, in the image below, you can see what taking a freeform screenshot in Windows 11 looks like.

Capturing a free-form screenshot with Snipping Tool

When you finish taking a screenshot, Snipping Tool loads it in its window and allows you to start editing it.

Editing a screenshot taken with the Snipping Tool

Let’s take a look at the editing tools provided by Windows 11’s Snipping Tool:

How to edit and save your screenshots with the Snipping Tool app

Snipping Tool makes it easy and fast to edit and annotate your screenshot immediately after you take it. As you can see in the following image, you get all the basics you need for editing:

  • Ballpoint pen: imitates a real-life ballpoint pen which you can use to write or even draw things on your screenshot, using your mouse or using touch
  • Highlighter: lets you emphasize or underscore if you prefer, parts of the screenshot you just took
  • Eraser: removes edits or changes you already made using other tools
  • Ruler: allows you to make measurements on the screenshot
  • Touch Writing: if you enable this option, you can use your fingers, stylus, or mouse to write things more easily on the screenshot you just took
  • Image Crop: lets you crop the screenshot to remove unwanted parts from it
  • Undo & Redo: go back or forward through the changes you’ve made to your screenshot

To help you understand the editing interface of Windows 11’s Snipping Tool, here’s an overview of the options available:

The image editing interface of Snipping Tool

Once you’ve taken a screenshot or after you’ve finished editing it, you probably want to save it somewhere on your Windows 11 PC. To do so, click or tap the Save as button from the Snipping Tool app, select a location to save the screenshot, choose a name for it if you want, and press Save.

Saving a screenshot from the Snipping Tool

TIP: When you take a screenshot with the Snipping Tool, that screenshot is also automatically copied in your clipboard, so you can simply and quickly paste it into any app or image editor you want.

How to configure Snipping Tool in Windows 11

Windows 11’s Snipping Tool is more generous in settings and customization options than in Windows 10. To get started with personalizing it, press the See more button from the app’s top-right corner and then select Settings in Snipping Tool’s menu.

Opening Snipping Tool's Settings

You can open the same menu and access the Settings even if you already have a screenshot loaded in Snipping Tool.

How to open Snipping Tool's Settings when editing a screenshot

The first thing you find inside Snipping Tool’s Settings is a section called Shortcuts. By default, it tells you that the standard key for opening the Snipping Tool is PrtScn (Print Screen). However, if you don’t want to use that, click or tap on “Change in Settings.”

The Print Screen key is used by default to open Snipping Tool

This opens the Settings app and takes you to the Accessibility > Keyboard section, where you can disable the “Use the Print Screen button to open screen snipping” switch.

Enable or disable PrtScn for Snipping Tool

Going back to the Snipping Tool Settings, the next section is all about Snipping options. Depending on how you want the app to work, you can enable or disable the following switches:

  • Auto copy to clipboard: by default, this switch is on, and it makes the Snipping Tool automatically copy the screenshot you take in Windows 11’s clipboard
  • Save snips: disabled by default; this switch controls whether the Snipping Tool should ask you if you want to save your work when you close the application, and you have a screenshot loaded in it.
  • Multiple windows: if you turn this switch on, each screenshot you take will be open in its own separate Snipping Tool window.
  • Snip outline allows you to automatically add a border to the screenshot you take with the Snipping Tool. Furthermore, when you enable this switch, you also get a preview of what the outline looks like, and you can choose its Color and Thickness.

Snipping settings available in Windows 11's Snipping tool

And, the final Snipping Tool setting you can change is about its Appearance. The App Theme setting allows you to choose whether you want the Snipping Tool to use Windows 11’s Light or Dark style, or Use system setting to match the operating system’s main style.

The appearance settings for Windows 11's Snipping tool

These are all the settings available for the Snipping Tool in Windows 11. Try them out and have fun!

Do you use Windows 11’s Snipping Tool?

Now you know how to use the Snipping Tool in Windows 11. You’ve seen what it looks like, how to snip on Windows 11 using it, and what settings it offers. In our opinion, the new Snipping Tool feels like a good improvement from Windows 10. Do you think the same? Let us know in the comments below.

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