Where to find the Snipping Tool in Windows 8

With Windows 8, Microsoft have introduced a completely new interface, the Start screen. This consists of a number of tiles which represent different sets of your data, whether it’s your photos or the latest news on your favourite sports team. This is all fine and dandy but what about the Snipping Tool, where has that little fella disappeared to?

Windows 8 Start screen

Windows 8 Start screen

Well, first up there’s no Start button on the Start screen. To access the Snipping Tool as well as the usual collection of Windows accessories, simply right click on the background of the Start screen. This displays an ‘App’ bar across the bottom of the display and then simply click on the ‘All Apps’ option. Then, as well a list of Apps, a list of Windows Accessories are displayed including the good old Snipping Tool. In fact all your usual Windows programs can be found in this area, like the Control Panel, Remote Desktop, etc.

If you start the Snipping Tool from here, you will be taken to the Windows desktop to use it.

If you use the Snipping Tool a lot it may be worth your while right clicking on the Icon and pinning it to ‘Start’ or the taskbar. The first option places it with the other apps which are initially displayed when you get to the Start screen. A bit like icons on your desktop, these can be shuffled around to place them in more handy locations for your use.

The second option, as it suggests, places a shortcut to the Snipping Tool on the Windows desktop taskbar. Again these icons can be shuffled to suit your needs.

Where to find the Snipping Tool in Windows 10

Whilst Windows 10 won’t be released until after April 2015, we thought we’d take a sneak peek at the OS given the Technical Preview available to check out what’s changed for Snipping Tool users.

The good news is that on this review version of Win 10, the Snipping Tool is most definitely front and center! There’s a shortcut to it available on the main Start Menu no less!

CaptureWhich of course makes it a breeze to start up your favourite snipping tool in the latest OS from Microsoft. There’s also the usual Pin/Unpin from Start and Pin/Unpin from taskbar option.

However things got a bit confusing with the Pin/Unpin from Start option. Pinning it to Start means it appears as a tile option in the area to the right of the Start Menu and unpinning it moved it back to the Start menu.

The only way to remove it from the Start Menu/Area was to use the ‘Remove from this list’ option, which demoted it to the All Apps area under Windows Accessories – its usual home!

So the only real changes to where to find the Snipping Tool in Win 10 are more a reflection of a change in the OS itself with the merging of the two interfaces available in Win 8.

In our next post we’ll take a closer look at the Win 10 version of the Snipping Tool to see what has changed in its functionality.

Updated: Perhaps unsurprisingly, we couldn’t find any differences in functionality between a Win 7 snipping tool app and the Win 10 version!

 

 

Capture Screenshot Lite

We had heard good things about Capture Screenshot Lite so we decided to check it out. The first thing that struck us was its cheekiness by stealing all the icons from the Windows Snipping Tool! Check it out ….

Capture

 

 

 

 

vs

Screenshot

 

 

 

 

 

They have got to be joking! Fortunately there are a few functional addons that don’t exist in the standard snipping tool. We found the highlighter to be friendlier plus there are Undo and Redo buttons. But otherwise it doesn’t really add a lot to the original tool.

Alas there was a downside, the software doesn’t play nicely with multiple monitors and doesn’t have a taskbar presence which seems a bit strange and makes you wonder how stable the software is.

So Capture Screenshot Lite gets a big fat zero out of 10 from us on the usefulness scale but a big thumbs up for cheekiness!

KastorSoft Screenshot

Screenshot of KastorSoft Screenshot

KastorSoft Screenshot App

We’re going to take a quick look at a Snipping Tool application on another OS today. Namely ‘Screenshot’ from KastorSoft for the Android OS. Screenshot is a free app, but like most free apps there’s a small amount of which can be removed for the princely sum of US$1.53. Also your device needs to be Rooted before Screenshot will run on it.

Once started Screenshot displays a clean interface (right), with the main option being the ‘Start Capture’ button.

Camera icon displayed in notification area

Camera Icon

Clicking on this runs the app in the background allowing a screen capture to be taken when desired. A small camera icon can be seen in the Android Notification Area at the top of the display when Screenshot is running.

Whilst Screenshot is running you can easily take a screen capture by pressing the power and home buttons simultaneously or the power and volume down buttons. On my Galaxy S4 I must admit it seemed easier to use the power and home buttons.

When capturing a white border flashes around the screen and your camera shot sound is heard. You are then taken to the Screenshot App where you can crop the image before saving or discarding.

Your screen capture is then available in your gallery.

Screenshot app

Screen capture of Screenshot!

Using the Snipping Tool with a HotKey

Windows, very fortunately, has some great HotKey functionality already built in for users to customise. Possibly the only downside we can see is that to use the HotKey functionality you have to create a shortcut on your desktop for the snipping tool. A small price to pay may be.

Anyway here are the steps to setting up a HotKey for the snipping tool.

Capture

Snipping Tool Shortcut

1) If you haven’t already create a shortcut on your desktop for the snipping tool. The quickest way to do this is to Right Click on the snipping tool in the Start Menu and select ‘Send To’, ‘Desktop (Create Shortcut)’. A new icon should appear on your desktop for the snipping tool.

2) Right click on the icon and select ‘Properties’

3) In the Properties dialog, select the Shortcut window and click in the Shortcut Key box.

4) Simply hit the key on your keyboard that you wish to use as your Snipping Tool hotkey e.g. F and the Shortcut Key box will populate with ‘Ctrl + Alt + F’

5) Finally click on OK to save the Hotkey

You can test your new HotKey by holding down the Ctrl and Alt keys and hitting your selected key :-)

How to capture the Start Menu

Start Menu captured!

Start Menu captured!

We discovered a handy little tip for the snipping tool over at Microsoft.

If you have ever wanted to ‘snip’ the Start Menu or capture a drop down item list then just follow these simple steps

1) Start the Snipping Tool
2) Press ‘Esc’ or click the Cancel button in the tool to cancel the current snip or capture
3) Open the Start Menu or the drop down list you wish to capture
4) Now the important step, press the CTRL + Prnt Scrn keys simultaneously
5) You will notice that your screen goes into ‘snip’ mode i.e. it greys out, yet the menu or drop down still appears
6) Now you can snip away capturing your image as normal

It may seem counter-intuitive to use the CTRL + Prnt Scrn keys as this action will normally copy a screen shot to the clipboard but of course you will still have to crop/edit that image in an image processing tool.

This method allows you to crop the image straight away and then of course have all of the edit functionality of the Snipping Tool itself.

The Snipping Tool in Windows 7

With the look and feel of Windows 7 not changing drastically from Vista, it’s nice to know that the Snipping Tool is still located in its usual spot in the Accessories menu. For those of you not too ‘au fait’ with Vista or Win 7, here’s a step by step guide to get you using the Snipping Tool.

SnippingToolWindows7

  • Click on the Start button at the left end of your taskbar.
  • Click (or hover) on All Programs to reveal a full list of applications and application folders you can access
  • There should be a folder called ‘Accessories’, click on this
  • The Snipping Tool should be listed in this application folder (pictured)

For those of you who use the Snipping Tool a lot there are a couple of options available to you in Windows 7 to make starting it a little quicker and easier. Right click on the Snipping Tool rather than start it, and select either ‘Pin to Taskbar’ or ‘Pin to Start Menu’.

‘Pin to Taskbar’ will permanently locate a Snipping Tool icon on your Taskbar for one click start-up of the application. The Start Menu option will locate an icon permanently in the list of applications available on the Start Menu providing a two click start up for the Snipping Tool.

Both these options can be undone by simply right-clicking on the Snipping Tool icon and selecting Unpin.

So there you have it, a brief overview of where the Snipping Tool is in Windows 7.

Use IfranView as a Snipping Tool

When is a snipping tool not a snipping tool, well when it’s a graphics viewer, like IrfanView. Combine the ‘Print Screen’ button on most Windows PCs and a graphics or image viewer’s crop function and you have a snipping tool albeit ‘old skool’.

So, instead of using a specific snipping tool, why not use an image viewer? Well generally they can be quite large programs, taking a long time to load and we don’t want to wait that long just to grab a piece of the screen. Also the cropping functionality may be cumbersome with multiple keystrokes or mouse clicks to find and use.

But that’s where IrfanView is different, it’s small and cropping with IrfanView is easy, almost as easy as using a snipping tool :-)

Well let’s do a comparison, how many keypresses or mouse clicks does it take to take a screen capture using PrintScreen and IrfanView.

1) Capture Screen – ‘Alt + PrintScreen’ (2 keypresses)
2) Start IrfanView (4 mouse clicks)
3) Paste Image – ‘Ctrl + V’ (2 keypresses)
4) Select area for cropping – Mouse down, drag, mouse up – (Mouse click and drag)
5) Crop image – ‘Ctrl + Y’ or Edit/Crop Selection – (2 keypresses or 2 mouse clicks)
6) Save image – Save Icon, Save button – (2 mouse clicks)

Not what we would call speedy but let’s see how it stacks up against the Windows Snipping Tool in Windows 7

1) Start Snipping Tool – (4 mouse clicks)
2) Select area for cropping – Mouse down, drag, mouse up – (Mouse click and drag)
3) Save image – Save Icon, Save button – (2 mouse clicks)

Well quite a difference as you can see. With the snipping tool there are three less steps which consist of up to 6 keypresses, so overall you’d have to favour the Windows snipping tool, but of course this ‘experiment’ is hardly scientific. What if IrfanView is already open? Shortcut use to make it access quicker? As always it’s really down to the individual user to see what works for them and whilst IrfanView is a neat graphics viewer it’s probably not a great replacement for the Windows snipping tool.

Unless, of course, you’re running Windows XP ;-)

PicPick Screen Capture Tool

Whilst PicPick sports a more than suitable screen capture tool, it contains much more than that. Along with a screen capture tool, it features an image editor, colour picker, palette, an always useful pixel ruler, protractor and a whiteboard. A great array of handy tools, something for everybody.

But of course it is its usefulness as an alternative to the standard Windows tool that we are interested in. PicPick’s screen capture tool has some great features including dual monitor support, sharing to Facebook, Twitter and email. It also repeats the last capture, handy for those repetitive screen capturing tasks. There’s no video capture but then again neither has the Windows snipping tool. So it’s not a massive step-up from the snipping tool in terms of screen capture but the fact that it has a handy set of features thrown in too, there’s bound to something in there that the user will find useful.

PicPick runs nicely on all versions of Windows (apparently) and doesn’t talk to the registry or system folder, making it a portable piece of software. More than 28 languages are supported.

A home version of PicPick is available from the developer’s website.

Jing Image and Video Capture Software

Jing is a great piece of free software from the guys at TechSmith and is a definite alternative to the standard Windows snipping tool. Jing is especially handy for those of us into social networking as video captured using the software can be easily shared on your twitter or Facebook account. Other great features include

* easily adding notes to your captured images
* share images instantly with flickr
* add narration to your video (microphone required)
* easily embed captured video into your blog

Unfortunately Jing video capture is limited to 5 minute chunks but its sibling software Snagit will allow you to grab those longer video tutorials.

But as free image and video capture software it’s hard to look past Jing. It runs on Windows XP, Vista and 7 plus there’s a Mac OS X version available running on 10.5.8 or later.

Visit TechSmith’s Jing download page to give this great piece of image capture software a trail run.