Brent Stewart

Live life on purpose

Use the Snipping Tool to make life easier

I knew about the Snipping Tool in Windows, but for some reason I never thought much about it until recently when a friend reminded me when he heard all the steps I was going though to get a screen capture. I was answering a question from StackOverflow, and I was trying to show some XAML output, so here is what I did to capture the output:

  1. Take a screen shot by pressing Alt+Print Screen (captures the active window to the clipboard)
  2. Open a graphics application (Paint.NET or Photoshop)
  3. Paste the clipboard contents into a new document
  4. Crop to the section of the screen I want to capture
  5. Save results to a file
  6. Insert file into my response

The same process using the Snipping Tool in Windows goes like this:

  1. Open Snipping Tool
  2. Select screen area I want to capture (the selection is inserted into the clipboard automatically if that is all you need)
  3. Save results to file
  4. Insert file into my response

Ah, much better.  This may not sound like a lot of savings, but it takes away the feeling of having to work to get what I want. There is a much better chance of me taking time to grab a capture when I know that it is this simple, and that increases the quality of my communications and gives me a greater chance of being understood. The next time you need to capture something from your screen, don’t forget the Snipping Tool.