Snip & Sketch: The Windows 10 Screenshot Tool

Snip & Sketch: Screenshots in Windows 10

Screenshots are important to anyone who is involved in education. They form the backbone of many step-by-step tutorials and are useful for creating better explanations for students. However, they are useful for other scenarios too. They are great for capturing some design inspiration, saving ideas from the web, or recording bugs to send to developers. This Fall, Microsoft introduced a new screenshot tool for Windows 10. It’s called Snip & Sketch. Here’s how it works. 

System Requirements

Snip & Sketch arrived in the 2018 October update for Windows 10, (version 1809). However, not everyone got it in October. As has been common of late, Microsoft staggered the update over several weeks, so if you follow the directions below and are unable to summon the Snip & Sketch tool, you may need to head over to your Settings app and check for a Windows update. 

You can see your current version of Windows 10 by going to Settings > System > About,  and scrolling down until you see the version number. To start using this particular tool, you need to make sure you are on version 1809 or later. 

How to Open Snip & Sketch

There are a variety of ways to launch the Snip & Sketch app. You can switch between any of these depending on what best meets your preference.

  1. Click the Start button, and scroll through your apps until you find Snip & Sketch
  2. Press Windows key + Shift + S
  3. You can map the Print Screen button on your keyboard to launch Snip & Sketch by going to Settings > Ease of Access > Keyboard and toggling the button next to Print Screen shortcut
  4. Open Action Center and click Screen Clipping
  5. Configure the Surface Pen button to launch Snip & Sketch

Once the app is launched, you can pin it to your taskbar for convenience and have yet another way to launch Snip & Sketch. Once pinned, you also get access to some quick shortcut actions that you can activate when you right-click on the taskbar icon. 

snip and sketch editor screenshot

How to Take Screenshots in Windows 10

If you launch Snip & Sketch from the Start menu, (or the taskbar), you will open the editor view. From here, you click the New button and then choose one of three methods for capturing your screenshot:

  1. Rectangular Clip: The user clicks and drags to select an area to capture
  2. Freeform Clip: As above, but the area captured can be an irregular shape
  3. Fullscreen Clip: A screenshot of your entire screen is captured

These options appear as small icons at the top of your screen. Click on the one you want to capture your screenshot. If you want to save yourself a click, you can jump straight to these options with either Windows key + Shift + S, or by remapping the Print Screen button, (see above).

Annotating a Screenshot in Windows 10

When your screenshot is captured, it will appear briefly as a large thumbnail in the bottom right-hand corner of your screen. If you click the thumbnail, you will open the editor where you will have the option to use a number of annotation tools with a mouse or by using the touchscreen on your device. There is a ball point pen, a pencil and a highlighter. Each one has an adjustable width and up to 30 colors to choose from. There is also a crop tool, an eraser, a ruler and even a protractor if you need it. All of these are great, but the omission of a text tool seems like a glaring oversight.

When you are done, you can save the screenshot, copy it to the clipboard, print it, or send your screenshot to another app. You can also use the editor to open screenshots or images that are saved on your computer. Once open, you can annotate those files with the same tools. Simply click the folder icon on the toolbar to browse for an existing image.

reenshot of the snip and sketch pen tools

More Screenshot Options in Windows 10

  • Office: If you use Microsoft Office, OneNote and PowerPoint come with built-in screenshot tools that will let you add screen captures directly into those apps. 
  • Snagit: TechSmith’s Snagit is another great option. It lets you take all manner of screenshots including scrolling screenshots that capture an entire webpage. You can also make video recordings and create animated gifs quickly and easily.
  • Extensions: Browser extensions like Nimbus Capture will add a handy screenshot tool to Chrome, Firefox, Edge, Opera or Safari. With the Nimbus extension you can capture and annotate screenshots from the web. 

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