One of my favorite features in Windows 7 is the Snipping Tool.  Introduced in the Experience Pack for Windows XP Tablet PC Edition 2005 and included in Windows Vista, I hadn’t noticed this feature until Windows 7.  According to the Microsoft site, it’s available only in the Home Premium, Professional, Ultimate, and Enterprise editions of Windows 7.

Don’t get me wrong – I’m horrible with scissors in real life.  I can’t cut a straight line to save my life.  So you’ll rarely find me cutting things.

But when it comes to Windows 7 and the digital world, you’ll find me using this feature often.  It was one of those features that I noticed on my Start menu one day and had to see what it was.  Once I tried it out, I was hooked.  (And I’ve been using it so much lately that I just had to tell my story here.)

How have you used the Snipping Tool?

Any time I see something on my screen that I can use, I start up the Snipping Tool and snip away.  In the MVC Melee blog post, I snipped that image from the MVC Melee website.  Whenever I am working on site changes on one of the websites that I maintain, I send screenshots of proposed changes – and the Snipping Tool is great for cutting apart the main layout and showing how new images and partial layout changes look on a site.  While documenting a particular feature in an application, I’ll have my Snipping Tool ready, so that I can get screenshots focusing on that feature.

Why do you like the Snipping Tool?

What I like best with the Snipping Tool is that the interface is easy to use.  Start the program, highlight what you want to snip, and then save it.  No need to open another program and paste the screenshot from my clipboard.  There is a setting enabled by default to copy the image to the clipboard, so pasting from the clipboard is an option.  But I don’t have to open my image editing program, paste my screenshots from the clipboard, and then crop the image.  The Snipping Tool makes it that much easier for me to get that done.

But… what about Alt+Print Screen or even just Print Screen?

Have no fear – those still work.  So if I want to get a screenshot of the active window or of my whole desktop, I can still use those keyboard combinations to store the screenshot on my clipboard and then paste them wherever I need them – be it in a Word document or in a program to create an image and use later.

Snip snip here, snip snip there, it’s a little slice of heaven.  The Snipping Tool is an awesome feature in the land of Windows 7.

For more on the Snipping Tool in Windows 7, check out the official Microsoft page.