A few weeks ago K.S Brooks showed you how to take and use screen captures. Today, I would like to show you how to use a very useful free tool which is a programme that is part of Windows Vista, Windows 7, and Windows 8. It allows you to take specific shots of your screen. It is ideal for tutorials (ahem!) and for making your blog or website look professional. So, let’s get those scissors and get snipping.
To start the Snipping Tool follow these steps:
1. Click on the Start button to open your Start Menu.
2. Next click on the All Programs menu option.
3. Then click on the Accessories group.
4. Last, but not least, click on the Snipping Tool icon which looks like this:
The snipping tool should now be started and you will see a screen similar to the one below. You can try four different types of snip using this tool. Just click on the small down arrow menu next to the New button as shown by the arrow in the image. Now you can try one of the following:
Free-form Snip: This method allows you to draw a shape around your selection using a mouse or a stylus. Once the selection shape is drawn (make sure you close the shape so there are no open sides) the snip will be created and shown to you. See my fabulous effort below. I was never very good at circles:
Taking and saving snips with the Snipping Tool
So, let us assume that you want to create a jpeg to put in a post. Go to your website or photos, choose the page or the photo you want to use, then open the Snipping Tool as explained above. I chose the picture below to put in a post I am writing about book launches.
Once the program is opened, select the Rectangular Snip type by clicking on the down arrow next to the New button and selecting Rectangular Snip. Once the Rectangular Snip option is selected, click on the picture and drag a rectangular selection around the area you want to use. Once the selection is made, release the left mouse button and the rectangular region will now be sent to the snipping tool where you will see a box a bit like the one below. I dragged it around my face and book to get this picture:
You can now save it as an image or put some text/drawings on it by clicking on the Tools menu and then select the Pen you would like to draw with or choose the picture of the pen which you can see on the bar at the top of the snipped picture. You can customize the pen by clicking on the dropdown arrow next to the pen icon. Choose the Customize option and you will be given a choice of pen tips and colours.
If you want to highlight certain parts of the picture, click on the Tools menu again and select Highlighter, or choose from the icons on the tool bar as arrowed in the picture below. If you make a mess, rub out mistakes by clicking on the eraser icon or clicking on Tools and selecting Eraser.
Once you are satisfied with your snipped picture you can send it in an email as an embedded image or attachment by clicking on the mail icon or by clicking on the File menu and then selecting Send To. You can also save the snip as a file on your computer by clicking on the File menu and then selecting Save As. For pictures I suggest you always save your snip as a JPG.
You should now have made your first snip. You can send your snips to your friends and family or embed them in web sites like this! It’s easy. It’s free and it is rather addictive. Since I discovered snipping, writing tutorials has become a lot of fun. Happy snipping!