What is the Vista Snipping tool? Can I use it to take GOOD screen shots easily? ~ Ask The Admin

Monday, May 12, 2008

What is the Vista Snipping tool? Can I use it to take GOOD screen shots easily?

I have been doing the tablet thing for a little while now and as you all know I blog daily. So when I came across this "Snipping Tool" in Vista I feel in like. Now I don't know if it's like like or just like but time will tell! Redmond brings us this HUGE improvement on screen-shotting.

I used to strictly do control-Print Screen and paste into Photoshop, modify and save for web. Now it looks like MS lets you select what part of your screen you want to "Snip" and gives you multiple options for saving it - like jpg, gif or png! And check out the other goodies below in this screenshot:

Here is what Microsoft has to say about their Snipping Tool:

You can use Snipping Tool to capture a screen shot, or snip, of any object on your screen, and then annotate, save, or share the image. Simply use a mouse or tablet pen to capture any of the following types of snips:

  • Free-form Snip. Draw an irregular line, such as a circle or a triangle, around an object.

  • Rectangular Snip. Draw a precise line by dragging the cursor around an object to form a rectangle.

  • Window Snip. Select a window, such as a browser window or dialog box, that you want to capture.

  • Full-screen Snip. Capture the entire screen when you select this type of snip.

After you capture a snip, it's automatically copied to the mark-up window, where you can annotate, save, or share the snip.

If you have Vista Basic or CAN'T find the snipping tool check out this information from PC World on how to "Activate" it.

If you have a version of Vista other than Home Basic, you already have the Snipping Tool screen capture utility: Choose Start, All Programs, Accessories, Snipping Tool. If you don't see it there, it may not be activated. Go to Control Panel and open Program and Features (you may have to click Programs first). In the task pane on the left, click Turn Windows features on or off. If necessary, click Continue when prompted by User Account Control. Scroll through the list of features, check the box next to Tablet PC Optional Components, and click OK. Turning on these features gives you not only the Snipping Tool, but also the Tablet PC Input Panel, Windows Journal, and other stylus-related features.

Here are 5 tips courtesy of About.com for when to use what formats:

  1. If your screen shot contains a limited number of colors and you want to retain crisp lines and keep the file size small, save as a GIF file. If your screen shot contains many colors and you want to retain crisp lines and full quality, save as a PNG file. If your screen shot contains many colors and you want to make the file size small, save as a JPEG file.
  2. Before saving your screen shot, you can use the Pen and Highlighter tools in the Snipping Tool toolbar to add markup to your screen shot. The eraser tool will remove marks made with the Pen and Highlighter Tools.
  3. You may email a screen shot without saving it by using the "Send To" button on the Snipping Tool toolbar.
  4. Go to Tools > Options to change the way the Snipping Tool operates. For instance, you can change the color of the selection outline by selecting a new ink color, or turn the outline off entirely by unchecking the box for "Show selection ink after snips are captured."
  5. Enable the option "Display icon in the Quick Launch toolbar" if you want to keep the Snipping Tool handy for quick access.