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Free-form Screen Shot With Snipping Tool

Windows Vista Ultimate comes with a tiny screen-capture program called Snipping Tool, that allows users to capture irregular or free-form style of screen shots.I believe many computer users are familiar with the legacy Print-screen button to capture computer screen shots.

The Print-screen button, as its name suggest, will capture the whole monitor screen into Clipboard. What if you want to capture an irregular or free-form screen shot with a colour border?

If you’re using Windows Vista Ultimate or Windows XP Tablet edition, Snipping Tool is the tiny screen capture bundled for your needs!

Windows Vista Snipping Tool can replace the legacy Print-screen button or SnagIT alike shareware to capture a free-form style of computer screen-shot.

This is a sample of “hand cut”, irregular, free-form style of WalkerNews screen shot by the Windows Vista Ultimate Snipping Tool!

Snipping Tool is one of the few tablet PC utilities come with Vista Ultimate edition. Although tablet PC is not a must, it’s not that efficient to move a mouse pointer to capture free-form style of screen shots.

Anyway, I like this tiny screen capture tool very much than the Print-screen key! Before using Snipping Tool, I’ve to paste the whole screen shot on MS Paint and cut out the target section for documentation. With minor tweaking or tuning on the Vista Snipping Tool, everything is seamlessly done in one place!

A minor tweak to tune Vista Snipping Tool

Right-click the Snipping Tool shortcut in Vista Start menu, click on the Properties menu, click the Shortcut Key text-box and press F8. This will assign the F8 function key as the keyboard shortcut or hotkey to open and execute Snipping Tool. [ You can, however, assign any other key(s) as Snipping Tool hotkey, as long as the new hotkey is not currently in used for other function! ]

Thereafter, I’ll just press F8 to bring up Snipping Tool, select the portion of screen shot and save it or send it as an email attachment! Isn’t it easier?

Yes, Snipping Tool is definitely simplify the steps that I did before!

Once the Snipping Tool is opened, the desktop screen is immediately available for “cutting” or capturing. Suppose that I want to capture a free-form style of screen shot, just click the drop-drop menu beside the New button. Other than the irregular screen capture, Snipping Tool also supports rectangular snip, active window snip, and full screen snip (function as Print-screen).

After capturing the target screen shot with mouse pointer, you can put some hand-writing on the screen-shot, highlight the particular spot or text with highlighter pen. Once the simple “touch up” is complete, you can either save it (support PNG, JPEG, GIF, or HTML), email it as attachment via Windows Mail or default mail client, or copy it to Windows Clipboard for sharing with Microsoft Office suite or other applications!

Seriously, Snipping Tool can replace the Print-screen button as it’s more convenient and productive to work with. I’ll be more excited if I could change the default background colour, which is white in colour!

That’s why there is some ugly white space in my free-form style of WalkerNews screen shot! Of course, you won’t notice that if I’m not using a black colour WordPress theme!

I’ll appreciate if someone has a trick to change the Snipping Tool background colour!

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  1. Snipping Tool Takes Longer Time To Load – Walker News 26-09-07@00:56

    […] Snipping Tool is one of the screen capture or print screen utility that comes with Windows XP Tablet editions and Windows Vista premium editions. For Windows documenters who used to capture many program screen-shots, Snipping Tool is much intuitive and efficient than the legacy Print Screen button! (See also Snipping Tool Tips and Tricks). […]

  2. september 26-01-10@04:38

    tried to set my keyboard F8 key to snipping tool as you suggested. Will not work. Why?

  3. Walker 26-01-10@17:45

    I just tried the hotkey, using F8, in Windows 7 Ultimate and it works as expected. It should work in Windows Vista too.

    If it’s not working, then create a shortcut to Snipping Tools on Windows Desktop and assign the hotkey to this shortcut on Desktop.

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