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Snipping Tools

'Snipping Tool’ is a utility application that is already installed on many Windows OS, starting from Windows Vista. The tool helps to capture screenshots or "snips" of all or parts of computer screens. These snips can either be saved as image files or copied to the clipboard for easy sharing or further editing.


Knowing the intricacies of the snipping tools makes it easier and more efficient to use them. In this article, find out the features, types, pros, and cons of snipping tools. First, let's find out a little more about the Snipping Tool on Windows.


Snipping Tools

Features of the Snipping Tool on Windows OS

The Snipping Tool provides several different capture modes which include:

  • Free-Form Snip: It allows you to draw a free-form shape around an area to capture.

  • Rectangular Snip: It allows you to capture a rectangular area by dragging the cursor around it.

  • Window Snip: It captures a specific window or application by clicking on it.

  • Full-Screen Snip: It captures the entire screen.

  • Delay: This offers a few seconds delay before capturing, giving you time to set up your desired screen.

You can use the basic editing features of the Snipping Tool to annotate, add text, and highlight the captured image after you have made a snip.

7 Best Snipping Tools

  1. Snip & Sketch is a built-in snipping tool for Windows 10 and later versions. Its annotation tools can be used to draw, highlight, add text, crop images, save, and share.

  2. Greenshot is a free and open-source snipping tool for Windows. It offers capturing modes such as full screen, window, region, and even scrolling capture for capturing entire web pages. Greenshot also allows you to save captured screenshots to various formats and share them via email or upload them to image hosting services.

  3. Lightshot is a user-friendly snipping tool available for Windows and macOS. It allows you to capture selected areas of your screen and quickly annotate them with text, arrows, and shapes. Once captured, you can save the image or upload it to the Lightshot cloud for easy sharing. With Lightshot, you can search for similar images online.

  4. Snagit - This is a premium screenshot and screen recording software available for both Windows and macOS. it provides advanced editing tools like effects, callouts, and even the ability to capture video recordings of your screen. It is suitable for users who require professional-level features and capabilities

  5. ShareX is an open-source screen capture and sharing tool for Windows. It offers numerous capture methods, such as full screen, region, active window, and custom shapes. ShareX allows you to apply effects, watermark, and even automate certain tasks using customizable workflows. It supports various file-sharing services and allows you to save on the cloud.

  6. Monosnap - This is another versatile snipping tool available for Windows, macOS, and as a browser extension. It provides many capture options, and offers cloud storage for your captures. It also allows you to share with others.

  7. Flamory is unique among snipping tools, as it is designed not only to capture screenshots but also to save and organize them along with the context in which they were taken. It's great for research and documentation purposes. When you capture a screenshot, Flamory also saves the source URL or application, allowing you to revisit the content in its original context.

Uses of Snipping Tools

Snipping tools serve numerous purposes and their uses can vary. Some of them include:

  • Creating Tutorials and Guides:

Snipping tools are great for creating step-by-step tutorials, instructional guides, or how-to documents. You can capture screenshots of specific actions, annotate them with arrows and text, and create a visual guide for users.

  • Bug Reporting and Documentation:

Software testers and developers use snipping tools to capture screenshots of software bugs, glitches, or unexpected behavior. These screenshots are used to document issues and provide clear visual evidence for debugging purposes.

  • Presentations and Reports:

Snipping tools can be useful when you're creating presentations or reports. You can capture screenshots of relevant information, charts, or graphs and insert them into your documents to enhance your content.

  • Collaboration and Communication:

When communicating with colleagues, clients, or team members, visual aids can be very effective. Snipping tools help you capture and share screenshots that illustrate your points more clearly than words alone.

  • Web Research and Note-Taking:

Snipping tools are handy for researchers who want to capture specific sections of web pages, quotes, images, or references for their notes. This helps maintain context and sources for later reference.

  • Creative Projects and Design:

Graphic designers and artists can use snipping tools to capture inspiration from various sources, such as websites, images, or digital art. These captured elements can serve as references for their creative projects.

  • Troubleshooting and Customer Support:

Customer support teams can use snipping tools to guide users through troubleshooting processes. They can capture screenshots of specific steps and annotate them to provide clear instructions.

  • Social Media and Blogging:

Snipping tools are useful for creating social media posts, blog content, or online articles. You can capture and share images that complement your text or convey a specific message.

  • Visual Communication:

Sometimes it is easier to convey an idea visually. Snipping tools allow you to capture and share screenshots that express concepts, ideas, or designs.

  • Personal Use:

Snipping tools aren't just for professional use. You can capture and save memorable moments from online conversations, video calls, or interesting content you come across.

Advantages of Snipping Tools

Some benefits of using snipping tools include:

  • Ease of Use: Snipping tools are designed to be user-friendly and intuitive. They typically have simple interfaces that allow users to quickly capture screenshots without the need for complex setups.

  • Precision: Snipping tools have many capture modes that allow users to capture specific areas of the screen with precision. This is especially useful when you want to highlight specific details or information.

  • Quick Capture: Snipping tools enable rapid capture of screenshots, eliminating the need to take a full-screen screenshot and then crop it down to the desired area.

  • Annotation Tools: Many snipping tools include built-in annotation features, such as text, arrows, shapes, and highlights. This enables users to add context and explanations to their screenshots, making them more informative and engaging.

  • Visual Communication: Snipping tools are powerful tools for visual communication. They allow you to convey ideas, concepts, and instructions more effectively than plain text.

  • Reduced Clutter: Unlike traditional screenshot methods that capture the entire screen, snipping tools let you capture what's relevant, focusing on the specific content you need.

Disadvantages of Snipping Tools

  • Most snipping tools provide basic annotation and editing features, but they may lack more advanced editing capabilities that graphic design software offers. If you need extensive image manipulation, an image editing tool might be more suitable.

  • Some snipping tools might not integrate seamlessly with specific applications or workflows. This can lead to additional steps when trying to incorporate captured screenshots into your projects.

  • Snipping tools might not offer the real-time collaboration features found in some specialized collaboration platforms.

  • Some snipping tools might have limitations in terms of the file formats they support for saving screenshots, which can be an issue if you have to work with specific file formats in your projects.

  • While snipping tools primarily focus on capturing static screenshots, they might not offer comprehensive screen recording capabilities. If you need to record video content, a dedicated screen recording tool would be more suitable.

  • Some tools might be designed exclusively for Windows or macOS, which could be a limitation if you use multiple platforms.

Wrapping Up

When using a snipping tool, you should remember that a snipping tool’s effectiveness depends on its features, ease of use, and compatibility with your workflow. It is not unusual to use a snipping tool for one or more purposes because of your specific needs.

However, It is important to evaluate the potential disadvantages against your specific needs and workflows. Depending on the nature of your tasks and the level of sophistication required, a snipping tool might be perfect for it, or might require integration with other tools.

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