How to Take a Screenshot on Windows with Snipping Tool

Taking screenshots on your PC? It has never been so easy! We’re about to show you how to use Snipping Tool, Print Screen and edit your snaps. Have you ever had the need of snapping your screen, but no idea how to do it? Well, don’t feel bad, this is very common. After reading this guide you’ll be able to take screenshots, edit and share them.

Specifically, this guide will explain you how to screenshot on PC.

In this article, you’ll find:

  • How to Print Screen on Windows
  • How to Use Snipping Tool
    • Snip Part of The Screen
    • Use the Screenshot
    • Copy the Image
    • Editing Screenshots
    • Saving Screenshots
    • Delay Function
    • Keyboard Shortcut for Snipping Tool
  • Conclusion

When it comes to taking a screenshot on a PC, it’s very important to remember that there are two options available. You can either print the whole screen or partially snip it.

The cool thing is that you won’t need to download any extra apps. All you need to do is follow our instructions! Get ready to find out how to take a screenshot on PC!

How to Print Screen on Windows

Let’s assume you’ve been working on a project that you’d like to show to a friend of yours that lives in a different country. You’re still in the middle of the project and you don’t want to export it, as it would take too long. That’s the perfect time to learn how to Print Screen on Windows!

You could just print your screen and send it to your friend by email! This is probably the best use of the Print Screen function that comes with all Windows computers.

Now, let’s find out how to print screen on PC.

First of all, you’ve got to localise the button Print Screen on your keyboard. It usually says PrtScr and it sits in the top-right part of the keyboard.

The button PrtScr allows you to take an instant photo of your screen as it is. 

Then, you’re free to paste the screenshot in any software that supports images (Microsoft Word, Google Docs, Adobe Photoshop,…).

How to Use Snipping Tool

You must know that all Windows PCs come with a Snipping Tool. The Snipping Tool allows you to easily take screenshots of the whole screen, or a part of it, and then apply small changes and save them as images.

The Snipping Tool is a crucial tool if you’re willing to learn how to screenshot on PC. However, if you are not familiar with it: don’t worry, we’re about to show you how to use it properly!

How to Use Snipping Tool: Snip Part of The Screen

The Snipping Tool allows you to select the area of your screen to screenshot. This is a great feature, as it allows you to choose the element of the screen that you want to replicate in a document, without needing to crop the full photograph of your screen.

This feature offers you four different options of screen capture: Free-form Snip, Rectangular Snip, Window Snip and Full-Screen Snip.

The Free-Form Snip allows you to select the area that you want to snip in the form you choose.

The Rectangular Snip allows you to select the area to snip using a rectangular-shaped tool.

The Window Snip gives you the opportunity to take a snip of the latest active window on your screen.

Last option, the Full-screen Snip, allows you to take a screenshot of your full screen.

How to Use Snipping Tool: Use the Screenshot

After you’ve taken a screenshot, a simple editor screen opens.

At this point, you can decide to either make some quick changes to your snap, copy the image, save it, share it or print it.

Let’s now go through some of these main options.

How to Use Snipping Tool: Copy the Image

After you’ve taken a screenshot, a small and simple editor pops up on your screen. 

As we mentioned above, it allows you to do a few things. One of those is copying the image, so you can paste it anywhere you want as in a normal copy/paste process.

The symbol to click to copy the image is the traditional one that usually represents the Copy action and it can be seen in the image above.

Copying the image this way gets the job done very quickly. The great thing is that you won’t need to save the image, but simply apply a quick Copy/Paste to your document.

How to Use Snipping Tool: Editing Screenshots

As we’ve already said, after taking a screenshot, a small editor appears on screen.

The editor includes a few tools that gives you the opportunity to apply some quick changes to the image before copying, saving, printing or sharing it.

The image above shows the tools that you can use to edit your new screenshot.

From left to right, the first tool allows you to decide whether you want to apply changes using the touchscreen of your device (if you’re using a device with touch screen) or simply using the cursor.

The second tool available is a ballpoint pen. You can use it to circle important parts of your screenshot or add some quick notes. 

The third tool is the pencil. The pencil leaves a lighter trace (around opacity 70%). So, when you use it,  it won’t fully cover the images underneath. 

Another tool available in the editor is a highlighter. This is the perfect tool to highlight small things such as text or numbers.

Then, we have an eraser. You can use this to cancel edits you previously did with other tools.

Another interesting tool is the ruler. This works the same way as a physical ruler. When you select the ruler, it will appear on the screen. You can move it on the screen and rotate it using the scroll wheel of your mouse. Once the ruler is positioned, you can use a writing tool to draw straight lines.

The ruler can also be turned into a protractor. In this case, the scroll bar will change the size of the circular track on screen. You can then move it in the position that suits the best and draw a full, or partial, circle on your screenshot.

Last tool available is the crop tool. The crop tool allows you to easily crop the image before saving it. When you select the crop tool, four cropping points will appear on the screen. Make sure to drag them in order to create a rectangle that contains all elements of your screenshot that you want to keep. Everything out of the rectangle will get lost once the new screenshot will be exported.

After selecting a tool, you can click again on its symbol to open advanced functions. These will allow you to change the color of the tool or increase (or decrease) its size.

Remember, if you make a mistake you can also avail of the good old Undo button (or you can use Ctrl +Z).

How to Use Snipping Tool: Saving Screenshots

Of courses there are cases where you do need to save your screenshot to use it later in time. 

Obviously, the Snipping Tool gives you this opportunity too. All you have to do is click the Floppy Disk icon (if you’re too young and can’t remember floppy disks, that’s the icon highlighted above!). Then you’ll be able to ¨Save As¨ the screenshot. Make sure to select the right directory, choose a name for the file and the format that better suits your needs.

You can decide to save your snap in three different formats: PNG, JPG and GIF.

How to Use Snipping Tool: Delay Function

The Snipping Tool also offers some other interesting features. One of those is the delay function. This aim of this feature is pretty self explanatory. When you activate the delay function, you’ll be able to postpone the screenshot a few seconds. This gives you a short window of time to apply small changes to the snap you’re about to take in order to make it look perfect.

Keyboard Shortcut for Snipping Tool

As it always happens for all Microsoft products, there’s a keyboard shortcut for Snipping Tool that gives you the opportunity to immediately open the Snipping Tool and take a screenshot without wasting time. This is crucial, in fact sometimes you need to be very quick to not lose your snap.

If you want to start the Snipping Tool and automatically activate the snipping mode, you simply need to press Windows logo key + Shift + S.


You’ve just learned how to screenshot on PC. In particular this guide has shown you how to Print Screen on Windows and how to use Snipping Tool.

We’ve explained all the options to better capture your screen. Also, the keyboard shortcut for Snipping Tool allows you to make your snaps faster and simpler.

If you own a Chromebook the hotkeys are slightly different, but don’t you worry, we also have a guide on How to Screenshot on Chromebook.

Yes, we’ve just mentioned Chromebooks. Want to know more? Find out the difference between Chromebook and Laptop: Operating System, HDMI…