How To: Create A Keyboard Shortcut For Snipping Tool In Windows 7

In Windows XP and previous versions of Windows, taking a snapshot of a window or screen was a tedious job. One had to first press the Print Screen key on the keyboard, open Paint program and then press Ctrl + V hotkey to take the snapshot. Users who wanted advanced tools had no options but to go for third-party tools.

To help users take snapshots without installing third-party tools Microsoft first introduced Snipping tool with Windows Vista  and the same feature exists in the latest Windows 7 operating system as well.


With Snipping Tool you can capture text, graphics, and any associated annotations and then save them in your desired format. Unfortunately, Microsoft has not defined a default keyboard shortcut for Snipping Tool both in Vista and Windows 7. Every time, we need to either go through the Start menu or enter the the search keyword in the Start menu search to launch it. Would it be cool if it was possible to launch Snipping with the help of a keyboard shortcut?

Yes, you can create a keyboard shortcut to launch Snipping tool in Windows 7.  To create a keyboard shortcut for Snipping Tool, use the simple procedure given below:

Step 1: Go to Start, Accessories, right-click on Snipping Tool and select Properties.

Step 2: Move to the Shortcut tab.

Step 3: Select the Shortcut key box, and then press any desired keyboard key as your shortcut to the program.

Snipping Tool

Step 4: Windows will define the new shortcut to the Snipping Tool and will also embed Ctrl + Alt as the prefix to the shortcut. If you have assigned “S” key to Snipping Tool then you need to press Ctrl + Alt + S to launch, for instance.

Step 5: Click Apply and remember your new keyboard shortcut!

Please note that you can also pin Snipping tool to the taskbar and then use the Windows key plus numerical key to launch the tool. For instance, if you pinned the Snipping tool to the extreme left of the taskbar (next to the Start icon), then you press Windows + 1 key to launch Snipping tool.


  1. Jim says

    Only works if you have local admin rights. Otherwise you need to create a shortcut on your desktop (or other location) and then update that one’s properties for the hotkey shortcut.

    Too bad the preview screen does not give you any options to send it directly to the default printer.

  2. bfenti says

    Excellent Denis. More importantly this can be done after you press (f11) and get full screen. In my case (windows) key then (s) key then (enter). Thank you.

  3. Dennis says

    …or you could just press the Windows key, type snip and press enter. BOOM, snipping tool in less than a second. No need to fumble around with creating shortcut keys.

    The comment about hitting esc to capture menus is a good one, thanks.

  4. Beavis says

    That’s pretty awesome. I was going to buy Snag-It because of the shortcut key but now I won’t have to. Thanks!

  5. Try These Guys says

    Hmm is anyone else encountering problems with the pictures on
    this blog loading? I’m trying to find out if its a problem on my end or if it’s the blog. Any feed-back would be greatly appreciated.

  6. Nikole says

    Do you have to download the Snipping Tool or something? Ive gone to the “Search Progams” but its not in there! Somebody plese help me out.

  7. unemployed loser says

    I also use snipping tool a lot and currently with Srv2008R2 which i use my main OS due to learning purposes.

    Anyhow, there seems to be one little functionality issue with saving picture from snipping tool.

    I try to use keyboard as much as possible and have habit to save files with CTRL+S or opening “save as” dialog with ALT+F, A or CTRL+S etc.

    Now from snipping tool after “save as” dialog is open “ALT+S” keyboard combination does NOT save the file. It does nothing -and S is underlined under word “Save” like they normally do.
    That just won’t work.

    Now saving from keyboard without using mouse is possible (when Save as dialog is just opened) with pressing TAB four times and after that S without ALT. Or Enter.

    I wouldnt use Enter because it requires user to be more carefull about which button is active and following its movement aint as clear as it used to be because of W7 / 2008R2 graphics.

    Is that sequential press of TAB and S really only way?

    —final addon before pressing submit button—

    I managed to find a easy way after all but i don’t wanna cancel my post because now ppl. might benefit something from this.

    Ok. After “Save as” dialog is open its possible save the document from kb with just pressing “enter”. No ALT’s or any other combinations needed. :D

    Name of the file can be selected or unselected, it works either way.

  8. Rob says

    Also handy to know:

    Can I capture a snip of a menu, such as a shortcut menu or the Start menu?
    Yes. Here’s how:

    Click to open Snipping Tool.

    Press Esc, and then open the menu that you want to capture.

    Press Ctrl+PrtScn.

    Click the arrow next to the New button, select Free-form Snip, Rectangular Snip, Window Snip, or Full-screen Snip from the list, and then select the area of your screen that you want to capture.

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