In Windows XP and previous versions of Windows, taking a snapshot of a window, part of the screen, or full screen was a tedious job. One had to first press the Print Screen key on the keyboard, open the Paint program and then press Ctrl + V hotkey to paste the snapshot. Users who wanted advanced options 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 Windows 7, Windows 8/8.1 and the latest Windows 10 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.
Every time, we need to either go through the Start menu or enter the search keyword in the Start menu search to launch it. Wouldn’t it be cool if it was possible to run the Snipping Tool with the help of a keyboard shortcut?
UPDATE: There are over 9 useful Snipping Tool keyboard shortcuts in Windows 10.
Keyboard shortcut to launch the Snipping Tool in Windows
Yes, you can create a keyboard shortcut to launch the Snipping tool in Windows 10/7. To create a keyboard shortcut for Snipping Tool, use the simple procedure given below:
Instructions for Windows 10 (scroll down for Windows 7 instructions)
Step 1: If you are on Windows 10, navigate to Start > Windows Accessories, right-click on Snipping Tool entry, click More, and then click Open file location to open Windows Accessories folder.
Step 2: Right-click on Snipping Tool shortcut, click Properties.
Step 3: Under the Shortcut tab, select the field next to Shortcut key field, and then enter a keyboard shortcut that you would like to use to launch Snipping Tool. Note that Windows automatically adds Ctrl + Alt as prefix. So it’s wise to use a shortcut such as Ctrl + Al + S as the keyboard shortcut.
Tip: Please note that you can also pin the Snipping Tool shortcut to the taskbar and then use the Windows key and 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.
Instructions for Windows 7
Step 1: Go to Start > All programs > Accessories. Right-click on Snipping Tool and select Properties.
Step 2: Move to the Shortcut tab. Select the Shortcut key box, and then press any desired keyboard key as your shortcut to the program.
Step 3: 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 4: Click the Apply button. Don’t forget the new keyboard shortcut!
Windows Key + Shift + S
Gives you the built in Snipping Tool without having to do all of this anymore.
Do you know what the shortcut is to “Send Snip” – havent been able to find it anywhere…
Thank you for all the other tips, though…
I use this tool a lot. In Windows 7 I used to have a shortcut (F1) for the tool. Whenever I pressed F1 the cut function was activated and I could cut whatever I wanted to the clipboard.
In Windows 10 I did the same. I’ve created the same shortcut. But now something is different. When i press F1 the app opens, but I have to do an additional click on the “New” button to activate cut. When you do this a lot of times is just a waste of time and one more click on my tendinitis. Is there a way to get the former behavior?
what is “Start in” option which is on the top of “Short cut key” option in snipping tool properties
Kel Mohror says
Thank you for your insight to a shortcut for snipping! You improved my productivity.
New user 24 says
Quote by New User:
“With the latest Windows 10 Creatures Update Version 1703, you can simply do (Windows Key + Shift + S).
It will not bring the snipping panel, but it will allow you to take a quick snip without needing to type on the start menu.”
New User, U da real MVP.
New User says
With the latest Windows 10 Creatures Update Version 1703, you can simply do (Windows Key + Shift + S).
It will not bring the snipping panel, but it will allow you to take a quick snip without needing to type on the start menu.
Yeah it works, but I was looking for a shortcut to actually take or trigger the program and get the screen shot like Mac does, this instruction only work to active the program but you still need to manually take the shot!
Have MS OneNote running in the background. Then you can use Windows + S.
You probably haven’t created a shortcut to Snipping Tool.
There is no shortcut Tab available for me in Windows 10. Am I missing something?
susan smith says
My apps listed below the arrow button – does not list the Snippit app ? Why?
buck dharma says
In windows10, MS made significant changes to the snipping tool. it still works but they removed some functionality that i used quite a bit for creating diagrams for training manuals.
In W7, it was possible to perform ONLY the following steps:
1. Hold down WinKey and press “s” and release
—–result: screen goes grey, cursor changes to plus (+) sign
2. left-click/hold/drag over the area of the screen to be captured and release
—–Result: screen returns to normal, image selected is copied to clipboard
3. switch to or open document (email, MS Word, etc) and paste (ctrl+V)
very simple and fast.
But now, you have to create a different shortcut and they automatic creation of a new snip is not configurable, so you have to click New, automatic closing of the dialog box is not configurable, so you have to manually close it.
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.
The advice on capturing context menus is fantastic – thank you!
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.
…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.
That’s pretty awesome. I was going to buy Snag-It because of the shortcut key but now I won’t have to. Thanks!
Pictures are loading fine here. Try opening the site in any other browser.
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.
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.
Oh once you are in the menu, Alt-S works for me… are you in windows 7 64bit like me?
Try “ALT-A” and “A” to [save As]
It’s the A that’s underlined not the S
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.
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.
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.