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Snipping Tool – New feature from Windows 7

I’m sure that at some point, the majority of people have wanted to, or been asked to, take a screenshot of a window, application, desktop, or error message. Windows 7 introduces the Snipping Tool – a handy application which can easily capture all of these requirements, and save the capture to file or the clipboard.

Even that image was captured using the Snipping Tool! This tool is easily available from the Start Menu > All Programs > Accessories > Snipping Tool. You can also simply type ‘snip’ into the new Windows 7 Start Menu > Search Box and the Snipping Tool will be the first result in the list. Last but not least you can simply press Windows+S to get the Snipping Tool – and that comes most handy.

The Snipping Tool has a few different options:

– Free-form Snip – Drag your mouse freely around the area you want to capture.
– Rectangular Snip – Capture a rectangular area created by dragging the mouse around the area.
– Window Snip – Select an active window to capture it in full, with no surrounding areas or background.
– Full-screen Snip – As it says, capture the whole visible screen.

Once you have ‘Snipped’, you can then save the image as a .gif, .jpg, or .png.
You can save it to the Clipboard.
You can email the image to a recipient as an attachment.
Or, you can use the Pen, Highlighter, or Eraser to indicate areas accordingly.

In general, this is a tool I’ve used a lot (especially to take these screenshots!) since I’ve had Windows 7. From am IT Support point of view, it’s handy for the users who have error messages appear on their screens and need to capture the information to send to the helpdesk.

This new utility from Microsoft definitely gets my vote. If only there was an alternative in Vista or Windows XP.

Alex Lim is a certified IT Technical Support Architect with over 15 years of experience in designing, implementing, and troubleshooting complex IT systems and networks. He has worked for leading IT companies, such as Microsoft, IBM, and Cisco, providing technical support and solutions to clients across various industries and sectors. Alex has a bachelor’s degree in computer science from the National University of Singapore and a master’s degree in information security from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He is also the author of several best-selling books on IT technical support, such as The IT Technical Support Handbook and Troubleshooting IT Systems and Networks. Alex lives in Bandar, Johore, Malaysia with his wife and two chilrdren. You can reach him at [email protected] or follow him on Website | Twitter | Facebook

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