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Open the Windows Snipping Tool With a Keyboard Shortcut

Launch Snipping Tool With a Windows Keyboard Shortcut

To access the built-in Snipping Tool in Windows 10 or 11, use the Windows+Shift+S keyboard shortcut.

When you press those keys, your screen will darken to indicate that the tool is active. You’ll notice five icons at the top of your screen, four of which allow you to select the shape of your screenshot.

Here’s what clicking each icon does, from left to right:

  • Rectangular Snip: This is the default option, and it takes rectangular snapshots.
  • Select Freeform Snip if you want to capture screenshots in a freeform manner.
  • Window Snip: This option grabs the whole window of a specified app that is running on your computer.
  • Fullscreen Snip: This takes a screenshot of your full screen, including all open windows and the taskbar.
  • Close Snipping: Select this option to close the tool if you do not want to snap a screenshot.

Select an image shape.

When you take a screenshot, Snipping Tool displays a notification in the bottom-right corner of your screen. Click this notification to launch Snipping Tool with all of its functionality.

2 snipping tool screenshot notification

Useful Keyboard Shortcuts for Windows’ Snipping Tool

In addition to a keyboard shortcut for opening Snipping Tool, there are several shortcuts for accessing the tool’s capabilities.

When Snipping Tool is active, here are a few useful shortcuts you might want to use:

  • Ctrl+N: This is used to take a new screenshot.
  • Ctrl+S: Use this shortcut to save your current screenshot in the folder and file format of your choice.
  • Ctrl+C: Copies the current screenshot to the clipboard.
  • Ctrl+P: This option allows you to print your screenshot.

Snipping Tool shortcuts.

And that’s how you open Windows’ built-in screen capture tool to make and edit your screenshots. Very useful!

Besides Snipping Tool, both Windows 10 and 11 also have other ways to take screenshots. Feel free to use whatever method that’s convenient for you.

Note: On Windows 10, Windows+Shift+S launches Snip and Sketch, but on Windows 11, it launches Snipping Tool. The original Snipping Tool is a legacy program introduced in Windows Vista that continued to exist in Windows 7 before being superseded by Snip and Sketch in Windows 10. Despite being replaced, the Snipping Tool is still widely used, and both the Snipping Tool and Snip and Sketch are generally referred to as “Snipping Tool.” With the release of Windows 11, Microsoft merged the legacy Snipping Tool and Snip and Sketch into a new application also called Snipping Tool. The new Snipping Tool has a user interface similar to the legacy snipping tool, but with all of Snip and Sketch’s bells and whistles.




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