The Snipping Tool is a free utility for capturing screenshots that is bundled with some versions of Microsoft Windows, including all editions of Windows 7 other than Starter and Home Basic. It also allows users to annotate screenshots made using the software before they are saved or sent via email.
Popular uses for the Snipping Tool include taking screenshots of recipes and news stories found online. It is also useful when seeking troubleshooting advice from other people online.
Designed for basic screen-capture purposes, Snipping Tool can take four kinds of screenshots, which it calls "snips." In Free-Form Snip mode, users trace an outline on the screen around the area they want to snip using a pen-like cursor, allowing users to exclude areas of the screen they don't want others to see. Rectangular Snip mode allows users to capture a rectangular section of the screen by clicking and dragging a box across the portion of the screen they want to capture. Window Snip mode lets the user select a specific window on her screen to capture. Lastly, Full-screen Snip mode captures the entire screen as one large image.
The program displays screenshots in a preview window after they are captured. Users can then use the Pen and Highlighter tools to annotate images and guide viewers to specific details. Once satisfied with their screenshots, users can save them as JPEG, PNG, BMP or HTML files or attach them into an email for sending over the Internet.