Not a week goes by where I don’t have the need to copy something on my screen so I can paste into an email or post on my website. I use both Windows and Mac computers and love to use free tools whenever I can. Did you know that in Windows there is a handy tool called the “Snipping Tool” that allows you to select a region on your screen that you want to copy and share with whomever? This little feature is a life saver. It doesn’t work for every circumstance (such as if you want to copy the entire web page you are viewing for instance) but it works great for many simple tasks. Let me show you how I use it.

Finding the Snipping Tool in Windows 8 and 10

If you are using Windows 8 or Windows 10, click on your start button icon so it brings up a menu.

Click on the icon directly above the start button when it appears so it displays the full menu from A to Z. (It looks like a bullet and a line repeated several times).

Windows Start Button

Scroll through you list of programs towards the bottom until you find “Windows Accessories”. Click to expand the submenu and scroll down until you see “Snipping Tool”.


Snipping Tool Location in Windows 10

The snipping tool will open and is ready for you to begin.

Snipping Tool


To select the portion of the screen to copy, click on New. The rest of your screen will dim and your cursor will turn into a large plus sign. Click and drag your mouse to highlight the region. When you’re done highlighting the area to copy, just let up on the mouse button. (If you change your mind, just hit the esc key and your screen will return to normal). If you don’t like what you selected, just click on New again and start the process over. But, if you like your screen shot, you can either save the image by clicking on the disk icon or paste it into another program like Microsoft’s freeĀ Paint to add a few extra things, like arrows (all the pictures I modified above were done simply in Microsoft Paint). To open in Paint, return to the Start Menu, click on the All Programs icon again, then scroll down until you find Windows Accessories. Inside of the Accessories, scroll down to “Paint” and click to open,

Windows Paint Location

Your image will already be saved in memory so you can easily paste into Paint. Click on the Paste icon to display your image inside of Paint. Experiment with the different tools displayed above your image to see how they work. Use the undo button in the upper left corner (next to the disk image) to undo your most recent change. When you’re done, click on Save and name your image. Now you’re ready to send your image via email or upload to your website with all your notations right on the image!

Example of Snipping Tool Image

The snipping tool is a handy feature I like to use. However, there are also other free tools I’ve enjoyed that I have to rely on when the snipping tool isn’t enough. Jing by Techsmith is a great tool for highlighting regions and it is also free (I like free whenever I can get it). Techsmith also has another tool called Snagit that I use in my browser when I want to highlight an entire webpage that doesn’t fit on one screen.

What tool do you like to use when copying text and graphics on your screen? Share in the comments below.