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This document describes how to capture images from your computer screen and save them. They can be used like any other image or picture on your computer — printed, emailed, or included in documents.

Snipping Tool or Snip and Sketch

Windows computers have a Snipping Tool app for taking pictures of the computer screen. Snip and Sketch is the newer improved version of the Snipping Tool for Windows 10.

An updated Windows 10 computer should have the Snip and Sketch app available as well as the Snip and Sketch app. If you don’t find it on your computer, you can get it for free from the Microsoft Store online. [View]

If you use the Snipping Tool app on a Windows 10 computer, you will see a notice suggesting you use the Snip and Sketch app.

If you are using a Windows 11 computer, the Snipping Tool will be similar to the Windows 10 Snip and Sketch app because Snip and Sketch is not presently available on Windows 11. In other words, Windows 11 does not include two separate similar programs for making screenshots. It only includes an improved version of the Snipping Tool.

If this sounds a bit confusing, that’s because it is. Hopefully from Windows 11 onward, there will be only one screen capture app to avoid confusion.

Using Snip and Sketch

With Windows 10, you will want to use Snip and Sketch (rather than the Snipping Tool) to capture images because it has more features.

The Snip and Sketch app will have a New button. There is a small downward pointing triangle next to the New button, which, when clicked, will reveal a drop-down menu with options for delayed screen capture. In Windows 11, the delay settings are shown separately.

After pressing the New button, you will see five options available at the top center of your screen. From left to right the options are:

  • RECTANGULAR SNIP — This option lets you draw a rectangle by using left-click-hold and drag. Begin drawing your rectangle in the top left of the area and drag down and right.
  • FREEFORM SNIP — This option allows you to draw a shape, and the contents of that shape will become the captured image. You’ll notice the software maintains the starting point of your image and highlights the inside of what will be an enclosed image.
  • WINDOW SNIP — With this option you can point to a program window, and click to capture the window and contents.
  • FULLSCREEN SNIP — The fullscreen snip option will capture your entire computer screen. This can be helpful if you would like the date and time showing with whatever you are capturing.
  • EXIT/CANCEL — There is an X to exit out and cancel the screen capture without saving.

Screen Capture Showing Date and Time

If you want to capture a program window or message, if you drag that window to the lower right area of your screen, then use the rectangular snip option, you can draw a rectangle that includes the date and time. For some situations this can be helpful. For example, if you subsequently change the file name of the captured image, the original date and time will appear in the image. Or, if you are placing the image in a support document, or printing it, the date and time can be a helpful reference.

Saving a Screen Capture Image

The screen capture program should show a diskette icon (circa 1998) as the Save button. If that icon isn’t showing, it may be hidden because the window is too small. Click on the three dots to reveal the Save option. Alternatively, you can press Ctrl + S (the control button and the letter s) to save your image.

By default, the file name will be something like: Screenshot 2021-12-12 131940

This automatic naming is helpful because the word screenshot is in the file name to remind you what type of image it is. Then the date as year, month, day will be displayed. The number at the end is hours minutes seconds in 24-hour format with no separators (HHMMSS).

Learn More

These documents are available from Microsoft:

  • “Use Snipping Tool to capture screenshots” [View]
  • Snip and Sketch in the Microsoft Store [View]

Screenshots for Apple Mac Computers, iPhone, and iPad

The image capture function on other devices is explained in the documents below:

  • Screenshots and Screen Capture Images for Apple Mac Computers [View]
  • Screenshots and Screen Image Capture for Apple iPhone and iPad [View]