Have you discovered the snipping tool?

This is a quick post for those teachers who, like me until a few weeks ago, have no idea about the existence of the ‘snipping tool’, a small utility available in Windows Vista onwards. In Mac OS a similar program exists called ‘Grab’.

Teachers often use screenshots to show examples of work, to introduce online learning tools, or to show images. Up until recently using an image from the internet or creating an image from the computer screen involved me taking a screen shot, pasting that screenshot into a paint program, cropping the screen image to select only the part of the image that I wanted, then copying and pasting the new image into its final destination.

Many of you may already know about the ‘snipping tool’. Indeed, it has been around for almost a decade, so I do feel a little silly. Nevertheless, I will risk embarrassment to share this tool with those of you who haven’t found it yet. Because, it quite literally has saved me so much time. I can’t count the number of times I have used it just today!

The snipping tool will allow you to select part of your screen, and automatically creates an image. So here is a screen shot of my desktop with lots of things open that I don’t want anyone to see. Before, this was only the first step in the process.


If you can’t find the snipping tool, make a search on your computer and open it up.


Then, press ‘new’ and select the text that you want to copy.


The program will create a new image which is ready to copy or save, and doesn’t include any of the background information that you don’t want, so there are no more steps involved.


That’s it.

What a simple tool, but I wish I knew about it years ago! It literally would have saved me hours. Sometimes the simplest things can make such a big difference.



*Did you know about the snipping tool (or Grab)?
*What do you use the snipping tool for?
*Do you have any other small tech tips that might help teachers save time?

Add to the discussion in the comments below,
or in our Facebook comments.


2 thoughts on “Have you discovered the snipping tool?

  1. Pingback: How did I not know that?! - A selection of the most useful shortcut keys - DreamreaderDreamreader

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