Most of us run windows operating system on our computers (desktop, laptop). In everyday usage you come across many important things on the web or on your pc. However, you might need to note them down quickly. So taking screenshots is the fastest thing to do to save time. Thus, we tend to use the windows snipping tool a lot for that purpose. But to make the screenshot capturing process much quicker you can actually use several snipping tool shortcut key combinations. And so it will save you some time.

What is Snipping Tool?

Microsoft Screenshot Utility
Snipping Tool

Snipping Tool is a Microsoft Windows screenshot utility that came with Windows Vista and later. It takes screenshots of an open window, rectangular areas, a free-form area, or the full screen. Moreover, you can even use screen snip shortcut key functions to take screenshots quickly. Then you can annotate the snips using a mouse or tablet, save them as an image file (PNG, GIF or JPEG) or an MHTML file or e-mail them.

Snipping Tool supports basic image editing of the snaps, with colored pens, an eraser, and a highlighter. But the snipping tool shortcut key support is what makes it quite a handy tool.


In Windows 10 version 1809, a new universal app version of Snipping Tool known as Snip & Sketch was introduced (screen snip shortcut: Windows key + Shift + S). The current Snipping Tool contains a warning notice of the app’s expiration, which also advertises Snip & Sketch at the bottom.

Windows Snipping Tool Shortcut Key list

Firstly, you have to open Snipping Tool on your windows. After that, you can use these snipping tool shortcut key functions to take screenshots more quickly. So, Check out the list below.

Shortcut KeysDescription
Alt + MSelect any of the 4 snipping modes:
1. Rectangular Snip,
2. Freefrom Snip,
3. Window Snip, and
4. Fullscreen Snip.
Use the Up and Down arrow keys to select your preferred mode.
Alt + N/Ctrl + NStart a new snip with the selected snip in the previous Mode.
Ctrl + PrtScrCapture the screen with the expanded menu.
Shift or Enter (or) Shift + Arrow, then click Shift or EnterKeep mouse cursor on any option and press Shift/Enter to expand its menu. (or) Shift +Arrow to move the cursor to any option, and then press Shift/Enter to expand its menu.
Alt + DDelay the screenshot by 1-5 seconds.
Ctrl + CCopy your screenshot to clipboard.
Ctrl + SSave the screenshot.
Ctrl + PPrint the screenshot.
Ctrl + EEdit the screenshot in Paint 3D app.
Alt + FOpen File menu.
Alt + F, then click T, ESend the screenshot as an email in Outlook.
Alt + F, then click T, ASend the screenshot as an attachment in an email in Outlook.
Alt + T, then click POpen Pen menu. You can then press letter key on the keyboard to select preferred color pen, e.g. press R to select Red Pen, B to select Blue Pen, L to select Black Pen, P to select Custom Pen.
Alt + T, then click TSelect the Highlighter tool.
Alt + T, then click ESelect the Eraser tool.
Alt + T, then click OOpen the Snipping Tool Options menu.
F1Open Snipping Tool Help.
EscCancel the snipping.
Snipping tool shortcut key options

The snipping tool shortcut key combinations work when the application is open or running, otherwise they will not work. So, make sure the program is open before using the snipping tool shortcut key functions mentioned above.

Where is the Snipping Tool (in windows 10)?

There are several ways to open the Snipping Tool program, but the quickest way to launch it is to use windows search. Click on the taskbar’s search field, type in snipping tool and then click on the result shown on top. Alternatively, you can also click on Open from the right side of the flyout.

Opening the Snipping Tool on Windows 10 using Search

But, if you prefer the classic approach, open the Start Menu and access the Windows Accessories folder. And so, click on the windows Snipping Tool shortcut from the dropdown list to launch the program.

Click the windows Snipping Tool shortcut in the list to open the program
Using the windows RUN command:

Another way to launch the Snipping Tool in Windows 10 is to use the Run command. Press Windows Key + R on keyboard to quickly open Run dialog box, then type snippingtool in the input field, and then click the OK button or press the Enter key.

Launch the Snipping Tool using Run command

Windows snipping tool shortcut can also be pinned to Start menu or the Windows 10 taskbar, and so you can access the tool from there quickly.

The Windows Snipping Tool Interface

The Snipping Tool for Windows 10 has a slightly different UI (User Interface) than the one found in Windows 7. The Windows 10 Snipping Tool includes both the Mode and Delay buttons, that are not present in the Snipping Tool for Windows 7.

Windows 10 Snipping Tool

Here is what each of the main buttons does:

  • New – It initiates taking a screenshot using the selected mode.
  • Mode – However, this is available only in the Windows 10 Snipping Tool, and lets you pick what type of screenshot you want to take. In other words, You will have four modes in it (“Free-Form Snip”, “Rectangular Snip”, “Window Snip”, “Full-Screen Snip”).
  • Delay – This option is also present only in Windows 10, you can use this option to delay the screen capturing for up to 5 seconds (1-5).
  • Cancel – lets you cancel taking screenshot.
  • Options – In addition, it allows you to customize different aspects of the snipping tool app.

Using Snipping Tool to take screenshots manually

Beside using the snipping tool shortcut key combinations you can of course manually take screenshots. There are four types of modes (previously mentioned) you can use in the Snipping Tool app. Therefore, in Windows 10, you can select which one you want to use by clicking on the Mode option or the downward arrow right beside it.

Snipping Tool Modes

Each option lets you take different type of screenshots:

  • Free-form Snip – Draw an irregular shape with your mouse anywhere on the screen and after that, capture the selected area.
  • Rectangular Snip – It is the default mode which it lets you take a screenshot of a rectangular section.
  • Window Snip – Takes a screenshot of an open window or menu on the screen. And so, moving the cursor around highlights different elements which you can capture by clicking on them.
  • Full-screen Snip – It immediately captures the entire screen and so its like the old Print Screen key.

Snipping tool shortcut key for mode menu – Alt + M.

After choosing the preferred Mode, click on New and decide what you want to capture. If you decided to use one of the first two Modes, then select the area that you want, by clicking and dragging the mouse cursor. But, if you are going with the default settings, the selected area is marked by a red border while you drag.

A Free-form Snip

When you are done with your selection, release your mouse button and the captured area will be automatically opened in an editing window, where you can annotate, save or share the screenshot.


Snipping tool shortcut key to delay the screenshot up to 5 seconds – Alt + D.

Snipping Tool editing window

Editing and saving your screenshots

The editing window offers several tools for modifying your screenshot as soon as you capture one. Before saving your screenshot, you can use the Pen and Highlighter tools to draw and write on the screenshot. The Eraser tool removes the changes you make. The image below provides an overview of the available options.


Snipping tool shortcut key for,

  • Pen: Alt + T, then click P.
  • Highlighter: Alt + T, then click T.
  • Eraser: Alt + T, then click E.

On windows 10 there is an option for editing the screenshot with the new Paint 3D app (snipping tool shortcut key: Ctrl + E).

Edit screenshots with Paint 3D on windows 10

To save your screenshot, press the Save button. After that in the pop-up, select image location, type a name for the file, and choose the file type: PNG, GIF, JPEG, or HTML. Then, click Save.


Snipping tool shortcut key for saving the screenshot: Ctrl + S.

Save screenshots

By default, the Snipping Tool app saves screenshots in the Pictures folder.


In conclusion, we tried to cover all the details about the Windows Snipping Tool. Similarly, the above mentioned snipping tool shortcut key list will definitely come in handy for you. Therefore, all the screen snip shortcut keys will enable you to take screenshots and save them more quickly than the manual process. So go ahead and try them out and please comment down below to share your feedback. Moreover, let us know if you have any suggestions.

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