Productivity Tools

How to Use a Snipping Tool

How to Use a Snipping Tool

Knowing how to use a snipping tool is a vital skill for anyone who needs to quickly share screenshots. The old method of pressing “PrintScreen”, pasting a screenshot into a document, and then copying that image onto a message is far too time-consuming for customer services agents, marketers, and freelancers who rely on efficiency and visibility in their communications with customers and team members. Snipping tools let users “snip” an area of their screen and save it as an image to share.

Although different apps use different methods, most users can follow the steps below to learn how to use a snipping tool. If you have any further questions, please check with your tool’s provider.

Scissors with cut lines

How Do I Find a Snipping Tool?

First, consider what you’re looking for in a snipping tool. Are you looking for a simple free tool that will let you capture part of your screen as a screenshot? Do you want a tool that saves your image to the cloud in order to avoid clutter on your desktop? Are you looking for a tool that integrates with your favorite productivity apps? Or one that also includes screenshot mark-up or screen recording capabilities?

For help picking the best app, check out our articles “5 Best Alternatives to Windows Snipping Tool” or “5 Best Snipping Tools for Mac“. Remember that advanced features like cloud storage and professional-level annotations will not be included in a free tool.

Once you’ve decided what clipping tool you want, simply type in the name of the tool in your favorite search engine and click on its website. If you decide that you do not need an advanced snipping tool, then consider whether your computer’s native app will work for you. If you don’t want to download a tool for Microsoft Windows, you can access a free app called Windows Snipping Tool (or Snip & Sketch on Windows 10) that can be accessed under your computer’s “Programs” folder. To learn how to use this snipping tool on Windows, check out the beginning of this article.

Windows Snipping Tool

Mac, on the other hand, does not have a built-in clipping tool like Windows. Instead of an official Mac snipping tool, Mac includes hotkeys that can operate as a screenshot app. To learn how to use these keyboard shortucts for Mac, click on this article.

How Do I Download a Snipping Tool on My Computer?

The download for your chosen clipping tool will likely be available either on the tool’s website or on an app store, such as Apple App Store or Google Web Store. Some tools will require you to choose a paid plan before downloading. Others offer custom enterprise pricing to access a number of features such as cloud storage, enhanced security, and app integrations. Once you pick and pay for your plan, you can access your tool on your desktop.

How Do I Use a Snipping Tool Shortcut?

After you download your clipping tool, it will appear as a shortcut on your desktop or web browser. For example, Droplr’s Windows snipping tool shortcut appears both on the start menu and in the pop-up box next to the time and date. The shortcut for the Chrome Extension appears next to the web address bar. 

Droplr Snipping Tool Shortcut

Droplr’s snipping tool shortcut on Google Chrome

Once you open your snipping tool shortcut, you can choose what kind of screenshot you wish to take. Most clipping tools allow for full-screen, full-window, and custom screenshots. Some even include rolling screenshots (for longer web pages) and custom-shaped screenshots that can be circles, triangles, or any other shape! If you select a custom screenshot, you will be directed to select an area of your screen to snip. Simply use your mouse to highlight the area of your screen that you want to snip. After you let go of your mouse, the tool will capture the snip. The tool will then either save the snip locally to your desktop or to the Cloud.

What Can I Do With My Snip?

Once your snip is saved, you decide how to proceed! You can mark-up your screen capture using either your snipping tool’s software or a third-party app. You can send your snip to clients, teammates, or friends using a messaging or email service or embed it into a number of apps using snipping tool integrations. Remember, you can access your snip whenever you like if it’s saved to your computer or the Cloud. Make sure you know where it’s located and how it’s stored! 

CloudApp snip annotation
Editing a Snip on CloudApp

Pros & Cons of Snipping Tools

Though snipping tools are generally useful tools, there are both pros and cons associated with them. No single tool is perfect, so the best strategy in choosing one is to consider the advantages and drawbacks of its features according to your needs.


  • Using a snipping tool saves time and increases worker productivity and efficiency
  • Screenshot tools make it easy to share information directly with your clients from your computer screen
  • Mark-up tools let you add notes or highlight vital information on your screenshots
  • Clipping tools can take full-screen screen captures or “snip” a chosen portion of your screen to turn into an image file
  • Apps that include screen record with audio capabilities let you explain what’s on your screen so you can walk customers or teammates through new products or system changes
  • Integrations with messaging, worker productivity, and image editor apps such as Slack, Discord, Gmail, and Photoshop


  • Most apps save screenshots to your computer, which can quickly fill up storage and clutter your desktop, especially for businesses that take frequent snips
  • Monthly paid plans, which are necessary for cloud storage and security features, are yet another expense that small businesses or freelancers have to consider alongside other paid plans, such as Slack
  • Some tools are not cross-compatible with both Mac and Windows
  • Clipping tools typically include fewer features and work less efficiently on mobile 

Overall, the pros of snipping tools outweigh the cons for customer support representatives, salespeople, and independent contractors who rely on apps that promote quick and efficient customer interaction.  


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