Saturday, April 21, 2012

Microsoft’s Greatest Application: The Invention of the Snipping Tool

Microsoft deserves an award for their best application invention to date, the Snipping Tool. It’s very useful in helping capture a screenshot or image intended for later use.

What is the Snipping Tool?
The Snipping Tool is an application that works as a screen capture tool. It allows computer users to take screenshots (commonly known as snips).

The Snipping Tool was originally released in November, 2002 as a power toy for the Tablet PC. Since then, it has been installed in Windows Vista, Windows 7, and the Experience Pack for Windows XP Tablet PC 2005 Edition.

The following snips can be taken:
  • Open window: Choose either a window or dialog box that you want to capture a screenshot of.
  • A free-form: Draw a free-form shape around any object.
  • Rectangular: Form a rectangle shape by dragging the cursor around an object.
  • An entire screen: Take a screenshot of an entire screen.
Besides the types of snips you can take, there are several other advantages to using the Snipping Tool.
For instance, after your snip is taken, it’s copied into the clipboard so you can then paste it straight into an email or document. Our clients often use it to show problems they are experiencing on their computer to make support easier for us to provide.

In addition, you have the option of saving, annotating, or sharing your snippet with others via an email. You can also either remove or change the outline’s ink color that was used in capturing the snip.
Snips can be saved in the following formats: PNG, GIF, JPEG, MHT

Overall, the Snipping Tool is a basic screen capture application that is actually very simple to use and I find a use for it on most days. While it may not impressively meet the features required by professional technology writers, your average, computer user will find very handy.

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