Cool Tools 1: Snipping Tool

Let’s start out this blog with a continuation of a series we started at Function1, Cool Tools.  For this feature, I’ll occasionally add tools I use on a regular basis that have some sort of relevance to WebCenter Interaction (aka Plumtree Portal, aka AquaLogic User Interaction, aka ALUI – yeah, we’re all in a perpetual state of adopting the new names since BEA aquired Plumtree and Oracle acquired BEA).

Today’s featured app is a simple one but I’m still always surprised at the number of screen shots I get where people hit “print screen”, then paste that screen capture into Word, then attach that Word document to an email.

There’s a better way!  In Vista and Windows 7, you can use Microsoft’s “Snipping Tool” to quickly capture selected areas of your screen to the clipboard.  Just run C:\windows\system32\SnippingTool.exe (I add a shortcut to the app in my Quick Launch bar for easy access), and you’ll never be far from a quick and easy way to take screen captures.

Once you launch the tool, you’ll get a simple interface:


… and the screen will “grey out”.  Then, you just highlight what part of the screen you want to copy and the Snipping Tool will automatically copy the image to your clipboard.  Go to an email in Outlook and click paste (or hit CTRL-V), and viola! – you’ve got a screen image of only the relevant part of the screen you’d like to share. 

The really cool thing is you can highlight text and draw arrows on the screen cap to point out areas of the snapshot you’re referring to, and Snipping Tool will automatically update the image on the clipboard.


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