Windows 10 tip: How to use the new Snip & Sketch app for smart screenshots

Beginning with version 1809, Windows 10 offers an expanded range of screen capture options. You can save the full screen, the active window, or a rectangular selection to a file or to the Clipboard for reuse in another app. Here's how the new tools work.
Written by Ed Bott, Senior Contributing Editor

Windows 10 finally has a complete set of screen-capture tools. After installing version 1809, you'll find a set of features that allow you to copy a rectangle, a freeform area, or the entire screen to the Clipboard, which now lets you save and reuse multiple items and even sync those clips to other devices; from the Clipboard, you can crop and annotate the screen capture (called a "snip") in the new Snip & Sketch app, and then save and share the results.


After you capture a portion of the screen, use these Snip & Sketch tools to mark it up.

Click to enlarge

(These new features are in addition to the traditional techniques based on the PrtScn key, which I explained earlier in How to capture and print a Windows 10 screen.)

Here's everything you need to know about the Snip & Sketch app and its markup tools.

  • To begin a capture, press Windows key + Shift + S. That dims the screen and adds a small toolbar at the top of the display, where you can choose to snip a rectangle, a free-form area, or the entire screen. After selecting either of the first two options, use the mouse pointer to draw the area you want to capture.
  • As an alternative, you can begin a capture from the Snip & Sketch app. Click New to display the Snip toolbar immediately, or use one of the other options to delay your capture by 3 seconds or 10 seconds, during which you can arrange the screen to show the menu or other item you want to highlight.
  • After you complete a snip, Windows displays a toast notification in the lower right corner. You can click that notification to open the item in the Snip & Sketch app. If the notification disappears before you get a chance to click it, open the Action Center and click the saved item there.

The Snip & Sketch toolbar includes Ballpoint Pen, Pencil, and Highlighter icons, with the option to customize the width and color of each tool. The icons on the far right allow you to save a snip, copy your annotated version to the Clipboard, or share it using the Windows 10 Share pane.

I'll have more on the new Clipboard in an upcoming tip.


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