Free Screen Capture Utility: Snipping Tool, You Don’t Need SnagIt or Jing

If you have Windows Vista, you have a free screen capture utility at your fingertips called Snipping Tool. image Microsoft includes this with every copy of Vista. I discovered it accidentally when looking through my list of built-in accessories.

It’s very simple to use. Bring up the program (I go to the start button and type in snipping tool). It will instantly come up. There are only three menu items:

  • New (options of capture areas of Free-form Snip, Rectangular Snip, Windows Snip and Full-screen Snip)
  • Cancel
  • Options – among other things, you can select a different color border around your snip (default is red), or no border at all


After you’ve selected your text, screen shot, or whatever, then copy and paste it into your document, blog, etc. There’s even an option to email your snip to someone. You can also choose to save your snip to your hard drive in various graphic formats. Other useful tools included are a highlighter, eraser and pen for you to add to or enhance your screen capture.

This is a great tool for grabbing a snapshot of something on the web – no more trying to copy and paste something and have it look awful in your email or page.

I was using Jing, which is a free download. I liked it, but my computer had several freeze-ups after installing it. I read a bit about it and people were saying it was using a lot of bandwidth. I believe they’ve corrected this, but I decided to remove it from my system.

Another screen capture tool is SnagIt, by TechSmith. You can try it on a trial basis; cost is $49.95. It has more features than the above free versions.

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