The Microsoft Snipping Tool, move over copy/paste

Use the right tool for the job.

This seems like an obviously true statement. Yet, we often keep doing things the same way we always have, even when the circumstances have changed. Things change and I do too, just not at the same pace. I have used the copy/paste technique at my computer for years. And it has served me well, but I'm saying hello to the new tool in my toolbox, the Microsoft Snipping Tool. Okay, it's not so new, just new to me.

Many of us know how to use copy/paste. Including this librarian. I'm not a fast typist or even an accurate typist, especially when it comes to long series of numbers. Countless times of day, I select a specific section of text or image from a document, web site, online catalog and then copy/paste that selection into another document or program.

In fact, I just used copy/paste to include this picture.

Recently, my tried and true copy/paste technique failed me. I needed to print just one page of a multipage online handbook. The handbook would not allow printing of only one page and it wouldn't let me select one page to copy/paste and then print. Failure. How did I manage to get a copy of the one page?

Meet my new friend the Microsoft Snipping Tool. I had heard about the Snipping Tool before, but never had the reason to use it. My need to print that one page forced me to push past my resistance and learn something new. Now I use it all the time.

Microsoft Snipping Tool icon

In fact, it has pride of place as a shortcut on my task bar.

How is the snipping different from the copy/paste method? The copy/paste method takes a selected area from a document or webpage and duplicates it in another. The Snipping Tool takes a screenshot of your desktop or window and allow you to manipulate the screenshot. Taking as much or as little of the screenshot as you want. You can add to it. Creating something new, which you can print, email or save.

I used the Snipping Tool to snip the top half of a screenshot from the Des Plaines Library catalog. 

I used the red pen that the Snipping Tool provides to point out where the library user can log In for access to her account. I can now email this image to the library user who wants to know how to access her account. In blue I circled one of my favorite books from 2013.

The Microsoft Snipping Tool is on PCs with the Window 7 or higher operating systems. Want to know more about it? Check out this 50 second instuctional video from Microsoft.

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