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How to take and annotate screenshots on Windows 10

Sometimes the easiest way to make a copy of something is to take a snapshot of your screenWhile you can already capture your screen using your keyboard’s PrtScn button, you can now press Windows logo key  Shift S to open the new modern snipping experience (also called the snipping bar), then drag the cursor over the area you want to capture 

Here are some common ways to take and annotate screenshots in Snip & Sketch on Windows 10.

Take a screenshot

Option 1: Using the Snip & Sketch app 

  • Press the Start button and enter Snip & Sketch in the search field. 
  • Press the New button to start snipping with the snipping bar. 

 The snipping bar allows you to capture the following types of snips:  

  • Rectangular snip. Drag the cursor around an object to form a rectangle. 
  • Free-form snip. Draw a free-form shape around an object. 
  • Full-screen snip. Capture the entire screen. 

Once you snip an area of your screen — the snipped image is added to your clipboard and you can paste it immediately in another app. A screen prompt will also allow you to annotate, save or share it using the Snip & Sketch app.

Option 2: With the Print Screen key 

While the PrtScn key already captures your full screen and sends it to your clipboard, opening the snipping bar provides you with more snipping tools you can use for precise snipping. For better control of your screen capturing options, you can opt to have your PrtScn key open the new snipping bar instead of having to type Windows logo key  + Shift + S. 

To turn on the new snipping feature keyboard shortcut Select Start  > Settings  Ease of Access Keyboard 

Option 3: With the Window logo key + Shift + S shortcut 

  • Pressing the S key + Windows logo + Shift keys down initiates the snipping bar at any time.

Annotate snips with Snip & Sketch

Opening images for editing with Snip & Sketch 

To open an image from Snip & Sketch, select Open File or drag and drop an image from apps like File Explorer or Photos in the Snip & Sketch window.  

Annotating images with Snip & Sketch 

Snip & Sketch provides a few tools for annotating images, namely pen, pencil and highlighter. Once you click a tool to select ityou can click it again to change its color or thickness.   

The tools work better with a pen device, but they can also be used with mouse or touch if you select the Touch Writing button icon.

Additional tools 

  • Use the Eraser tool to remove specific strokes or click it twice to get the option to erase all ink. 
  • Use the ruler or protractor tools and draw straight lines or arches. 
  • Press the ruler/protractor button again to hide the ruler/protractor
  • Reside or rotate the ruler/protractor by using two finger touch gestures (if the Touch Writing button is selected) or with the mouse wheel. 
  • Use the crop tool to crop the annotated image.
  • To undo cropping, select the crop tool again and press Cancel to restore the image to its full original area. 

Panning the view 

Some of the images you annotate might be larger than the size of the Snip & Sketch window. You can use the scroll bars to pan the view, but you can also pan the view with touch input (if the Touch Writing button is not selected) or by dragging with your mouse button while holding the Ctrl key down.  


Zoom in and out of screenshots to make them easier to mark up using the magnifying glass icon. You can also zoom in and out of screenshots by pressing the Ctrl key down and tapping the + or - buttons. 

Sharing and saving snips 

Snip & Sketch copies the annotated snip to your clipboard when you open it and every time you make editsSnip & Sketch allows you to save the annotated image to a fileshare it or open with another appor print it on paper or to a pdf file.  

Using keyboard in Snip & Sketch 

While annotating is best done using a pen or mouse - Snip & Sketch provides a lot of keyboard shortcuts you can use. Access keys are activated if you press and hold the Alt key.  

Keyboard shortcuts to use in Snip & Sketch

 Press these keys 

 To do this 

Ctrl + N 

Create a new snip 

Ctrl + O 

Open a file  

 Shift + arrow keys 

 Move the cursor to select a rectangular snip area 

Ctrl E 

Select the eraser 

 Ctrl + P 

 Print an annotation  

 Ctrl + Z 

 Undo an annotation 

Last Updated: Nov 12, 2019

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