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Snip That Screen

Remove the Snipping Tool's selection box from your screen capture by unchecking this option.
Remove the Snipping Tool's selection box from your screen capture by unchecking this option.
When you need to capture all or part of a computer screen, try Vista's new Snipping Tool. The program is ready to capture when you click Start, All Programs, Accessories, Snipping Tool, so select Cancel if your screen isn't ready yet. By default the Snipping Tool shows the area it will capture in a red outline, and it even includes that outline in the final picture. To nix the outline, click the Options button and uncheck Show selection ink after snips are captured at the bottom of the dialog box. Click OK.

To capture all or part of your screen, click the New button, or choose an option from the button's drop-down menu. The default 'Free-form Snip' is handy if you want to draw a circle or other shape around an area to capture. 'Window Snip' lets you point at a specific window, dialog box, or some other desktop elements to capture them; click when the ones you want are outlined. If the small Snipping Tool window is in the way, minimize it and press <Ctrl>-<Print Screen>.

After you grab the shot, you can annotate it with the program's pen or highlighter tools. Click the Send Snip button (or choose an option from its drop-down menu) to create an e-mail showing the capture or containing it as an attachment. You can also click File, Save As to save the snip as a JPEG, GIF, or PNG.

To save your captures as .bmp files, or if the Snipping Tool doesn't meet your capture needs for some other reason, check out this month's Windows Toolbox.

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