Capture Screenshot with Snipping Tool Using Keyboard Only

Starting with Windows 10 Creators Update, you can capture a screenshot using only the keyboard when Snipping Tool is opened. The application got updated to support all its capture operations via keyboard shortcuts. With the new Snipping Tool, you can capture the whole screen or only a portion of the screen (region) with the keyboard.

To capture screenshot with Snipping Tool using keyboard only, do the following.

  1. Open Snipping Tool. You'll find it in Windows Accessories in the Start menu.Or you can just press Win + Shift + S to start the region capture directly.
  2. In Snipping Tool, press Alt + N. The application will allow you to select a capture type.
  3. Press Enter to confirm the capture type selection. The screen will be dimmed.
  4. Now, press Enter to start the selection and use the arrow keys on the keyboard to select a region or a window.
  5. Press Enter to confirm your selection. It will be opened in the Snipping Tool app.

That's it.

The sequence above is a bit complicated. Its use case is for some rare or extraordinary situations, for example when your mouse does not work or when you have a touch screen device without a mouse but have a keyboard connected. Then you can take a screenshot of a screen region using the keyboard only.

It is worth mentioning that Windows 10 offers you several other keyboard shortcuts to take a screenshot without using third party tools.

  • The classic PrintScreen feature since Windows 95. If you press PrintScreen on your keyboard, the entire screen's contents will be copied to the clipboard, but not saved to a file. You need to open Paint to paste and save it as a file.
  • Alt + PrintScreen shortcut key will capture a screenshot of only the active window to the clipboard.
  • Pressing Win + Print Screen will capture the entire screen and automatically save it to a file in the %userprofile%\Pictures\Screenshots folder. You can of course, open this file in Paint for editing it.
  • Pressing Win + Shift + S will allow you to capture a selected region of the screen to the clipboard.

So, what do you think about this change in the Snipping Tool app? Can you imagine a situation when the ability to capture a screenshot of the screen using only your keyboard would be useful to you? Tell us in the comments.

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Author: Sergey Tkachenko

Sergey Tkachenko is a software developer who started Winaero back in 2011. On this blog, Sergey is writing about everything connected to Microsoft, Windows and popular software. Follow him on Telegram, Twitter, and YouTube.

9 thoughts on “Capture Screenshot with Snipping Tool Using Keyboard Only”

  1. Still ain’t cuttin it for me!
    Gotta have it so it captures and lands a .png on your desktop! Period!
    Good article though! ;)

  2. “Pressing Win + Shift + S will allow you to capture a selected region of the screen to the clipboard.”

    That’s a understatement, what really happens is:
    When you press Win + Shift + S Windows open a hidden Snipping Tool window and uses the last action, if you used rectangular snip, that’s what you get with the keyboard shortcut.

    Because in my case the last action I used in the Snipping Tool was window snip, what I got with the shortcut was to take a screenshot of a window and I was lost why I got different action from what Microsoft said.
    What made me think about that was that when I used the shortcut and pressed esc to cancel I found SnippingTool.exe on my task manager even tough I wasn’t using it, and this update on the tool that Microsoft said that it works with the Win + Shift + S.

  3. Thank you for this sharing, really helpful. The Snipping Tool is a handy screen capture tool, but it can only capture the first screen instead of the full page. If you want to capture the full web-page including the scroll-down part, I’d recommend acethinker screen grabber, free and works pretty well for me.

  4. Note, for selecting a screen region with keyboard using the arrow keys – you have to either hold Shift from the point you want as one corner of the region to the point you want as the other corner, or you can press Space/Enter for each of the two corners that define it.
    You can also hold Ctrl while holding an arrow key to move the cursor faster.

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