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How to use the Snipping Tool with keyboard shortcuts on Windows 10

Long before Microsoft added Snip & Sketch to Windows 10, before the Win+Print Screen feature was added, there was the Snipping tool. It’s been a part of Windows for a long time though, with the arrival of Snip & Sketch, it’s days are numbered. The tool is still present on Windows 10 1903 but each time you open it, it tells you that it’s nearing its end of life. That said, the tool is still there for now and lacking a quick way to open it. Here’s how you can use the Snipping tool with keyboard shortcuts.

Snipping tool keyboard shortcuts

In order to run the Snipping tool, you normally have to run its EXE from your Windows drive, or you can use Windows Search to open it. There’s no quick way to open it. SnipKey is a free, open source app that lets you run the tool with a keyboard shortcut.

The keyboard shortcuts allow you to define what sort of screenshot you want to take i.e., full screen, active window, or select area. SnipKey is basically an AutoHotKey script packaged as an app. Download and run it.

It’s shortcuts are;

  • Win+\: Select area
  • Win+Shift+\: Fullscreen snip
  • Win+Ctrl+\: Active window

The app doesn’t offer any customization options which means there’s no way to change the keyboard shortcut however, if you go to the app’s Github page, you can download the AutoHotKey script that it uses, and modify the shortcuts in it. You will then have to run the script and it will work the same as the app.

VirusTotal Scan

We should mention that this app was detected as malicious by six anti-virus apps when run through VirusTotal. It may have to do with the fact that the app is basically a script packaged as an app. While this isn’t malicious in itself, it’s enough to raise a few alarms. If you’re apprehensive about using this app, you can download the script and use it instead. You can also examine it to make sure it isn’t doing anything it shouldn’t.

SnipKey will work as long as the Snipping Tool is still part of Windows 10. When it is eventually removed from the OS, and Microsoft doesn’t offer any way to get it back, SnipKey will no longer be of any use. It’s not clear just when the app will be removed but it’s unlikely to make it to 2021. The Snip & Sketch tool is already there to take its place and it is more capable than the Snipping tool.

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