Windows 10’s October 2018 Update brings a modern screenshot tool to Windows 10. A new keyboard shortcut lets you screenshot part of your screen, and add annotations.

How This New Screenshot Tool is Different

There are many ways to take screenshots on Windows 10. You can press Windows+Print Screen (some keyboards label this key “PrtScn” or “Print”) to save a screenshot as a PNG file to your Pictures\Screenshots folder, press the Print Screen key by itself to copy your entire screen (or Alt+Print Screen for just the active Window) to your clipboard so you can paste it somewhere, or launch the Snipping Tool and use it to snip parts of your screen.

In the October 2018 Update, another keyboard shortcut opens a new screenshot tool that lets you snip parts of your screen or the entire screen to your clipboard. It also adds a new “Snip & Sketch” application, originally named “Screen Sketch,” that lets you annotate these screenshots.

RELATED: How to Screenshot on Windows 10

How to Use the New Clipping Tool

To use the new clipping tool, press Windows+Shift+S. On the April 2018 Update and earlier versions of Windows 10, this opens an interface that lets you select a section of your screen and copy just that section to your clipboard. But, on the October 2018 Update, you’ll see a new screenshot bar at the top of your screen.

The bar has four buttons. From left to right, they are Rectangular Clip, Freeform Clip, Fullscreen Clip, and Close.

To take a clip of just a rectangular section of your screen, click the “Rectangular Clip” button, and then drag to select a section of your screen.

To take a clip of a section of your screen that isn’t rectangular, click “Freeform Clip” on the bar, and then click and drag on your screen to draw the area you want to clip.

To take a screenshot of your entire screen, click the “Fullscreen Clip” button. Or, if you don’t want to take a screenshot, you can click the “Close” button or just press the Esc key on your keyboard.

The screenshot you take is copied to your clipboard instead of being saved as a file on your computer. You can paste the screenshot into any application that supports image files by clicking the “Paste” button or by pressing Ctrl+V.

If you have the October 2018 Update’s new Clipboard History feature enabled, you can press Windows+V to view a history of the screenshots you’ve taken, along with any other items you’ve copied to your clipboard.

You also can make the new screenshot tool appear when you just press the Print Screen key on your keyboard, too. To do so, head to Settings > Ease of Access > Keyboard. Enable the “Use the Print Screen key to launch screen snipping” option.

This convenient shortcut is off by default, but you can always press Windows+Shift+S to launch this tool on any Windows 10 PC after the October 2018 Update rolls out to everyone.

How to Use the New Snip & Sketch Tool

You’ll see a notification appear when you take a screenshot with the clipping tool. This notification is also available in the Action Center. To open the screenshot you just took in the Snip & Sketch application, originally named Screen Sketch, click the notification.

You can also open the Snip & Sketch tool from your Start menu, where it appears as a normal application in your list of installed apps.

Snip & Sketch offers a number of basic tools for working with screenshots. You’ll find Ballpoint Pen, Pencil, Highlighter, Eraser, Ruler, and Crop options for annotating and editing your screenshot. There are also Undo and Redo buttons.

You can take more screenshots from here by clicking the “New Snipping” icon at the left side of the toolbar, or you can click the “Open File” option to open any image file. When you’re done, you can use the “Save As” button to save your image as a file, the “Copy” button to copy it back to your clipboard for easy pasting, or the “Share” button to send it to another app.

And, because this application supports Sets tabs, you could work with multiple screenshots in the same window, with each having its own separate tab. Unfortunately, those tabs have been delayed and they didn’t make it into the final October 2018 Update.

RELATED: How to Use Sets in Windows 10 to Organize Apps Into Tabs

This application is based on the Screen Sketch tool that was originally built into the Windows Ink Workspace, which was intended for Windows users with stylus pens. Snip & Sketch is still useful if you have a pen, but anyone can use it for annotations—even if you just have a mouse or touch screen.

RELATED: How to Use (or Disable) the Windows Ink Workspace on Windows 10

Profile Photo for Chris Hoffman Chris Hoffman
Chris Hoffman is Editor-in-Chief of How-To Geek. He's written about technology for over a decade and was a PCWorld columnist for two years. Chris has written for The New York Times and Reader's Digest, been interviewed as a technology expert on TV stations like Miami's NBC 6, and had his work covered by news outlets like the BBC. Since 2011, Chris has written over 2,000 articles that have been read more than one billion times---and that's just here at How-To Geek.
Read Full Bio »