Add text to Snipping Tool (Snip & Sketch) in Windows and more

The Windows Snipping Tool or Snip & Sketch as it used to be called, is a useful way to grab screenshots and annotate them, but how do you add text? Here’s how and how to enable other features.

One of the most requested features for Windows Snipping Tool (was Snip & Sketch) is to enable text to be added to an image. People want to have a text cursor and to enter text using the keyboard. You can write with a mouse and pen, but it looks aweful.

This is a major limitation for people that want to annotate images they screenshot. In fact, the tool is lacking in other useful features like the ability to draw arrows.

There is no way to add these features and it is up to Microsoft to build them into Snip & Sketch and release it as an update. Until then, there is a workaround of sorts and you can add text, arrows and other shapes if you need to.

Add text and arrows to Snipping Tool screenshots

Take a screenshot with Snipping Tool and then click the three dots in the top right corner of the window to open the menu.

Windows Snipping Tool menu.
Open the menu in the Snipping Tool

Select Open with and a list of apps is displayed. The list depends on what apps you have installed on your computer, so it may not be exactly like mine. Select Paint and then click the Just once button.

Open a Snipping Tool screenshot with another app.
Open With menu in Snipping Tool

Paint opens the screenshot and you have a useful collection of tools for annotating the image. Select the Text tool and enter text, add arrows and other shapes. When you have finished, click File, Save as and save it to disk. (Don’t click Save.)

A Snipping Tool screenshot opened in Paint in Windows.
Open screenshots in Paint to add text

OK, this isn’t exactly using Snipping Tool to enter text, but it is very easy and accessing Paint’s great collection of annotation tools is just two clicks away.

Customize Snipping Tool

There are some useful features in the Windows Snipping Tool that you may not have discovered. Open Snipping Tool and click the three dots in the top right corner to show the menu and then select Settings.

You can see that I have select dark mode for the interface. This is purely a personal preference, but try it, you might like it.

Windows Snipping Tool settings.
Add a border to Snipping Tool screenshots

Scroll down the settings and there is an option to add a border to each screenshot. Once again, this is personal preference. Turn it on if you want it, draw the slider to set the thickness in pixels and click the color chip to select a color for the border.

Save screenshots to multiple windows

In the last screenshot, just above the add border… setting is Multiple windows. This is a useful feature because it enables you to take several screenshots and then view them all in separate windows. It is also a bit confusing at first.

Enable Multiple windows in Snipping Tool settings and take some screenshots. You will not see multiple windows.

Save screenshots to separate windows in Snipping Tool.
Screenshots in multiple windows with Snipping Tool

However, move the mouse over the icon in the taskbar and thumbnails of the windows containing the screen grabs are displayed. Click them to open them on the desktop. Screenshots are saved to mininized windows. This makes sense and it is so you can take multiple screenshots without them getting in the way of what is on the screen that you are screenshoting.

Snipping Tool on Start

Press WIndows key then S to open Snipping Tool
Snipping Tool on the Start menu

Here is a quick way to take a screenshot with the Snipping Tool. Tap the Windows key (or click the Start button), and press ‘s’. Snipping Tool is suggested and there are options to take a screenshot now, in 3, 5 or 10 seconds. It could be useful.

Snipping Tool and the Print screen key

Snipping Tool can be accessed by pressing the Print screen key on the keyboard. This changes the way the key has worked since, well, forever. Some people do not like it, but I find it useful. However, it can be changed.

Set Snipping Tool to run when the Print Screen key is pressed.
The function of Print Screen key in Windows Settings

Press Windows+I to open the Settings app and select Accessibility in the sidebar. Click Keyboard and then look for the switch Use the Print screen key to open Snipping Tool. Turn it on, turn it off, it is up to you. I like it on.

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