Screen Clips Coming to Windows 10

As part of its continued shell modernization efforts, Microsoft is working on a new way to take clips of the screen in Windows 10.

I know what you’re thinking: There are many other ways to take screen shots – err clips – of the screen in Windows today. There’s the venerable PrtSc key (and its variants). Then the Snipping Tool and its Win + Shift + S shortcut. And the shell’s Win + PrtSc (and its variants). And don’t forget Game Bar and its Win + Alt + PrtScn shortcut… Thankfully, it doesn’t appear that list is getting any longer. Instead, it appears this new clipping experience will replace the old Win32 and GDI-based Snipping Tool and take over the Win + Shift + S shortcut.

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But that’s just a hunch.

In Redstone 5 (build 17639), creating a screen clip starts with clicking a Quick Action in Action Center. The screen then dims, and a static view of all displays is shown with an overlay of buttons at the top of the primary display. These buttons control the shape of the clipping tool currently in use (rectangular or free-form), initiate a fullscreen clip, or close the experience. Other Snipping Tool-like features, such as Delay, Window snip, and ink color, are currently missing.

Drawing a path is slightly slower than Snipping Tool, but results in a thicker path with smoother edges to nice effect both on and off screen.

After you’re done, screen clips are saved to the clipboard (with proper transparent bits in free-form cases). There are no options to save to disk, however I found clips stored in the shell experience host’s temporary folder, with no sign of periodic or immediate cleanup (hopefully a bug).

Poking around under the hood, there’s no sign of integration with the upcoming Cloud Clipboard. But some hints in a previous build (17634) point to potential integration with Cortana Insights. Perhaps the thinking here is that objects in a screen clip could be detected and metadata stored for later recall – “Cortana, get me the dubious influencers article I clipped yesterday”.

We’ll keep an ear to the ground and let you know when it’s available to try out.

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Conversation 24 comments

  • kherm

    Premium Member
    06 April, 2018 - 11:04 am

    <p>Raf, I love that "Influencers" dig </p>

  • fanchettes

    06 April, 2018 - 11:05 am

    <p>Don't forget the screen sketch tool in Windows Ink. :)</p>

    • Rafael Rivera

      Premium Member
      06 April, 2018 - 11:28 am

      <blockquote><a href="#260223"><em>In reply to fanchettes:</em></a></blockquote><p>Dang it, thought I got them all too!</p>

  • Lewk

    Premium Member
    06 April, 2018 - 11:06 am

    <p>Ooh, fancy.</p>

  • Bart

    Premium Member
    06 April, 2018 - 11:29 am

    <p>Rafael, is this A/B testing? Or did you alter the registry? Not seeing it in my build (17639)</p>

  • skane2600

    06 April, 2018 - 11:35 am

    <p>Doesn't sound like it delivers the "simplicity" that is supposed to convince us that UWP is better.</p>

  • PeteB

    06 April, 2018 - 12:12 pm

    <p>&gt; <span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0);">As part of its continued shell monetization efforts</span></p><p><br></p><p><span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0);">Fixed that for ya. Unfortunately I'm not interested in MS harvesting everything I screenshot.</span></p>

  • Cosmocronos

    06 April, 2018 - 12:23 pm

    <p>I do not see it in my Action Centre; is there a way to enable it?</p><p>TIA</p>

    • Rob_Wade

      06 April, 2018 - 1:10 pm

      <blockquote><a href="#260241"><em>In reply to Cosmocronos:</em></a></blockquote><blockquote><em>Me, neither. Maybe they're A/B testing it.</em></blockquote><p><br></p>

      • Jacob Klein

        07 April, 2018 - 11:17 am

        <blockquote><a href="#260265"><em>In reply to Rob_Wade:</em></a></blockquote><p>Rafael is a smart hacker and experimenter. What you see from him, likely isn't available to be enabled by normal means!</p>

  • rmlounsbury

    Premium Member
    06 April, 2018 - 12:48 pm

    <p>I can't wait for this to get into the main stream Windows 10 build. This is one of the best tools for my users to document oddities and get me information when an error occurs. This method look slick. </p>

  • fishnet37222

    Premium Member
    06 April, 2018 - 1:46 pm

    <p>I'll stick with Snagit, TYVM.</p>

  • Winner

    06 April, 2018 - 5:26 pm

    <p>I could think of some better things to enhance.</p>

    • mackrevinack

      07 April, 2018 - 7:12 am

      <blockquote><a href="#260347"><em>In reply to Winner:</em></a></blockquote><p>i am normally the one saying this but in this case im ok with it because i hate the snipping tool and it will be one less 3rd party app that i have to install</p>

  • warren

    06 April, 2018 - 6:56 pm

    <p>Would be great if they focused less on stuff like this, and more on finishing the transition away from Control Panel.</p>

    • Tony Barrett

      07 April, 2018 - 5:54 am

      <blockquote><a href="#260356"><em>In reply to warren:</em></a></blockquote><p>Microsoft only care about features, because features attract users, and users have data and MS wants the data. Simple. Besides, Control Panel was more of a 'power users' tool, and Settings isn't, and MS don't really care about power users anymore. It's all about the masses.</p>

      • skane2600

        07 April, 2018 - 6:55 pm

        <blockquote><a href="#260398"><em>In reply to ghostrider:</em></a></blockquote><p>I think Settings purpose wasn't to keep the masses happy, but to create a UI that was more smartphone-friendly. Of course, WPs are irrelevant now but MS has been on autopilot since Windows 8 and can't seem to change course.</p>

  • FactoryOptimizr

    06 April, 2018 - 9:14 pm

    <p>This will be a welcome addition…though not as slick as the recently retired "Snip" utility within Microsoft Mix. Hopefully they'll integrate all the capabilities of snip into this new Screen Clip feature.</p>

  • MrKirbs

    Premium Member
    06 April, 2018 - 10:39 pm

    <p>Without a save to disk option this is a non-starter</p>

  • NT6.1

    07 April, 2018 - 5:06 pm

    <p>Useless. The Snipping Tool is better.</p>

  • bharris

    07 April, 2018 - 11:51 pm

    <p>Unless they can do it better than Snagit, I don't see the point. Granted, SnagIt costs but it isn't expensive and works so well that I imagine anyone that really needs to do this for anything other than just playing around is already using it. Nothing bad about adding it in but nothing to get excited about either IMHO…..</p>

  • ianhead

    09 April, 2018 - 1:17 am

    <p>Screen recording is what would really make it for me. The experience seems quite nice, though. Snipping Tool is very dated.</p>

  • CSteinblock

    09 April, 2018 - 12:26 pm

    <p>What I really need added is the ability to set an aspect ratio and be able to drag a rectangle while keeping that ratio. That would make my life better!</p>

    • Rafael Rivera

      Premium Member
      09 April, 2018 - 4:37 pm

      <blockquote><a href="#260990"><em>In reply to CSteinblock:</em></a></blockquote><p>And show the dimensions, that'd be fantastic.</p>

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