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Using Windows Snipping Tool with Word

Monday, January 10th, 2011 by | Filed Under: MS Office Help, MS Word, Uncategorized

In Windows 7, when using the Snipping tool, (one of the greatest features of Win 7), I can copy the snippet OK and place it in MS Word, but I cannot place the object right or center nor can I text wrap around the object. Any ideas?

Back in the days before the introduction of Windows 7 and Vista, if you wanted to take a picture of your screen, and then insert it into a Word 2007 document, you would have to jump through a gamut of virtual hoops. Usually the process would go something like this: Press the Print Screen key, open Microsoft Paint, Adobe Photoshop, or a similar image editor, paste your image into said image editor, crop and/or re-size as needed, export image from image editor to a Word friendly format, and finally paste into Word; at which point an adventure in proper image alignment would promptly begin. Thanks to Microsoft’s recently introduced Snipping tool however, creating a screen capture for import into Word (or any other word processor for that matter) has become a much easier task to undertake.

One of the newest features to be introduced by Microsoft into their Windows operating system in the past few years, the Snipping Tool provides a simple interface with which to capture, and save screen shots in Windows 7. Best of all, it adds a feature which allows you to draw an outline around only the parts of your screen which you wish to capture; eliminating the need to crop your screen shot in a third party image editing program prior to saving/exporting it into Word, as was required in past versions of Windows.

Simply turn on the Snipping tool in your Start menu, drag your mouse to draw a box around the part of the screen you wish to capture, and the Snipping tool will process your screen shot and present you with a preview window showing your latest capture. It’s at this point where, for some, the aforementioned “adventure in image alignment” of your Snipping tool screen capture within Microsoft Word begins.

As Word 2007 has a somewhat complicated user interface, especially for those whom have just recently migrated from using earlier versions of Word, or another word processor such as Open Office, lining up an image in your .docx document can seem to be quite the daunting task. However, simply follow these steps and you will become a Word screen capture alignment pro in no time!

Step 1. Perform your screen capture with the Snipping tool as normal. When the Snipping tool screen capture preview window appears, click the “Save Snip” button and save your screen capture Snippet somewhere safe and easy to remember (i.e. your Desktop.)

While you could simply “copy” the screen shot Snippet to your clipboard, if something goes wrong (i.e. you mistakenly “copy” something else, or your system freezes) you will lose your screen capture Snippet, and will have to recreate your screen shot using the Snipping tool all over again. Saving your screen capture Snippet will allow you to avoid having to re-do everything in the event a problem arises.

Step 1-1. For maximum compatibility, choose to save your screen capture Snippet as a .JPG file in the Save as Type drop down menu when saving your file.

Step 2. Open the Word document which your screen capture Snippet will be inserted into.

Step 3. Drag and drop your screen capture Snippet into your Word document, at approximately the position where you would like it to be displayed.

Typically your screen capture Snippet will displace your text in ways you do not want, and may actually appear somewhere completely different from where you were hoping to drop it. If this happens, simply drag (again) your screen capture Snippet as near as possible to where you would like to display it.

Step 4. Once your screen capture Snippet is near its intended position, mouse over your image and right click it to bring up the Word image options context menu.

Step 5. In the Word image option context menu, mouse over “Text Wrapping.” In the fly out menu which appears, select “Square.” You will see your screen capture Snippet re-align itself so that text now wraps (or “flows”) around it.

Step 6. Now that the text is wrapping around your screen capture Snippet, you may want to re-align your image so that the text wraps in a different direction (to the right, left, center, etc.) To do so, left click your image once and select the Format tab from the top menu.

Step 7. Click the Align icon, and select the alignment type (Left, Right, Center, Top, Bottom, or Middle) which you would like to use. The position of your screen capture Snippet will change accordingly.

Once you have found the proper wrapping and alignment options for your screen capture Snippet, you are ready to save your document and celebrate your new found screen capture Snippet alignment knowledge. Enjoy!

~J. Conboy

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3 Responses to “Using Windows Snipping Tool with Word”

  1. Ron says:

    Great tip.

    The “next step” in this tip is Office 2010. 2010 introduces a screen capture tool to the Ribbon: Insert tab / Illustrations group / Screenshot drop down. It provides nice clean captures of application windows and click and drag screen clips.

  2. colin joyce says:

    Have been an ardent reader or your material for years, loved what i learned but just have to comment on this tip. WHY does everyone make PrintScreen,Inserting, selecting, and Copy & Paste seem arduous and want you to paste the job into some image editor and then edit it etc before putting it where you need it? I do Print Screen, Insert picture, and C & Paste very regularly and all I have done for the past 12 years is do the C & Paste or whichever, put the cursor in the site where I want it, click Paste or Ctrl + V, and do the editing and wrapping there. Very simple, quicker and efficient. I currently use Win7 & Office 2007. Regards, Colin

  3. Tom Prochaska says:

    Although your points are well taken regarding Snippets in Windows 7, you do a dis-service to those of us still using XP for whatever reason. Once you find a picture to paste into your Word 2007 doc., whether it’s obtained by hitting “CTRL”+ “PRNT SCRN” or you copied a jpg or whatever, there is NO NEED to go to a 3rd party graphics program. I paste the pic right into my WORD doc, click on the picture to show the handles, at which time a “picture” ribbon appears at the top. Click on “Crop”, and the “resize” handles become “Cropping” handles. Once properly cropped, right clicking on the picture will open the pop up menu, where you can change the method of text wrapping to whatever you desire. By the way, you can also accomplish the same thing in WORD 2003-97.

    Thanks for the tips, and for listening,

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