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Michael Greene

How to use the Snipping Tool to capture context menus

How to use the Snipping Tool to capture context menus

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I use this almost every day.  If you read my blog you'll notice I love screenshots and I always have a green border around them.  That comes from a setting I have applied to the Vista Snipping Tool.  Initially I was capturing good stuff but was frustrated when I did a right-click, then hit New in the Snipping Tool and the menu closed!  You can overcome this using the Print Screen button together with the Snipping Tool.

First of all, if you haven't used the Snipping Tool in Vista just hit the Windows Key or the Start Menu and type "Snipping".  It will float to the top so you can open it.  The first time it will ask you if you would like to add a shortcut to the Quick Launch menu.  Of course you do!

Now to do a capture, open the Snipping Tool, which will automatically cast a white transparency over your desktop and let you select an area to capture.  Click on the Cancel button to get your desktop back.  Do not close the Snipping Tool, just let it hang out there with the window still open.

imageNow right-click somewhere to get a context menu.  If you want to capture it, press the Print Screen button (on my HP laptop I press Ctrl+Fn+prtsc).  This will initiate a new capture in the Snipping Tool with the context menu still present.

My over-usage of this feature comes from years of doing documentation as a consultant.

Comments
  • This is "Ctrl+Print Screen" on a desktop keyboard.

  • Thanks for the tip. To think that for years I have been using 3rd party installation for this. I am happy you posted this so easy to do. Most friendly appreciated!

  • For a context-menu the secret is to hit cancel or ESC after opening the Snipping Tool. Once you have your context menu press ctrl-printscreen or ctrl-PrtScn and you will be in grabbing mode where, with your mouse, drag around the context-menu. Release and you have captured it.

  • Ctrl+Fn+prtsc worked for me! THANK YOU! Everywhere on the web it says: For a context-menu the secret is to hit cancel or ESC after opening the Snipping Tool. Once you have your context menu press ctrl-printscreen or ctrl-PrtScn and you will be in grabbing mode where, with your mouse, drag around the context-menu. Release and you have captured it. BUT THIS DID NOT WORK ON WIN 7 FOR ME.

  • Using Win 7 and it works for me, but must use the Ctrl+Fn+prtsc if using my laptop keyboard.
    Thank you - this has been driving me crazy!

  • This is amazing. I never knew this! This will help a lot. Thank you.

  • Thanks, saved me some hack work!

  • Doesnt work on my win7 64bit

  • Sorry delete my comment above, BUT you text is not accurate.
    "f you want to capture it, press the Print Screen button "
    should be
    "f you want to capture it, press the CTRL + Print Screen button"

    Yes, you do write about ctrl but that is mixed together with a hp and whatnot.

  • Works on windows 8 like a GEM!

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