Microsoft releases Snip Editor, a screen capture tool

Martin Brinkmann
Aug 28, 2015
Updated • Jul 1, 2018

Snip is a new Microsoft Garage project that has just been released to the public. It is a screen capture tool similar to the Snipping tool included in Windows 7 and newer versions of Windows.

The basic idea of Snip is to use it to communicate ideas which means that it ships with an editor that you can use to add annotations to the screenshot and a sharing feature on top of that.

Snip adds a small bar to the top of the screen which displays all provided options on hover. You may use the icons displayed there to create a new capture, open the editor directly and to open past captures.

Note: Microsoft retired Snip Editor in May 2018 and recommends Windows Ink Workspace as an alternative. Windows Ink Workspace is only available on Windows 10, however.

A click on the capture button activates a cross hair that acts as a cursor during the capture. Windows are detected automatically by the cursor and you may capture those (only the visible part) with a single-click. The other option is to draw a rectangle on the screen using the left mouse button to capture only that area.

The captured image is loaded in the editor afterwards. You may save it right away to the local system -- supported are png, jpg, gif and bmp -- or use the provided tools to add annotations to the capture.

These are fairly limited as you can only draw using select colors. Options to add text, blur information or highlight information are missing largely.

While you can add annotations, those can only be added via voice or by drawing on the snip with digital ink.

The most interesting option is the ability to add voice to the capture. Hit the record button to capture a video (with voice). You may draw on the screen in that time and use your voice to explain concepts or ideas

The video that you create this way can be saved as an mp4 file on the local system. Individual captures can be copied to the clipboard or shared via email.

Closing Words

Snip is a basic program that can best be described as an extended Snipping Tool. The editing options provided in the editor lack basic features such as adding text directly or blurring information.

The one feature that may be interesting to some users is the recording option, but that can be done with other screen recording tools such as SnagIt as well.

It works well if you want a basic screen capturing software or use a touch-device and a digital pen to write directly on it.

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  1. Flo said on August 29, 2015 at 9:24 am

    This is an enterprise focused application. Benefits such as annotating a screenshot are quite huge in terms of use cases, specially on a tablet. To my knowledge the plan for this is to have some sort of direct OneNote integration.
    For personaluse there are substantially better apps out there, no doubt.

  2. Mark said on August 28, 2015 at 11:46 pm

    I’d like to know why Martin approved that comment from BobbyEdwards20 up there. Not the kind of thing I expect to read on gHacks, especially when he has no point to make but attacks a valid point from someone else. The EULA is shocking and it’s the sort of thing I’d expect Martin to mention.

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on August 29, 2015 at 8:18 am

      Most comments are allowed here on Ghacks unless they are against the law, spam, or attack individual users. This is how it was and how it will be.

  3. Rick said on August 28, 2015 at 9:29 pm

    Run the snip installer in sandboxie and copy out the app folder in the users/local folder to get a portable.

  4. Martin said on August 28, 2015 at 9:23 pm

    Hmm… GreenShot has more features and is free&open-source

  5. Roberet said on August 28, 2015 at 6:42 pm

    Microsoft is the mark of the beast. Pretty soon none of us might buy or sell unless we have the mark of the beast so the NSA can monitor us. Resistance is futile.

    1. Solidstate said on August 28, 2015 at 8:00 pm

      You are legitimately, medically, crazy.

  6. bobbyedwards20 said on August 28, 2015 at 5:59 pm

    If you do screen print it will save as always, but a second copy will open in Snip, so you can annotate it. So far I like what I see playing with this for a day.

  7. Leandro said on August 28, 2015 at 5:31 pm

    It kind sounds like a joke: “Microsoft released a screen capture tool”
    [sarcasm] Yeah right, I’ll use that, I’m not concerned about my screens being sent to NSA.[/sarcasm]

    They should merge Miscrosoft and NSA in one company and spare us the doubt :)

    Until Windows 10, I didn’t worrried about these things much.
    Now I’ll setup my own hardware firewall.

    1. Sukhen said on August 28, 2015 at 5:41 pm

      Leandro is right … a single entity, better than 2. Win 10 is now spreading like a virus, I am also seriously considering getting outta MS world.

  8. webfork said on August 28, 2015 at 5:21 pm

    As you point out, this is missing some important features. For some alternatives, I strongly recommend Greenshot, which just keeps getting better with every release. ShareX is also great, using Greenshot’s editor, and PicPick is also great (though not free for commercial use).

    On a positive note, I’m glad to see they’ve embraced MP4 for audio rather than try to push WMA to a lot of people who can’t play it.

    I feel like the audio component is ideally for reporting bugs but I’d really like to see more done with Windows’ Problem Steps Recorder (psr.exe). That program has so much power but it can be really difficult to export outside of Windows’ formats.

    Both Greenshot and PicPick mentioned here:
    ShareX mentioned here:

    1. Matthew C. Evans said on August 28, 2015 at 6:28 pm

      A second recommendation for Greenshot. Just tried Snip for about 5 minutes today and then immediately uninstalled it.

      1. No highlighter tool.
      2. Still can’t draw a straight line.
      3. No way to draw arrows.

      Very much like the original snipping tool, any of the annotations I made looked more like a toddler’s drawing rather than something I could use in a business situation.

  9. Rpger said on August 28, 2015 at 3:17 pm

    Yeah, the EULA tells it all, it is a malware to spy users

  10. michal said on August 28, 2015 at 3:10 pm

    Seems like a simple and nice app, extending a well known win7 snipping tool. While there is a lot of alternatives (f.e. aforementioned SnagIt) but for simple and occasional uses this one will do the job. Installing a side app for EVERYTHING just becasuse MS apps are presumably bad is IMHO insane. Does average Joe need any other app on a clean install of windows except maybe a browser? I know a lot of ppl who dont, and they don’t seem to care about apps except windows media player, IE, wordpad and these little critters found under start menu – accessories.

    1. anon said on August 28, 2015 at 4:22 pm

      WMP, IE, and WordPad are fine.

      >inb4 IE6-centered criticism

  11. Dave said on August 28, 2015 at 2:45 pm

    Yeah I saw this, but I read the EULA and had to click “do not agree”

    1. bobbyedwards20 said on August 28, 2015 at 6:02 pm


      Did you just learn to read, or is the first “beta” software you have ever installed. A word of caution, never pull your tin foil too tight, and don’t forget to replace your TP with foil, so your best ideas are covered too.

  12. anon said on August 28, 2015 at 2:25 pm

    Microsoft Garage releases aren’t official Microsoft releases, they’re lab experiments. And Snip is an old WinAPI-based app, not a new WinRT-based app (yet). It should replace the legacy Snipping Tool as it evolves, IMHO. After all, it can already capture video.

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