Create and annotate screen clippings with Microsoft Snip

Microsoft Garage is where the company works on new projects and new ideas. It is a sort of think tank and every now and then it comes up with some great products. Snip is one of them.

Snip is a screen capture and annotation tool, which is not a new idea, but the way that Microsoft has done it is unique.

When it is running it hides at the top of the screen and when the mouse is pushed up to the top centre it displays a small tray with three icons.

 Microsoft Snip

The first icon enables you to click and drag over part of the screen to select it and pressing the Prnt Scrn key will activate it too. The selected area or snipped bit is then opened in an editor.

 Microsoft Snip

The editor has a pencil tool that offers several sizes, and there are five colours. After selecting the pencil and a colour, you can draw on the image. You might want to circle areas, draw arrows to them, and add other marks to highlight important bits.

That is not unusual, but Snip goes a step further and there is a fascinating Record option that is activated by clicking the button in the top left corner. Click Record and your actions, such as drawing lines and circles, and your voice narration is turned into a video clip.

This enables you to not only highlight parts of the image, but to explain to people through the narration, what you are highlighting and why. It becomes an animated guide or demonstration.

 Microsoft Snip

The video can then be saved to disk as an MP4 file, or a link or embed code can be created so that it can be shared on the internet, such as on a website or blog. In order to do this, it is uploaded and stored on You are then given the web link or embed code.

Icons in the toolbar on the right enable you to share it and in addition to getting links and embed codes, there is a Facebook option too. Library is where your snips are stored, but you can also save them to a folder on the disk drive too.

 Microsoft Snip

Snip is an interesting tool that in some circumstances is very useful. The best part is the ability to create an animated video. For ordinary screen capture and annotation there are plenty of other tools and the screenshots here for example, we simply pasted into GIMP, cropped and saved. It would not have been any easier with Snip.

Going back to the original screenshot, there are three icons and the second one is a whiteboard. You start off with a blank canvas and you can draw on it while recording narration at the same time.

The third icon takes a photo with the webcam and that is loaded into the editor where you can annotated it.

Snip is free and for recording narration while annotating a screen clipping, it is a great tool.

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