tech tips for writers

Tech Tips for Writers #105: Create Shortkeys for any Windows Tool

Tech Tips for Writers is an (almost) weekly post on overcoming Tech Dread. I’ll cover issues that friends, both real-time and virtual, have shared. Feel free to post a comment about a question you have. I’ll cover it in a future Tip.

Q: I love the Windows snipping tool, but it takes too long to get to. Is there a shortkey?

A: Oddly, there isn’t, which is why I didn’t use it for a long time. I want a screen capture that’s instantaneous. Jing is even too slow for me (though I tolerate it because of all its very cool annotations) and Nimbus only works with internet sites.

Then I discovered how to create a shortkey:

  • Go to Start>Accessories
  • Right click on ‘snipping tool’
  • Select ‘properties’
  • Click in ‘shortcut’
  • Push the key combination you want to use to invoke the snipping tool. In my case, I used Ctrl+Alt+X
  • Save

create a shortkey

Now all I have to do is remember the shortkey!

Did I mention this works for any tool?


Jacqui Murray is the author of the popular Building a Midshipman, the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy. She is the author/editor of over a hundred books on integrating tech into education, adjunct professor of technology in education, webmaster for four blogs, an Amazon Vine Voice book reviewer,  a columnist for TeachHUB, Editorial Review Board member for Journal for Computing Teachers, monthly contributor to Today’s Author and a freelance journalist on tech ed topics. You can find her book at her publisher’s website, Structured Learning.

23 thoughts on “Tech Tips for Writers #105: Create Shortkeys for any Windows Tool

  1. I was going to ask about snipping but I just read your answer to Carrie – just glad I wasn’t the only one who hadn’t heard of this! Isn’t it funny how shortcuts often read like long winded affairs but work great in real life!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. My short-term memory loss couldn’t handle all those keys for “shortcuts”. They’d end up being “long-cuts”. The snipping tool is a free app at the Microsoft store. I have it on my start panel. If I used it more, I’d have it on my desktop taskbar. Anything I use multiple times daily is on my taskbar. Everything else is divided into groups on my start panel: Constant Use, Occasional Use, and PC Maintenance Tools.

    I do see how those of you who don’t want your fingers to leave the keyboard would prefer the “shortcuts”.

    Liked by 1 person

    • That’s a great way to curate them also. I have quite a few on my taskbar and start button. These are for those among us who prefer the keyboard to the mouse. Which is me. I hate searching for the mouse, then searching for the cursor, then searching for the tool. By then I’m way past patient.

      Liked by 1 person

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