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Snipaste: screen capture for designers

08 December 2016, Mike Williams

SnipasteSnipaste is an unusual developer and designer-oriented screen capture tool for Windows.

Basic operations are simple and you’ll feel at home right away. Press a hotkey, left-click and drag to capture a rectangular area: easy.

The program also captures UI elements, like menus, panels, toolbars and buttons. Move your mouse cursor around the screen, Snipaste highlights the underlying UI area, and it can be captured with a left-click.

Whatever you’ve chosen, a toolbar enables annotating it with lines, shapes or arrows, highlighting areas, applying a blurring effect, adding new text and generally editing it in-place.

As usual, Snipaste can copy your edited image to the clipboard, or save it to a file.

What isn’t so usual is you can also paste a clipboard image – from Snipaste or anywhere else – to your desktop as a floating window.


Draw lines, shapes and arrows, add text and generally edit your capture in-place

Suppose you’ve copied a toolbar or panel from one of your programs. You’re able to edit or annotate this object, paste it back to the desktop, and drag it to overlay the old panel, maybe, or see how that UI element looks in another application.

You’re able to change the transparency of the new window, or even make it “click-through”, where clicks are passed through to the underlying program. If you copy and edit a toolbar, for example, this enables pasting it back in place and having it apparently respond to click events.

You’re not restricted to one of these windows. You could grab a ribbon from one application, a client area from another, a menu from somewhere else, drag and drop them into place. Maybe even capture another image of the full set and add your own text.

This isn’t difficult, either. Press F1 to initiate the capture; hover your mouse over a toolbar and left-click; copy it to the clipboard, and press F3 to paste your new window: done. Repeat with as many more UI elements as you need.

Snipaste is a free application for Windows XP and later.

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