Wait, Windows 7 has the snipping tool?

I’ve long rather wondered – I might have mentioned it around here in fact – at the way some people manage to lift charts and maps and stuff from places. I’ve never really known how to do screen captures and all that. So, I was terribly excited by Windows 10. And the information youse guys provided in answer to a question of mine about how to use it. The snipping tool!

So, working desktop has two boxes on it, W7 and W10 boxes. Just because that’s what came on used boxes that were bought. But that meant when a page was found that I wanted to lift something from – usually on the W7 box – I would then load the page again on the W 10 one, snip, email it to the W 7 one, then use it.

All a bit inefficient really.

Umm, W7 has the snipping tool in it. At least this version on this box does.

How’s that for technological mastery? It only takes a decade for me to note it.

30 comments on “Wait, Windows 7 has the snipping tool?

  1. It took a friend of bloke’s a couple of years to discover you could play audio cds in the CD Rom player.

    Bloke still uses cds.

  2. The snipping tool has a save button, too. You could save directly onto the \\W7-box\c$\tims-clippings, or even create a share from W7.

    Or setup a Dropbox account and install the desktop client on both machines. Whatever you save on one is instantly visible on the other in the same location.

    I realise I’m talking Martian, but do you literally know nobody who can set this up for you?

  3. “but do you literally know nobody who can set this up for you?”

    Sure, all you blokes out there!

  4. Why the f would you use a cloud service to share files between computers on their own network?

    Yah just hand over all your data to evil global megacorp because it takes a one off 30 minutes to set up logins to share a directory on the local network.

  5. Err, mate, the “prt sc” (“print screen”) key dumps the screen to the clipboard. You can then crop it in MS Paint or similar.

    It’s been the case since Windows 3 point something, and it’s not rocket salad surgery.

  6. What is this “clipboard” you speak of? Crop? MS Paint?

    There is actually a vaguely serious point here too. Talk to a petrolhead and they’re tell you about boring out cylinders, revs, timing chains, sumps. Talk to the vast majority of drivers and there’s a “Go” pedal and a “Stop” one and something that stops that grinding noise when you try to switch between the two.

    Cars took some 50 years to get to where you didn’t have to be a petrolhead to drive one. Computers ain’t there yet.

  7. Forget Dropbox. Install Synergy & you only need one keyboard & mouse for both machines. Fn+PrtSc copies the screen & open window. Paste into MSPaint. Draw a box round desired area with “Select” & remove everything else with crop. Save in desired format (jpg, png, gif etc
    The “Snipping Tool” seems to be a combination of print screen, the select function from paint & the save/paste function from Paint.
    Personally, I use Photoshop rather than paint. Enables resizing of image & the file size

  8. Why 2 machines? Connect the screen of one to the other box. Much more efficient having 2 screens on one computer.

  9. Cars took some 50 years to get to where you didn’t have to be a petrolhead to drive one. Computers ain’t there yet.

    That’s why I advise the less technical(*) members of my family to buy Apple kit. Yes, it’s overpriced and under powered, but it’s a lot easier for normal mortals to use. When they had Windows I’d get support questions most weeks (and I don’t even use Windows, I’ve run Unix variants most of my life). These days I only get questions when a major upgrade is available, and that’s usually when should I accept the new version. (Answer: a couple of months after first release to let others find the bugs.)

    (*) A polite euphemism.

  10. As a professional IT tech I see this all the time. People are hesitant to stray outside what they know works every time, for fear of stumbling across some magical button that will make their computer post their entire Google search history to Twitter before self-immolating. And this is by no means a slight against our august host in particular, or even the older generation in general, it’s just as common among twentysomethings.

    There’s a particular kind of person who sees a strange button and goes “Ooo I wonder what that does” as opposed to “Better not touch that in case it breaks something” and that kind of person tends to get on much better with technology in general, but I’m hesitant to call it a virtue given how that dichotomy applies in the political sphere.

  11. Interesting how different people find different ways of doing things.

    I get the thing I want to capture on screen, then open Word (v 2010 here), go to the tab and choose the drop-down and select .

    That lets me select the precise area I want which I then save as an image from the Word document.

  12. 20 years ago, when I was running computer systems for large multinationals, I created my own training team to ensure that people knew (a bit) about how to use them. There’s a widespread view amongst techies that because they find all this stuff obvious and easy to use, so will everyone else. And they simply don’t.

    Anyone (well, almost anyone) can sit in front of Word (other word processors are available) and produce a document, but without a day or so of training, they will almost certainly do so very, very badly. The amount of man-hours that are wasted in businesses because people don’t know how to use the ‘style’ capabilities of Word (to pick just one example) is horrifying.

    And then we get on to spreadsheets. Excel (ditto) makes it very easy to drag and drop a column of figures to a new position in a table. It also makes it very easy to fuck up all your formulae in doing so, and many people will never notice. And businesses are being run on decisions based on these spreadsheets.

    Here endeth the lesson rant.

  13. I’ve found that many people can build a mental model of the Desktop paradigm, with drag ‘n drop, right-click drop-down menus, etc, and some just can’t. For them it’s a recipe they learn, or not, but with no insight as to why. The MS boys utterly failed to cater for them, and to make it worse, they change the recipe almost every release. And that pisses off even us who do ‘get it’. Guess why I’ve used Unix/Linux for the past 30 years since I abandoned Macs.

  14. “The amount of man-hours that are wasted in businesses because people don’t know how to use the ‘style’ capabilities of Word (to pick just one example) is horrifying.”

    And the amount of money spent on customised templates because the autonumbering beyond 1 nest is fiendish to set up. Resistance to using word properly is largely related to bloat, the insane and unmodifiable default settings (cross reference to table to include entire caption), things that have been broken for years (sendkeys), and the fact that the thing now force-updates every couple of weeks and overrides and resets to default all your customised settings, personal keyboard shortcuts, and screws up your carefully curated macros. It’s just awful how MS are ruining their own software because they think everyone wants to just look likw they’re typing a letter in it.

    ” It also makes it very easy to fuck up all your formulae in doing so”

    $

    You could probably run IBM in one excel spreadsheet, but most people can’t do formulae in excel, so also buy expensive, proprietary stuff which keeps you captive by using some non-portable data format. I set up a company database in excel full of conditional formatting for events attended, trigger dates for re-attendance and so on. Took a day of my time which was considerably cheaper than what we were going to buy. And if we want to go proprietary we can. Getting out once someone has you on subscription pricing, much harder.

  15. TMB, any sufficiently advanced use of the featureset is indistinguishable from insanity.

    Chris Miller: so much that. I understand most people only need a fraction of the features in any application, but the amount of time is see wasted for want of 10min of training/googling/practice is maddening. I get that Stack Exchange is a very techie idea for solving that kind of problem, but do no-techies really not have some kind of adaptation mechanism?

    If it helps, I prefer the editing tools in Greenshot for office use (mainly drawing boxes and big red arrows). Haven’t tried running on win7 for a while, though.

  16. @BiS: “Personally, I use Photoshop rather than paint. Enables resizing of image & the file size”

    Err, so does paint…

  17. The “clipboard” metaphor has always irritated me because unlike a real clipboard you can’t just glance at it to see what’s on it. Makes it that much harder to explain to people.

  18. The quick way I tell if any training has been provided is to see how many screens are showing the ‘ribbon’ on Office products. If only I’d had a quid for every conversation that runs like this:

    Cubicle denizen: I hate Office, ever since they introduced this stupid ribbon that takes up half the screen.

    Me: You know you can right click on the ribbon and select ‘minimise’?

    Cubicle Denizen: Fuck! Why did no-one ever tell me that?

    The ribbon is intended to be like training wheels on a bike. For the first few days of using a new product/version, you leave it on. Once you’ve figured out where the stuff you need to use lives, you turn it off.

  19. Chris,

    Except they changed all the keyboard shortcuts with the shit ribbon. So “view” is now Alt+W, rather than Alt+W.

    Bastards.

  20. IT Engineer who is supposed to train people in this: Fuck! Why did no-one ever tell *me* that? I’ll try it next time I approach one of those abominations.

  21. As long as United States Navy uses Microsoft products on their ships, Windows XP will never die. They literally cannot get off that platform for many of their system.

  22. @Tim W

    Press /

    Start, Run : mspaint

    Press Ctrl-V

    To view clipboard: Start, Run : clipbrd

    or

    Download “Clip 2 Net” – it lets you select part of screen and save (jpg/png) locally and/or to net.

  23. Windows 10 has a better snipping tool built in than the snipping tool that it uses as a hangover from Windows 7; just press “windows key, shift, s” and you don’t need to open a separate app to snip to the clipboard.

  24. MS word is an abomination, particularly the styling and formatting tools.
    I don’t think I know of a single person who actually uses it as intended. I’ve half an idea of how the styling stuff is meant to work, but it’s invariably more work to configure than it is to just ignore and override.

    The worst problems are usually when you are faced with broken documents created by someone else with some sort of embedded feature which you can neither identify the cause of nor remove – I’ve encountered several documents where the only viable way to recover them involves copying and pasting the whole lot as plain text into a new document, and starting again (word documents with tables in are particularly bad for this).

    As for excel, it’s downright dangerous in the wrong hands. Years ago now I worked running a team of half a dozen girls packing products into retail packaging. My manager (who was a weapons grade moron) produced an excel sheet with the percentage efficiency of each girl calculated daily and weekly, and also the overall numbers for the team (this was the important one, as we got a bonus on it).
    My curiosity was rather piqued by the discovery that most weeks the percentage efficiency of the whole team was apparently slightly below that of it’s worst performing member. Curious as to how this calculation had been arrived at I discovered that the way the sheet had been written, my boss calculated correctly (as a percentage) the daily efficiency of each team member. He then added all these percentages together and divided by the number of team members to calculate the overall efficiency. I regarded this as mathematically dubious, but this was not the best of it. We had two staff members who worked 2.5 days a week each as a job share. On the days they weren’t there, his formula recorded them 0% efficient, which then got rolled into the overall efficiency number for the team. I’d no idea how long this had been going on for, but the roasting I gave my boss (in front of his boss) could probably have been heard from some miles away.

  25. Prole, the styling is great, if you sit down and configure it first.

    That configuration is a template. Do it once, reuse it for ever. It’s twonks who override everything with local formatting, or attempt to use the crazy-looking built-in styles, who make documents crap.

    Large documents do have a tendency to die for unexplained reasons, but it’s got better. Easy : keep things under about 200 pages.

  26. Large documents do have a tendency to die for unexplained reasons, but it’s got better. Easy : keep things under about 200 pages.

    Even easier, ditch MS Turd and use something that works. I use LaTeX for all my company documents.

    For those that don’t know, TeX is a document typesetting system, and LaTeX is a more user-friendly layer above. It was originally created to produce Maths textbooks, as Donald Knuth thought all the existing systems were shit. And he was right.

    It works much the same way as HTML markup: the input document is a plain text file, and interspersed with the text are markup commands (eg, “this is a heading”, “save an index reference to here”, “start a new chapter”, etc etc). The output format can be almost anything, these days usually PDF.

    The plain text nature of the file also means that it’s trivial to add to a version control system, and just as importantly, to see exactly what changes version by version. Additionally, if someone does fuck it up it is trivial to fix.

  27. Prole, the styling is great, if you sit down and configure it first.

    That configuration is a template. Do it once, reuse it for ever. It’s twonks who override everything with local formatting, or attempt to use the crazy-looking built-in styles, who make documents crap.

    Amen, brother.

  28. @Edward Malus May 16, 2019 at 8:17 am

    There’s a particular kind of person who sees a strange button and goes “Ooo I wonder what that does” as opposed to “Better not touch that in case it breaks something” and that kind of person tends to get on much better with technology in general

    +1 I keep telling people “Right click on things and explore & learn; click on File, Edit etc at top of screen and explore & learn”

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