How can I use the snipping tool in Windows Vista to capture context menu contents or the Start menu?

A. By default, the Vista snipping tool can capture the contents of the full screen, an application window, a rectangular portion of the screen, or a freeform area. However, to access these, you must select the snipping tool, which closes any open context menus or Start menu display.

To resolve this problem perform these steps:

  1. Start the Snipping Tool (Start, Programs, Accessories, Snipping Tool). If the tool is already open, select New so that it's in capture mode.
  2. Click Cancel so that the screen isn't waiting for screen area selection or minimize the snipping tool. Open the menus or items you want to capture (e.g., click the Start menu and move through various sub-menus).
  3. Press Ctrl-Print Screen (not Alt-Print Screen which is the regular key combination to copy the current window content to the clipboard).
  4. The Snipping Tool will take control and be in the rectangular capture mode allowing you to select any portion of the screen including open menus. You can select an alternate capture mode (e.g., free-form if required).

To capture other areas, simply select New from the Snipping Tool, then minimize or click Cancel so it's ready to intercept the Ctrl - Print Screen action.

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