Windows 11’s Snipping Tool could get new powers for taking screenshots – but is Microsoft in danger of overcomplicating things?

Windows 11 desktop on a PC in an office
(Image credit: TechRadar)

Windows 11’s Snipping Tool is set to get a handy feature to embellish screenshots, or at least it seems that way.

Leaker PhantomOfEarth discovered the new abilities in the app by tinkering with bits and pieces in version 11.2312.33.0 of Snipping Tool. As you can see in the tweet below, the functionality allows the user to draw shapes (and fill them with color) and lines.

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That means you can highlight parts of screenshots by pointing with arrows – for an instructional step-by-step tutorial you’ve made with screen grabs, for example – or add different shapes as needed.

Note that this is not in testing yet, because as noted, the leaker needed to play with the app’s configuration to get it going. However, the hidden functionality does seem to be working fine, more or less, so it’s likely that a rollout to Windows 11 testers isn’t far off.


Analysis: A feature drive with core apps

While you could furnish your screenshots from Snipping Tool with these kinds of extras simply by opening the image in Paint, it’s handy to have this feature on tap to directly work on a grab without needing to go to a second app.

Building out some of the basic Windows 11 apps is very much becoming a theme for Microsoft of late. For example, recently Snipping Tool has been testing a ‘combined capture bar’ (for easily switching between capturing screenshots or video clips), and the ability to lift text straight from screenshots which is really nifty in some scenarios.

Elsewhere, core apps like Paint and Notepad are getting an infusion of AI (with Cocreator and a rumored Cowriter addition), and there’s been a lot of work in other respects with Notepad such as adding tabs.

We think these initiatives are a good line of attack for Microsoft, although there are always folks who believe that simple apps like Snipping Tool or Notepad should be kept basic, and advanced functionality is in danger of cluttering up these streamlined utilities. We get where that sentiment comes from, but we don’t think Microsoft is pushing those boundaries yet.

Via Windows Central

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Darren is a freelancer writing news and features for TechRadar (and occasionally T3) across a broad range of computing topics including CPUs, GPUs, various other hardware, VPNs, antivirus and more. He has written about tech for the best part of three decades, and writes books in his spare time (his debut novel - 'I Know What You Did Last Supper' - was published by Hachette UK in 2013).