Making the Most of Your Computer’s
If you haven’t already noticed, let me be the first to tell you that Windows Vista has
more accessories than you’ll probably ever use. Hidden among all those accessories
are some true gems, including the Snipping Tool, a handy utility that you can use to
capture screens and windows, and Windows Speech Recognition, a program you can
use to dictate documents and control programs using your voice and a microphone.
You’ll find plenty of extras for both laptops and Tablet PCs too, including the Mobil-
ity Center, Pen Flicks, Sticky Notes, Input Panel, and Windows Journal. You’ll also
find accessories for making your computer more accessible to the handicapped,
including the Ease of Access Center, Magnifier, Narrator, and On-Screen Keyboard.
Capturing Screens and Windows with the Snipping Tool
One of my favorite accessories in Windows Vista is the Snipping Tool. The Snipping
Tool captures any screen elements that you select, including text and images. A cap-
tured element is referred to as a snip, and you can insert snips easily into documents
and email messages.
You can open the Snipping Tool by clicking Start, clicking All Programs, clicking Acces-
sories, and then selecting Snipping Tool. The Snipping Tool starts in New Snip mode,
which is the mode for capturing snips. The Snipping Tool has four capture modes:
In Free-form Snip mode, you outline the area that you want to snip by drawing
freehand around it. You capture a snip in this mode by clicking and then drag-
ging to outline the area you want to capture.
In Rectangular Snip mode, you outline the area that you want to snip by draw-
ing a rectangle around it. You capture a snip in this mode by clicking and then
dragging around the area that you want to capture.