I am looking for a program that can copy a portion of the screen to the clipboard in Windows 7. Upon hitting some keyboard shortcut, it would ask me to select the region of the screen that I want to copy to the clipboard. I don't want to do anything else apart from triggering the keyboard shortcut and selecting the region of the screen I am interested in.

On Mac OS X 10.10, the built-in screenshot application Grab has this feature, which can be used through the keyboard shortcut command + control + shift + 4 .

10 Answers 10


Windows 7 includes Snipping Tool as standard.

You should be able to find it on Start menu > Accessories. You can assign a key to the shortcut. ie if you set it to S, you just have to press Ctrl + Alt + S to run it. Then you can use the mouse to select the area you want, and it will be copied to the clipboard. Or you can draw on top of the image, or save it as a file.

  • No way I never realized the grabbed area was copied to the clipboard by default, thanks! Dec 19, 2014 at 15:44
  • Accepted as answer as it is provided by default with Windows, thanks! Dec 22, 2014 at 17:19

When forced to use Windows, Greenshot (free and open source) is my choice for this task. It allows you to...

  • capture a region as you described, by simply pressing the Print key
  • capture the active window by pressing Alt+Print
  • do some basic editing to your screenshot (annotate, arrows, etc.)
  • upload to several image hosters, including Imgur, Flickr – but also Dropbox and more
  • In its settings under "destination", you can tell it to just place a copy into your clipboard – and switch off everything else – which matches your requirement to only trigger the hotkey and select the area.

Greenshot Menu
Screenshot to visualize how your specific requirements are met (click for larger variant)

For more details (and screenshots), see the following answers here on SR:

  • 2
    Thanks. Is there any way to configure Greenshot so that the grabbed region of the screen is copied directly to the clipboard (without having to press any Ctrl+C or do any mouse click)? Dec 19, 2014 at 15:50
  • 2
    Yes. In its settings under "destination", you can tell it to just place a copy into your clipboard – and switch off everything else. I've just tested it, and it works: Instead of a dialog, only a toast comes up telling me it copied the screenshot to my clipboard. (sorry I missed that in my answer, as you've listed it as requirement – just added it.)
    – Izzy
    Dec 19, 2014 at 16:37

If you have Microsoft OneNote, you can use its screen clipping feature with Win+S.

Pressing Win+S will fade the screen and let you select an area to be clipped, followed by a OneNote popup where you can tell OneNote to always have clippings copied to the clipboard (and to never pop up that window again). You also don't need to have OneNote running to do screen clippings.

In OneNote 2013, you might have to press Win+Shift+S instead (says Microsoft), but I'm using 2013 now and Win+S works just fine.

Microsoft has a support article on this feature, although it's dated (OneNote 2007) and doesn't mention the keyboard shortcut. If anyone can find an article that explains this in detail, I'd be much obliged.

Side note - an article on answers.microsoft.com states that this feature doesn't work in Windows 8.

  • In OneNote settings, you can configure it to copy directly to the clipboard without additional prompts
    – alex
    Oct 1, 2015 at 1:26


PicPick is a full-featured screen capture tool, which also comes with a lightweight editor and other useful accessories. It can be configured to capture screen regions directly to the clipboard. By default, the shortcut is Shift-PrintScreen, but it's configurable.

PicPick Program Options Capture Settings PicPick Program Options Hot Keys Settings (Click to enlarge)


  • Runs on Windows 7
  • Free for personal use
  • Can be configured to grab a region of the screen and copy it to the clipboard
  • Has a portable version

You could try "Real Draw Pro" - a vector, illustration graphic program. You can enable / disable a button to minimize the program during capture. It captures a specific region or a window. Capturing

Website:http://www.mediachance.com/realdraw/ Download

You can export the captured image to the clipboard as well: Export to the clipboard

I found another powerful program named "ShareX". ShareX is an open source program that lets you take screenshots or screen recording (video, GIF format) of any selected area with a single key, save them in your clipboard, hard disk or you can directly upload it to the cloud. ShareX Menu

Hot Key setting

  • Thanks. Is there any way to configure it so that the grabbed region of the screen is copied directly to the clipboard (without having to press any Ctrl+C or do any mouse click)? Dec 21, 2014 at 6:58
  • 1
    There is a button for exporting the captured images to the clipboard. However, you need to do a mouse click to perform this action.
    – Senthi Sri
    Dec 21, 2014 at 7:06
  • 1
    You can also copy to the clipboard by Ctrl + Shift + C.
    – Senthi Sri
    Dec 21, 2014 at 8:03

You can use Skitch by Evernote for this, after you install it you can use ctrlshift5 to capture part of the screen, and even add annotations if needed.

  • Thanks, but is there any way to configure Skitch so that the grabbed region of the screen is copied directly to the clipboard (without having to press any Ctrl+C or do any mouse click)? I have Skitch but can't find the option. Dec 19, 2014 at 15:34

If you're willing to pay, Ashampoo Snap 7 is a great program.

You can configure the hotkeys by right clicking it's icon in the notification area of the taskbar > Configure > Configuration > General > Hotkeys > Rectangle Region.

After pressing the hotkey, you can select the portion of the screen, and press Enter. Then, press Ctrl+C to copy to clipboard.

The best thing about Ashampoo Snap is that you can edit and apply effects to the image before you copy it to the clipboard. You can also save/share the image instead of pressing Ctrl+C.


  • Can edit picture
  • Can save in different formats
  • Can share image (email/facebook)
  • Can copy to clipboard


  • Paid
  • Can't take a screenshot of Ashampoo Snap itself (so I can't show you any pictures!)
  • Make sure you tick 'don't email me' or you will get loads of emails every week!

Snap 6 UI

  • Thanks, that's a great program indeed! Is there any way to avoid having to press Ctrl+C to copy to clipboard (so that the grabbed region of the screen is copied directly to the clipboard, in case one does not need to make an edit on the screenshot)? Dec 19, 2014 at 15:40
  • 1
    @FranckDernoncourt Sorry, don't think there's a way to do that! Dec 19, 2014 at 15:53
  • 1
    @downvoter thanks for the anonymous downvote - I got the Business in the front, Party in the back hat! Dec 20, 2014 at 10:23

Snipping tool is the best of windows tools. You can select any part of the window to be copied. In the Snipping Tool, there are 4 special ways to capture a screen. 1.Freeform 2.Rectangular Snip. 3.Window Snip.(captures the whole window which is opened) 4.Full-Screen Snip (captures the whole screen ). You can also highlight any specific portion of the captured snip with a highlighter provided. And also, edit the image captured (basic editing like adding a text) and save to your desired location.


May I recommend Lightshot? It meets all of your requirements of,

  • Takes screenshots
  • Ability to copy selected screenshot to clipboard

It also has these great features as well,

  • Fast screenshot of selected area - Our app allows you to select any area on your desktop and take its screenshot with 2 button clicks.
  • Easy-to-use application - the Simple interface of our app, its useful features and light weight make your work so very fast and pleasant.
  • Share screenshots via the Internet - Upload your screenshot to the server and get its short link right away.
  • Powerful editors - You can edit screenshots instantly when taking them or later using a powerful online editor.
  • Similar image search - Find similar images. Select any image on your screen and find dozens similar images.
  • Various Platforms - Lightshot is available for Windows/Mac, Chrome, Firefox, IE & Opera.

LightShot (Free)

Lightshot - easy screenshot tool, is screen capture tool for Windows that works very much like the Snipping tool in Windows Vista and 7, with the added advantage of automatically uploading it online for sharing or editing. Available also as Firefox add-on, Chrome extension and IE addon besides Desktop application.

Lightshot editor UI


ctrl + print screen does copy a screen snapshot to the clipboard, though it does so for the whole screen, not a portion of it. You may crop the copied image afterwards with MSPaint.

  • 3
    alt + print screen does the same for just the window with the current focus - saves cropping since that is usually what you need. Dec 19, 2014 at 19:00

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