Microsoft Word’s built-in screenshot tool allows you to easily capture screenshots and insert them into Word documents with just a few clicks. This handy feature eliminates the need to use external screenshot software or save screenshots somewhere then import them into Word.
When to Use the Screenshot Tool
The Word screenshot tool is useful when you need to:
- Illustrate instructions in a document or tutorial
- Capture examples to enhance explanations
- Share screenshots with colleagues collaborating on a document
- Comment on specific parts of an image
- Compare before-and-after visuals side-by-side
How to Access the Screenshot Tool
To access the screenshot tool:
- Open the Word document where you want to insert screenshots
- Click on the Insert tab in the Word ribbon
- In the Illustrations group, click Screenshot
The screenshot tool is now ready to use.
Taking Full Screenshots
To take a full screenshot of any currently open window and insert it into your Word document:
- Click Screenshot > hover over the window you want to capture from the thumbnails shown
- Click the window to insert the full screenshot into the document
You can resize and position the inserted screenshot as needed.
Taking Partial Screenshots
To take a screenshot of only a portion of your screen:
- Click Screenshot > Screen Clipping
- Your screen will become opaque and your mouse will turn into a crosshair
- Click-and-drag to select the area you want to capture
- Release your mouse button to capture the selection
The selected area will be inserted into your document.
Tips for Partial Screenshots
- To capture drop-down menus or hover-activated UI elements, use the Delay option to set a timer before the selection process starts
- To capture an entire scrolling window (like a long web page), use the Scroll option to automatically stitch together screenshots as you scroll
Editing Screenshots in Word
With screenshots inserted into your document, you can edit them like any other picture:
- Resize and position: Drag the corners or edges to resize, drag the image to reposition
- Add borders and effects: Use the Picture Format and Picture Styles tabs
- Annotate and highlight: Use the drawing tools to add arrows, shapes, text boxes, etc.
Using Screenshots Productively
Here are some tips for using Word’s built-in screenshot tool effectively:
- Pixelate confidential info: Use the Color menu to pixelate sensitive text and images
- Reference multiple times: Take one screenshot then copy-and-paste it throughout the document as needed
- Add alt text for accessibility: Describe the screenshot contents in the Alt Text field in the Format pane
Sharing Screenshots from Word
To collaborate with others using your Word screenshot:
- Save the Word doc to OneDrive to allow real-time co-editing
- Email the file directly from Word using the Share button
- Copy-and-paste the image into other Office apps
- Export just the screenshot as a separate image file from the Save As menu
Screen Recording Instead
If you need to capture more than just static screenshots, use the built-in screen recorder in Windows 11 or a dedicated tool like Screencast-O-Matic.
Microsoft Word’s screenshot capabilities allow you to skip standalone screenshot tools for quick, one-off images. You can capture full screens or selected areas, edit screenshots within Word, and seamlessly share them with colleagues.
With a few clicks, you can insert visually-enhanced examples, instructions, comparisons, and more to improve comprehension and collaboration. Use Word screenshotting to save time, boost productivity, clarify documentation, and create more engaging Word documents.