Screen Snapshots To Explain More Effectively

Education & Training with Tech Training for You!

Sometimes it's just easier to SHOW rather than to TELL.

For example... When is the last time you checked to see if your social badge links were up to date? In ActiveRain, would you know how to fix this? Notice in the snapshot below, you start on your profile page and then click "Edit Profile." From there, notice the pencil buttons scattered about the page. These are all edit points where you can go in and modify. For your social icon badges, you can choose which ones to show and make sure they are updated by clicking that particular pencil.

Now, let me ask you. Did you understand what I said above more from the text description or from the screenshot where I marked it up with red lines and yellow highlighter? (I'm going to guess the latter.)

Today's lesson is not about changing your social icons but rather about how you too can make screenshots like the above (consider it a bonus lesson about checking your social sites, you're welcome!)

I recently posted my 2019 Technology survey so I could see what those who read my posts use for their types of main computers. I'm seeing that many now use Windows 10 (I'm pleased to see most are using the current version of windows) and others use Macs. In this lesson, I'll share how to do screenshots on both types of systems. (and by the way, if you have not already taken my 2019 Technology Survey, please take a few minutes to do so using link above. It really helps me to make sure my lessons are best targeted to the audience.)

If you are using Windows, we have had a little gem of a utility app for many years and I always enjoyed hearing people say how useful it was when I introduced them to it. It was called the "Snipping Tool". However, as my survey shows, most have now moved on to the latest Windows (version 10) and the snipping tool has graduated to a new tool called Snip & Sketch. So if you used Snipping Tool but haven't switched to the newer option, it's time!


If you want to find this app, click on the Windows Start Button and type a few letters and the app will appear so you can click on it. However, I highly recommend that you learn the shortcut for this command, WindowsKey + Shift + S -- PS, the WindowsKey is two keys to the left of the spacebar. Whenever you use the shortcut, the screen will dim and you can then drag a rectangular box selection area that you want to capture.

Once you have done a screenshot capture, your selected area is automatically placed on your clipboard. So for instance, if you were composing an email to somebody, you could just paste it into your message.

However, snapshots are often more valuable when you can mark it up with lines or highlights. If this is what you want, then immediately after you do a snapshot, notice the popup that appears in your notification area (lower right corner of your screen). If you click on that notification when it appears, it will open into the app where you have the ability to add some markup.

Doing a snapshot of a map and then marking it up is one example of how these tools could be useful. Imagine you are planning a trip to NYC and you want to highlight a possible plan for a day trip. In the example below I circled with red pen the Empire State Building and Rockefeller Center and drew a straight yellow highlight line up 5th Avenue between them. If you click on any tool button a second time, the flyout appears where you can pick the pen color and width. To use the ruler tool, drag it into place and then rotate it by hovering over the tool and rolling the wheel on the mouse.

After you have done markups in the Snip & Sketch app, your clipboard will automatically be updated to contain your marked up image. It will be ready for you to paste. For example you may be composing an email to someone or you may want to put it in your favorite note taking app (BTW, that's a soon future post). You may also want to save the markup as a PNG or JPG file, to use in a blog post for example. Click on the save button and you'll be all set.

If you are on a mac computer, here are some notes to help you do snapshots.
The shortcut you need to know is Command + Shift + 4. This will allow you to box out an area on your screen to capture and it will write the capture to a file to your desktop. From there, if you want to add markups on the snapshot, right click on the file and choose "open with Preview". Once the app is opened, see the illustration below. Once you show the markup toolbar then you can draw on the snapshot and add text as needed. This short video is helpful to see how these tools could be used.  This link to the apple support website also discusses the various tools in more detail.

I think many of you knew about doing snapshots, but hopefully I shared a few things that help you take snapshots to the next level. And, if you are using Windows 10, be sure and check out the great new features of Snip & Sketch.

Please don't forget to take my 2019 Technology Survey if you haven't done so already. I'll be posting those results in the next couple of weeks after the survey is closed. But I'm looking for more responses first!

This post is a prelude and will be a useful tie-in to other upcoming posts. My next series will be looking how to do a blog signature make-over. So snapshots, composite graphics, creating layout tables in your posts, and online note taking apps are on the immediate radar, so watch for these!  #whetyourappetite

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Re-Blogged 2 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Mott Marvin Kornicki 11/18/2019 11:08 AM
  2. Peter Mohylsky 12/03/2019 03:46 AM
Real Estate Technology & Tools
Tech Corner
Real Estate Technology
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Raymond Henson
eXp Realty of California, Inc. (lic. #01878277) - Elk Grove, CA

I was just trying to figure this out a couple of days ago.  I didn't.  Thank you for making it easy.

Nov 18, 2019 03:16 PM #7
Mimi Foster
Falcon Property Solutions - Colorado Springs, CO
Voted Colorado Springs Best Realtor

So many things I never knew until I read your post today. Thanks so much! I have always gone way around the mulberry bush to highlight things. Thanks for this!

Nov 18, 2019 05:07 PM #8
Myrl Jeffcoat
GreatWest Realty - Sacramento, CA
Greater Sacramento Real Estate Agent

While I was able to follow along reading your words, the screen snapshots helped a lot.

Nov 18, 2019 06:13 PM #9
Myrl Jeffcoat
GreatWest Realty - Sacramento, CA
Greater Sacramento Real Estate Agent

CONGRATULATIONS Craig, on having this blog FEATURED in the Old Farts Club group!  

Nov 18, 2019 06:14 PM #10
Rebecca Gaujot, Realtor®
Vision Quest Realty - Lewisburg, WV
Lewisburg WV, the go to agent for all real estate

Craig, I've been using Snagit for years. Now, I will check out the Snip/Stech.

Nov 18, 2019 06:17 PM #11
Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP
Selling Homes Changing Lives

Craig Daniels - I'm learning so much from you! I really like the snipping too for my email and Word but it never works with my Surface Pro on ActiveRain. I didn't know about snip and sketch or other things you mentioned on this very educational post. This tips are exactly what has been needed for such a long, long time. I'm so glad you're back and helping us to improve with these great tech tips.

Thank you!

Nov 18, 2019 07:32 PM #12
Ritu Desai
Samson Properties - Ashburn, VA
Virginia Realtor-Fairfax/Loudoun/PW-703-625-4949

omg this is a SMART TOOL  I did not know it was right on my windows. Thank you so much for sharing!!

Nov 19, 2019 03:45 AM #13
Craig Daniels
Tech Training for You! - Staten Island, NY
Technology Instructor/Project Consultant

Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP - thanks for the kind words, appreciation like that helps keep me posting new articles. For snapshots to be used in blog posts, you'd have to save it as a file like a PNG or JPG and then insert it into your post. Hope you have great success with these new ideas!

Nov 19, 2019 05:25 AM #14
Brian England
Arizona Focus Realty - Gilbert, AZ
MBA, GRI, REALTOR® Real Estate in East Valley AZ

Having the screenshots is always more beneficial for me and helps me understand what is being taught a lot easier!

Nov 19, 2019 05:30 AM #15
Kat Palmiotti
406-270-3667,, Broker, Blackstone Realty Group - brokered by eXp Realty - Kalispell, MT
The House Kat

I love the screenshot tool on the Mac! I use that a lot...


Nov 19, 2019 06:28 AM #16
Rose Mary Justice
Synergy Realty Pros - Dandridge, TN
Synergy Realty Pros

I learned something new today.   Thank you for explaining in words and diagram.

Nov 19, 2019 08:59 AM #17
Jill Sackler
Charles Rutenberg Realty Inc. 516-575-7500 - Long Beach, NY
LI South Shore Real Estate - Broker Associate

Never heard of it until now but looking forward to finding cool ways to use it.

Nov 19, 2019 04:41 PM #26
Richie Alan Naggar
people first...then business Ran Right Realty - Riverside, CA
agent & author

For those that can wield this wand....get to it...

Nov 19, 2019 04:53 PM #27
Sham Reddy CRS
H E R Realty, Dayton, OH - Dayton, OH

Thanks for a great turorial...

Notice the pencil buttons scattered about the page. These are all edit points where you can go in and modify. For your social icon badges, you can choose which ones to show and make sure they are updated by clicking that particular pencil.

Nov 20, 2019 04:22 AM #28
faye schubert
Branson, MO
Living the Branson Lake Life

I use the snipping tool almost every day! My favorite!

Show better than tell!

Nov 20, 2019 03:18 PM #33
Jeff Dowler, CRS
Solutions Real Estate - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Hi Craig:

There's certainly a lot here and I've bookmarked it for further reading. I love the idea of using screen shots but don't use them often. I am inspired!


Nov 20, 2019 05:20 PM #34
Marney Kirk
Cummings & Co. Realtors - Towson, MD
Towson, Maryland Real Estate

Craig, this is a great post - I use snapshots all the time, but have a mac, and hadn't investigated using Preview to mark it up, I often would do it on my tablet because of the apps I have on there for markups. Thank you!

Nov 24, 2019 04:59 AM #35
Debe Maxwell, CRS | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310 - Charlotte, NC
Charlotte Homes for Sale - Charlotte Neighborhoods

I have a Mac but, also have a snip-it tool and use it nearly every day, Craig. When I pull data, I will often use Preview to circle and draw arrows, then add text to explain to the recipient what they are seeing. It is one of my most helpful tools in my toolbox, for sure!

Nov 25, 2019 07:39 AM #36
Lisa Weiler
PM LLC - Los Angeles, CA
Interior Design Expert & Home Stager

Screenshots are definitely helpful. Thank you for sharing your tips.

Dec 02, 2019 08:34 PM #37
Bill Carroll
Corcoran Real Estate - Westhampton, NY

Craig what a gift it must be to be able to explain things so clearly! Once again, Thanks!

Dec 04, 2019 05:58 AM #38
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