Windows Snipping Tool: “How do you snip a menu? It disappears!”

Given the frequency of my need to provide screen shots of steps involved in these pragmatic computing tips, I ran into this obstacle pretty quick.

Every time I needed to snip (take a screen shot of) a drop down menu, the menu I needed to snip would disappear as soon as I opened the Snipping Tool. I didn’t want to go back to the legacy screen shot method (Alt+Print Screen). Those screen shots captured entire windows – much more than I needed – and then I would need to crop the images.

I knew there had to be a way to use this new, cool, more efficient tool, and there was. (I actually needed to use this method to get the screen shots I needed for this post.) Here’s how it works:

1. Display the menu you want to snip/screen shot. In this particular case, I wanted to snip something on the Start Menu, so I clicked the Start button to display the menu.

2. Open the Snipping Tool. The menu you just displayed will disappear. In my case, the Start Menu disappeared. (If this is the first time you’ve used the Snipping Tool, you’ll need to search for it – instructions immediately following below.)

To search for the Snipping Tool, click the round Start button at the bottom left corner of your monitor and begin typing “Snipping Tool” in the search box:

Snipping Tool Search

As soon as you begin typing, Windows 7 will find it and list it at the top of the menu:

Snipping Tool Found

Do yourself a favor. Right click the Snipping Tool and “Pin” the Snipping Tool to Your Taskbar and/or your Start Menu so you never have to search for it again:

Snipping Tool Pin to Taskbar and Start Menu

Snipping Tool Pinned to Taskbar

Now the Snipping Tool is easily available any time you needed it.

Back to Step 2.

2. Open the Snipping Tool. Again, a small window will open, the menu you’ve displayed and want to clip will disappear and the screen will fade in color a little bit. That’s normal.

3. Press Esc on the Keyboard. The small Snipping Tool window will stay open and the vibrancy of the screen colors will come back.

4. Re-open the menu that you need to snip.

5. Press Ctrl+PrtScn. (Staayyyy with me…Don’t quit just because you can’t find the PrtScn button. There’s one on every keyboard, just not always in the same location.)
The screen will fade in color again to let you know the Snipping Tool is active.

6. Click and drag the area around the area of the screen you need to snip.

7. When you let go of the mouse button after the click and drag, your screen shot will be displayed in the Snipping Tool window and you can save, copy or email it.

(To learn more about the Snipping Tool, click HERE)

Default NumLock State

I’m a NumLock OFF girl, myself. See, when I started using computers, keyboards didn’t have dedicated arrows, you had to navigate using the arrows on the number pad. Now, a couple of years later 🙂 the habit is well ingrained. My husband and I spent years changing the NumLock back and forth on our home computers.

I was very happy when I found out the Windows XP default NumLock state was OFF!

I win!

Then, a client asked me how to set the default state to ON. Since I never wanted to do that, I asked my favorite IT guy how to do it. He started talking about the bios and the registry and then my eyes glazed over and I started to hear the ocean – or a Prius, I’m not really sure.

There had to be a simpler way. And there is. The NumLock state can be set differently for each user profile in Windows XP. Here’s how to set the default NumLock state to ON:

1. While logged in, set the NumLock to ON.
2. Click the START button and select “Log Off” (the second option from the bottom).
3. Select “Log Off” again (NOT switch user)
4. You should see a message which reads “Saving your settings” as the computer logs off.
5. After log off is complete, you should see a message which reads: “To begin, click your user name”
6. When you do, you should see a message which reads: “Loading your personal settings”

The NumLock should automatically turn on all by itself!

It should stay set to ON until or unless someone LOGS OFF with a different NumLock state active. Shutting down without logging off shouldn’t change the NumLock setting.

viewing invisible grid lines

Can’t see the grid lines for labels or margins in WordPerfect? It could be a problem with Windows and flatscreen monitors. (Corel’s support database – Answer ID 207679) Try this:

For Windows XP:
1. Right click on the Desktop, select Properties.
2. Select the Appearance tab.
3. Click the Advanced button.
4. Select 3D Objects in the Item dropdown.
5. Under Color 1, choose a darker shade of gray.
6. Click OK, then click Apply on the Appearance tab.
7. Click OK, and open WordPerfect.

For Windows Vista:
1. Right click on the Desktop, select Personalize
2. Click on Window Color Appearance
3. Click on Open Classic Appearance
4. Click the Advance button
5. Select 3D Objects in the Item dropdown
6. Under Color 1, choose a darker shade of gray.
7. Click OK, then click Apply on the Appearance tab.
8. Click OK, launch WordPerfect.

The grid lines should be more visible. (The darker the shade of gray you select the more visible the grid lines will be.)

i can see clearly now

When you read text on your computer monitor, do the fonts seem . . . grainy? Do the edges of the letters appear ragged? Especially italicized text?

Try this:
Click the “Start” button (on the task bar at the bottom left of your screen).
Hover over “Settings” and click “Control Panel”
Double Click “Display”
Click the “Appearance” Tab (the fourth tabbed page)
Click “Effects . . . ” (at the bottom right of the menu)

Under the second check mark, labeled: “Use the following method to smooth edges of screen fonts:” Click the drop down arrow and select “ClearType” instead of “Standard”

Click “OK” (NOT cancel or the red “X” in the top right corner)
Click “Apply” (at the bottom right of the menu)


VISTA USERS: Clear Type is enabled by default on Windows Vista.

To Find the Option:
Right Click Anywhere on Your Desktop (away from any icons)
Click “Personalize” on the menu when it appears.
Click “Windows Color and Appearance”
Click “open classic appearance properties for more color”
Click the “Effects” button

Under “use the following method to smooth edges of screen fonts” Click the Arrow to the Right of the Box and Select Either “standard” or “cleartype”

Click OK, then OK again and then Close the personalization window

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