In Windows 7, when using the Snipping tool, (one of the greatest features of Win 7), I can copy the snippet OK and place it in MS Word, but I cannot place the object right or center nor can I text wrap around the object. Any ideas?

Back in the days before the introduction of Windows 7 and Vista, if you wanted to take a picture of your screen, and then insert it into a Word 2007 document, you would have to jump through a gamut of virtual hoops. Usually the process would go something like this: Press the Print Screen key, open Microsoft Paint, Adobe Photoshop, or a similar image editor, paste your image into said image editor, crop and/or re-size as needed, export image from image editor to a Word friendly format, and finally paste into Word; at which point an adventure in proper image alignment would promptly begin. Thanks to Microsoft’s recently introduced Snipping tool however, creating a screen capture for import into Word (or any other word processor for that matter) has become a much easier task to undertake.

One of the newest features to be introduced by Microsoft into their Windows operating system in the past few years, the Snipping Tool provides a simple interface with which to capture, and save screen shots in Windows 7. Best of all, it adds a feature which allows you to draw an outline around only the parts of your screen which you wish to capture; eliminating the need to crop your screen shot in a third party image editing program prior to saving/exporting it into Word, as was required in past versions of Windows.

Simply turn on the Snipping tool in your Start menu, drag your mouse to draw a box around the part of the screen you wish to capture, and the Snipping tool will process your screen shot and present you with a preview window showing your latest capture. It’s at this point where, for some, the aforementioned “adventure in image alignment” of your Snipping tool screen capture within Microsoft Word begins.

As Word 2007 has a somewhat complicated user interface, especially for those whom have just recently migrated from using earlier versions of Word, or another word processor such as Open Office, lining up an image in your .docx document can seem to be quite the daunting task. However, simply follow these steps and you will become a Word screen capture alignment pro in no time!

Step 1. Perform your screen capture with the Snipping tool as normal. When the Snipping tool screen capture preview window appears, click the “Save Snip” button and save your screen capture Snippet somewhere safe and easy to remember (i.e. your Desktop.)

While you could simply “copy” the screen shot Snippet to your clipboard, if something goes wrong (i.e. you mistakenly “copy” something else, or your system freezes) you will lose your screen capture Snippet, and will have to recreate your screen shot using the Snipping tool all over again. Saving your screen capture Snippet will allow you to avoid having to re-do everything in the event a problem arises.

Step 1-1. For maximum compatibility, choose to save your screen capture Snippet as a .JPG file in the Save as Type drop down menu when saving your file.

Step 2. Open the Word document which your screen capture Snippet will be inserted into.

Step 3. Drag and drop your screen capture Snippet into your Word document, at approximately the position where you would like it to be displayed.

Typically your screen capture Snippet will displace your text in ways you do not want, and may actually appear somewhere completely different from where you were hoping to drop it. If this happens, simply drag (again) your screen capture Snippet as near as possible to where you would like to display it.

Step 4. Once your screen capture Snippet is near its intended position, mouse over your image and right click it to bring up the Word image options context menu.

Step 5. In the Word image option context menu, mouse over “Text Wrapping.” In the fly out menu which appears, select “Square.” You will see your screen capture Snippet re-align itself so that text now wraps (or “flows”) around it.

Step 6. Now that the text is wrapping around your screen capture Snippet, you may want to re-align your image so that the text wraps in a different direction (to the right, left, center, etc.) To do so, left click your image once and select the Format tab from the top menu.

Step 7. Click the Align icon, and select the alignment type (Left, Right, Center, Top, Bottom, or Middle) which you would like to use. The position of your screen capture Snippet will change accordingly.

Once you have found the proper wrapping and alignment options for your screen capture Snippet, you are ready to save your document and celebrate your new found screen capture Snippet alignment knowledge. Enjoy!

~J. Conboy