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Microsoft Snip brings Windows screenshots to life with voice and ink

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Microsoft has a new Office tool that's really useful if you regularly take screenshots. Microsoft Snip, available in beta now, allows Windows users to capture screenshots and then annotate on them and record audio over the top. It can turn an ordinary screenshot into a screen tutorial, or just a neat way to share your thoughts about a document or image over the web. While Windows has long included its own Snipping Tool, Microsoft Snip is a lot more powerful.

Microsoft Snip hovers at the top of the desktop so it's instantly accessible to create a capture from your desktop screen, webcam, or just a whiteboard to sketch up anything with digital ink. Basic captures are automatically copied to the clipboard, but if you add audio then it's automatically transformed into an MP4 file that can be embedded on websites or viewed from a URL hosted on Microsoft's servers (providing you opt to upload it). Otherwise, all screenshots are stored locally by default.

It's in an early beta stage right now, which means that the email option in the app defaults to the desktop version of Outlook. If you're on Windows 10 and you don't use the full Outlook app then it doesn't fall back to the built-in Mail application just yet. Quirks aside, the URL sharing and embed features work really well (see below). There are a variety of screenshot and screen capture tools for Windows, but most of them aren't free. Microsoft Snip is being offered as a free beta for now, and there's an option within the app to send feedback straight to Microsoft about its features.