How to pass an image from the Windows 10 Snipping Tool to Paint 3D

Microsoft added a seamless way to pass an image from the Windows 10 Snipping Tool to the Paint 3D app where users can access powerful annotation tools.

Image: gorodenkoff, Getty Images/iStockphoto

Microsoft upgrades, revises, and updates Windows 10 on a continuous basis, and at such an accelerated pace, that it is easy to miss new features. This is particularly true when a subtle, yet useful, new feature is added to a well-established application without much fanfare.

The Windows 10 Snipping Tool was added to the basic installation of the operating system many years ago as a simple way to cut, capture, and paste screenshots. For many users, the Snipping Tool became the app of choice for creating training documentation, presentations, and blog posts. It was basic, easy to use, and did exactly what it was supposed to do.

However, for users looking to add annotations, markups, or other enhancements to a screenshot captured by the Snipping Tool, the options available in the app were rudimentary at best. To solve this problem Microsoft added a feature to the Snipping Tool that passes a captured image to the updated Windows 10 Paint 3D application. This feature enhancement adds a multitude of more sophisticated annotation tools to your available repertoire.

This how-to tutorial shows you how to pass an image captured by the Microsoft Windows 10 Snipping Tool to Paint 3D, where users can then annotate, markup, and otherwise manipulate the image with a more complete set of tools.

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Snipping to Paint 3D

The Windows 10 Snipping Tool is located under Windows Accessories on the Start Menu, which makes it a bit of a pain to get to when you need it. If you find yourself using it often, we suggest pinning it to your Taskbar.

Once you snip your image and load it into the Snipping Tool (Figure A), click or tap the Edit menu tab to reveal the Edit with Paint 3D command. You can also use the keyboard shortcut CTRL-E.

Figure A

Figure A

The command will pass the image over to Paint 3D (Figure B), where your choices of potential annotations and markups expand considerably.

Figure B

Figure B

With Paint 3D, users can apply filters to change the mood of the image, add in both 2D and 3D objects, and augment an image with special effects. In our example, we inserted an overlay of text, as shown in Figure C.

Figure C

Figure C

One of the more powerful features of Paint 3D is the Magic select function. It operates similarly to a crop function in that you select a region of your image, like in Figure D. However, the Magic select function will then process the highlighted area in an attempt to isolate and select a specific object from your image.

Figure D

Figure D

As you can see in Figure E, Paint 3D was able to isolate an orange from the original image, giving the user the power to manipulate it. You can move the orange to another location on the image or remove it completely.

Figure E

Figure E

Once you are satisfied with your image, you can save it, share it, or place it in a document or presentation. The possibilities for a tool as powerful as Paint 3D are only limited by your imagination. And now that there is a simple way to get a screen captured image from the Windows 10 Snipping Tool to Paint 3D, accessing those features is a simple click away.

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About Mark Kaelin

Mark W. Kaelin has been writing and editing stories about the IT industry, gadgets, finance, accounting, and tech-life for more than 25 years. Most recently, he has been a regular contributor to,, and TechRepublic.

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