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Outlook Tip: Quickly Add Screenshots to an Email

One of Outlook 2010's most underrated and overlooked features is Insert Screenshot, which makes it incredibly quick and easy to paste a screen grab into the body of an e-mail.

That's mighty handy if you want to, say, get team feedback on your new redesign of the company landing page, or share a snippet of spreadsheet data without actually sharing the spreadsheet. ("Just look at these numbers!") Here's how it works:

  1. Create a new email message.
  2. With your cursor in the body of the message, click the Insert tab, and then click Screenshot.
  3. Outlook shows you thumbnails of all currently open windows. (If you can't quite make out what's what, mouse over any thumbnail for a description.) Click the one you want and presto: A full-size screenshot lands right in the body of the email.

If the image is too large (or even not large enough), you can click and drag any of the corner handles to resize it.

Now, if you want to insert just a clipped portion of a window rather than the entire thing, you can -- but it's a little more involved:

  • Bring that window to the foreground, then put the new-message window on top of that.
  • Repeat Step 2 above.
  • Instead of clicking one of the thumbnails, click the Screen Clipping button at the bottom of the selection tool.
  • Now you'll see that window from Step 1, but sort of whited out. Click and drag your cursor to select the area you want pasted into the email. As soon as you release the mouse button, presto: The snippet gets pasted.
Once you do this a couple times, you'll find it becomes second nature. And you'll wonder why you wasted so much time capturing screenshots manually, saving them to disk, then attaching them to emails.

That said, if you want a little more control over your screenshots, there's always the Windows Snipping Tool.

Got an Outlook tip of your own to share? Put the fingers to the keys in the comments section!

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