Thursday, June 7, 2012

The most awesome new feature of Office 2010

Alright, I found the my new favorite feature of Office 2010. I've had office 2010 for a while, but everybody knows we all only use the features we used to use. Well, I have a new feature that have added to my quick launch bar: Insert>>Screenshot>>Screenshot Clipping. The whole insert screenshot feature is pretty cool and is available in Word, PowerPoint, Excel, and Outlook (it's probably everywhere, but I haven't found a good use for it in all of them).

When you first hit the Screenshot button in the ribbon bar, you get a drop down containing thumbnails of all the windows you have currently open and not minimized. Clicking one of these thumbnails inserts a screen shot of that window at the cursor. While this is great by itself, perhaps the more useful feature (and the one i've pinned to my quicklaunch bar) is Screenshot Clipping. When you click on this, the current window is minimized and the whole screen goes grey. The mouse turns into a + cursor. Draw a box around any portion of the screen and as soon as you let up on the mouse button, a picture of that portion of the screen is inserted at the cursor! It's completely awesome.

The reason it's completely awesome is because of the ease with which it accomplishes a task which would require multiple keystrokes/clicks (doing it the previously easiest way) or even a third program (if you did it the ancient way). The previously easiest way was to activate the window of which you wanted a screenshot, pressing Alt+PrtScn, pasting back into the Word doc or email, and using Word's image cropping tool to crop out the parts not needed. This was pretty good and I was always surprised at the number of people that did it the hard way.

The hard way involved using Windows7's snipping tool. Launch it and (depending on the mode) you can get a capture of the full screen, a window, a rectangle, or a freeform shape. Once you do this, the picture shows up in the snipping tool. If you've got it setup, it also copies it to the clipboard so you can paste it wherever you want. While this works and gives flexibility into the whole process, I always found it tedious.

Anyway, I was so excited about this feature, I had to put a blog post about it. Now if only Google would put something like that into the blogger post editing toolbar.