Power of the TeacherMade Snipping Tool

Although the TeacherMade snipping tool is best known for starting drag and drop activities (see here), it is actually one of our most powerful tools all on its own. We’ll even go so far as to say it has superpowers!

The snipping tool can be found on the far right end of your toolbar (the small scissors).

In its simplest form, it can be used to edit the original PDF that you upload to TeacherMade. When you click on the snipping tool, it turns your mouse cursor into crosshairs. Click and drag over the area that you want to snip. 

PRO TIP: Here’s an important trick: the snipping tool doesn’t really remove anything from your background. It just creates an image from it and inserts a color block behind it. If you want, you can delete the snipped image by selecting it and hitting the delete key. When you remove it, you’ll see a color block behind it. You can edit the color or this color block and resize it or you can simply delete it to return to the original background.

Now for the fun part; let’s go over some of the ways you can use the snipping tool aside from making draggable objects.

  1. Use the snipping tool to “delete” parts of your original worksheet or block it from your student’s view. This is perfect for covering up answer keys or parts of a worksheet that cover material you haven’t gotten to yet in class. Just snip the area then delete the resulting image, leaving the color block behind to hide the original element of the PDF.

  2. Use the snipping tool to move parts of your original PDF anywhere on the worksheet. Whether it’s a table, an image, or a whole question, use the snipping tool to quickly snip them from their original location and drag them anywhere you would like them to be on the assignment. 

  3. Use the Snipping tool to copy objects from other TeacherMade activities into your current one. Open the activity where the desired object is located. Simply click on the scissors icon to get into Snipping mode, draw a rectangle over the area you want to copy and select 'Copy' from the Edit menu or use Ctrl-C. Then open the activity where you want the snipped item to be placed and hit Ctrl-V (or select 'Paste' from the Edit menu).

You can also use the snipping tool to "grab" text from the background image! Just select the "Text" option on the toolbar after activating the tool:

When you drag the rectangle, the tool will capture the text from the background image, and using some computer magic, convert it to text in a Teacher Text box. You can then edit, resize or reformat that text. It will also become readable by adaptive technologies like screen readers. You can even make your new text draggable, so that it can be connected to a Drop Zone for a Drag and Drop interaction!

The text conversion uses a technology that can be sensitive to font sizes and styles, unusual fonts, and complicated formatting. We recommend snipping small blocks of text and always checking that the results are what you wanted.

Using the snipping tool, you can completely edit and manipulate PDFs in ways you’ve never been able to before! Whether you’re creating a Drag and Drop activity or looking to move parts around, the snipping tool is the tool for you!

We hope you now see the true power of the snipping tool and encourage you to take some time to explore how you can use it in your activities :) 

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