Digital Threat Assessment Toolkit
Digital Evidence

7.2 Documenting Photographic Data

One of the most effective ways to document your search is by taking screenshots to capture what is found.

Tip: Do not screenshot anything on Snapchat as it notifies the user (or in this case the potential threat maker) that you have taken a screenshot and this can ultimately elevate the level of risk.

A snipping tool is a tool that allows you to essentially screenshot just one portion of your screen or an image you are trying to capture, rather than the whole screen itself. This is useful to later determine whether an image you have "snipped" is stock (there are exact images found on the internet, thus increasing the likelihood that the user did not take the photo) or unique (there are no known images that look the same on the internet, thus increasing the probability that the user took the photo).

Please note that all operating systems have the potential to change the way you “snip” or use other functions. If the below instructions do not work, you can type “snipping tool” and your operating system (e.g., Windows 10 or macOS Catalina) into a search engine such as Google to find current tutorials.


For Windows users, a simple way to capture content is by using the Snipping Tool as described below.

The Snipping Tool is a program built-in to every Windows platform since Windows Vista (2007).

  • Go into the Windows search bar or click on the Windows icon.
    window search bar
  • Type "Snipping Tool".
    snipping tool
  • Right click on icon in task bar and pin to task bar.
  • This will add the Snipping Tool to your task bar at the bottom of your screen in enable easier access to this feature for future use.
    pinning snipping tool
  • Once you open the Snipping Tool, click on "New" then snip the image from corner to corner around the area that you would like to capture.
    new snipping tool
  • After your screen shot is captured, Snipping Tool will give you an option to “Save Snip.”
    save snipping tool
  • Save Snip will prompt you to save the screen shot as a file on your computer. From here, you may give the file a name and select where you would like to store the item (e.g., a custom folder on your desktop).

If you want to snip an image, copy the exact image (no border) onto clipboard and paste into Word Document or Google Doc:

  • Snip image as per above.
  • Once done, right click on the snipped image and select copy.
  • Control + V in the template to paste directly (without saving).
    Copy and paste snipping tool

Alternatives to Snipping Tool

There are several other options for screen capturing programs. Both Gadwin and Greenshot offer free screen capturing programs. Gadwin has the added benefit of being able to include a watermark displaying a timestamp of when the screenshot was taken. Links to both Gadwin and Greenshot are included in the Additional Resources section at the end of this course.


Mac users have several options for screenshotting content. Two basic methods are described below.

How to screen capture/screenshot an image on mac:

  • Hold the combination of keys: Command + Shift + 4 simultaneously.
  • Then click, hold and drag over the portion of the image you want to capture.

How to copy an image on mac DIRECTLY to clipboard:

  • Hold the combination of keys: Command + Control + Shift + 4 simultaneously.
  • Then you can go directly into your Word document or Google doc and paste directly there (Command + V).


Hold down the Control + Shift + Switch window keys all at once, select the areas of the image you would like to save and release. It will save the image to your Downloads folder.

If you would like to copy the image to your clipboard and paste directly into a Word document or Google Doc, select “Copy to Clipboard” once you’ve done the above, then paste accordingly.

When establishing a digital behavioral baseline for an individual, it can be helpful to paste or drag the screenshot into a working document (such as the Digital Behavioral Baseline Template in section 6.2) in Google Docs or Microsoft Word.