How to Save a Clipboard Image as a JPG or PNG File

Like most people nowadays, managing multiple image types and saving them in other formats is routine. Thankfully, there are many ways to save clipboard pictures as JPG and PNG files.

How to Save a Clipboard Image as a JPG or PNG File

In this article, we’ll go over the easiest and simplest methods. You don’t need to launch a beast of a program, such as Photoshop or Illustrator for this task. We will show you how to do it whether you’re a Windows, Mac, or Linux user.

Saving Clipboard Images in Windows

Windows users have several built-in tools at their disposal. The two selected for this article are the Snipping Tool and Paint 3D apps.

Saving Clipboard Images with Snipping Tool

The first and easiest way to snap images around the desktop is the little app called Snipping Tool. It is there for situations where you only need a partial screenshot. It allows you to quickly mark the image you need and save it in a format you desire.

Here is how to save a clipboard image using Snipping Tool. Keep in mind that these steps apply to computers running Windows 11.

  1. Open the image you want to save as JPG or PNG. Have in mind that you can take snaps of anything and everything that appears on your monitor.
  2. Click the Start Menu icon or press the Win key.
  3. Press the S key on your keyboard.
  4. Windows will list all matches for the letter S. Click on Snipping Tool. If it’s not on the list, click on the Apps tab and find the app. Click on it.
  5. Once you’ve located the image, click the New button in the Snipping Tool app. If it is an image stored on your computer, open it in Photos first.
  6. The screen will fade slightly. Click where you want the top-left corner of your future image to be.
  7. Hold the mouse button down and drag the red rectangle until you’re satisfied.
  8. Click the Save (floppy disk) icon.
  9. Choose the location and the file type.
  10. Click Save.

Saving Clipboard Images using Paint 3D

Windows users reluctant to use the Snipping Tool app can always use Paint 3D for this task.

Here’s how to do it:

  1. Locate the image you want to save, right-click on it, and click Copy. Alternatively, you can press the Print Screen key on your keyboard if you want to grab an online image.
  2. Press the Win key on your keyboard.
  3. Press the P key.
  4. Select Paint 3D from the list. If you don’t see it, click on the Apps tab, find Paint 3D, and click on it.
  5. Once the app launches, click on the New File icon.
  6. Paint 3D will create a blank file with default settings. Press the Ctrl + V keys together.
  7. Paint will paste your image into the file. Press the ESC key to deselect the image.
  8. If the image doesn’t fit the canvas perfectly, click the Crop option.
  9. Choose the portion of the file you want to save.
  10. Click the Menu icon in the top-left corner.
  11. Select the Save As option from the menu on the left and click the Image button.
  12. Select the location of your new image.
  13. Click on the Save as type dropdown menu and select the preferred format.
  14. Click Save.

Saving Clipboard Images on a Mac

This portion of the article will explain how to save a clipboard image as either JPG or PNG on a Mac. Your Mac allows you to save clipboard images in many ways, but we’ll stick with the simplest one – through the Preview app. Keep in mind that this tutorial only covers Mac OS X and that the process may be slightly different on other versions.

Follow these steps:

  1. Gather the image you want to convert. If you want to copy an image online you can right-click + Copy or you can take a screenshot by typing the Shift + Command+ 4 keyboard shortcut.
  2. Launch the Preview app on your Mac.
  3. Click on the File tab of the Preview’s app menu.
  4. Click Export.
  5. Click on Format and select either JPEG or PNG as the file type.
  6. Save the image.

Saving Clipboard Images on Linux

Among the major operating systems, Linux users are probably, the most comfortable with using Terminal to get things done. If you don’t have an image editor installed on your Linux, you can use the xclip command to save a clipboard image file as PNG or JPG.

Here’s how it works:

  1. Find the image you want to save as JPG or PNG and right-click on it.
  2. Select the Copy Image option. Have in mind that this works for both online and locally stored images.
  3. Launch Terminal.
  4. If you need to, you can execute “$ xclip –selection clipboard –t TARGETS –o” to see the list of available targets. Since all major Linux distributions support JPG and PNG files, you’re likely to find them on the list.
  5. Next, execute “$ xclip –selection clipboard –t image/png (or jpg if it is available) –o > /tmp/nameofyourfile.png”.
  6. To open your new file, execute “$ see /tmp/nameyourfile.png”.

If you’re running a newer distribution of Ubuntu, 17.10 or later, you can use the native set of shortcuts to save your screenshots as pictures.

  • Ctrl + Alt + Print will copy the screenshot of an entire window to clipboard.
  • Shift + Ctrl + Print will copy the screenshot of a portion of a window to clipboard.
  • Ctrl + Print will copy a screenshot to clipboard.
  • Alt + Print will save the screenshot of an entire window to Pictures.
  • Shift + Print will save a screenshot of a portion of a window to Pictures.
  • Print will save a screenshot to Pictures.
Linux Ubuntu Shortcuts

You can disable and enable each of these shortcuts as you see fit.

Use OnPaste to Save Clipboard Images

Some free online sites offer clipboard image conversion. Here is our pick – OnPaste. This site allows users to create their own canvas from scratch or upload an image they want to save as JPG or PNG.

Here’s how to create a file from scratch:

  1. Go to the location of the image you want to save as JPG or PNG and press Print Screen.
  2. Open your preferred browser and navigate to
  3. Choose the canvas size. Optionally, you can also set the color of the canvas.
  4. Click the Create Canvas button.
  5. When the empty canvas appears, press the Ctrl + V buttons simultaneously.
  6. Click on the Crop button (the first one next to the site logo).
  7. When ready, click the small arrow next to the Save (floppy disk) icon, name your file, and click on either PNG or JPG.
    OnPaste Save File
  8. Click Save.

JPG and PNG Unlimited

Saving image files as PNG or JPG has never been easier. You can do it natively on any major operating system in less than two minutes. Alternatively, you can use one of the many websites that offer similar functionality.

How do you save your clipboard images? Do you use heavy artillery image editing programs, or do you stick to the minimum firepower needed? Tell us about your preferences in the comments below.

30 thoughts on “How to Save a Clipboard Image as a JPG or PNG File”

Anemi says:
this helped me a lot, thank you

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