Over the years, Microsoft has bundled several useful utility apps with their flagship Windows Operating systems. Sadly, screen capturing is not one of them. Sure, you can press “Prnt Scrn” and paste it in Paint as you’ve always done, but it doesn’t work for most of us.
Today, we’re going to take a look at a very light-weight utility, Shotty, to capture beautiful screenshots. Join me after the jump to find out how it works.
Shotty is absolutely free. You can grab your copy here. The default key combination is Ctrl + Prnt Scrn to capture high quality screenshots with Aero Glass effects. It even allows you to upload your images directly to a select list of image hosting services.
Capturing images is really simple. You can either use the default hot-key or simply click on the taskbar icon to get started. Shotty helps you capture the screenshot of the entire desktop, a specific rectangular region, or even a complete window(in high quality and low quality modes).
The high quality mode supports Aero Glass effect and even lets you change the Aero color Ad-hoc, while in the LQ mode, you can capture the windows without Aero glass. Through the setting, it also allows you to change the Aero Glass color if needed.
Shorty has a minimal image editor to enhance your screen shots. It allows you to re-size your images, crop the images, highlights specific regions and add custom messages to your image.
Another feature which I found interesting is Shotty’s ability to blur certain portions of the image. At AppStorm, we deal with several screenshots daily and most of the time we need to hide certain information to protect our privacy or that of the others. This feature has saved my skin (and the sanity of my mailbox) several times than I care to count.
Another interesting feature in Shotty is the inbuilt image uploader. It lets you upload your images directly to any of the 5 pre-defined services. But at this age of cloud sharing, and with the rise of DropBox and Droplr, I doubt if any in the audience would use it.
Another feature worth noting is Shotty’s delay capture. With this, you can ask Shotty to wait for a pre-defined number of seconds before capturing your screen. It comes in handy more often than you could think of.
Shotty sports a minimal interface. On second thought, there is no formal interface as such. On clicking the taskbar icon, it opens up an ugly window with screen recording options. The rest of the options are hidden and is visible only when you right click on its icon. That’s all about the main interface. The editor, however comes in a traditional interface with many buttons.
Is it easy to use? Yep. Is it beautiful? Nope. Does it get the job done? Yep. There is nothing in particular to talk about Shotty’s interface. It is an interface that just works. Nothing more, nothing less.
Shotty is riddled with many minor bugs, some of which are even ridiculously funny. While trying to re-size an image, when you enter a fixed width, irrespective of what you enter, it re-sizes it to the default 320px width. You’ve to undo and execute it again for it to work properly. Surprisingly, if you use the increase/decrease button to set the values it works like a charm, the first time. Clearly, someone was sleeping during the component testing.
The application has some serious issues with the HQ window mode. Apparently, when you try to take a snap by using your mouse the top most window loses focus and Shotty is not able to capture that window. You can only achieve this by using the pre-defined hotkey. My question is why give an option to the user if it doesn’t work? Seriously, people need to stay awake during testing.
It’s a valuable utility in my toolkit. It offers more features than most commercial apps out there, and all for free. The bugs listed out here are relatively minor and should not get in your way most of the times. Considering its free prize tag, I’d say it’s a steal.
Have you tried any other screen capturing utility? Please do join us in the discussion below and share your experience with our readers. Thank you for reading!