There are lots of applications that serve as better alternatives to the default print screen feature of Windows.
Is Tinygrab just one such application or does it offer something else that gives it an edge over its rivals? Owned by Company 52, what secrets does it hold? Let us find out.
You need to have the .NET framework 4 in place before you can use this application. Once you have installed the framework, you can go ahead and install the application.Download TinyGrab from www.tinygrab.com.
Don’t look for a wizard or any dialog box to open up when you click the setup file. Double click it and it automatically installs in a flash (at least that’s how it was in my computer).
By the way I have an aversion towards the .NET framework. I dunno why. I guess it must be because I was forced by my teacher to write hundreds of lines of code of visual basic in a notebook and then type it on the computer to get the factorial of a number!
All Set and Good to Go
I opened the application. Out popped a little cloud on the taskbar.Hmm, strange. I waited for a few seconds and pressed printscreen. Nothing.
Confused I opened the preferences (right click on the little cloud) and found out in Configure Hotkeys that The default key combo is Ctrl+Shift+D3 (phew!).
“ Why do they not use the printscreen button?”, I wondered.
I tried to replace it with the printscreen key.
“Nay!”, says the little cloud.
So I finally had to use another simple key combo to replace the default one.
Then I tried again.
“AARGH! You gotta login first!”, shouted the little cloud.
I went to preferences-> account, fished the password from the deepest parts of my memory, typed in the details and voila!
Logged In and Onwards!
You have three options to take screenshots.
- What you see, the full screen option (ctrl+shift+d3)
- What you want, the selection version (ctrl+shift+d4). The mouse pointer changes to cross hairs. Click and drag over the desired area.
- Active window option (ctrl+shift+d5)
You can change the complex key combos by going to preferences ->general-> configure hotkeys.
Screenshots are uploaded automatically. After taking a screenshot, a progress bar is shown near the taskbar when the file is being uploaded (TinyGrab icon is yellow) followed by a notification after the file has been uploaded (TinyGrab icon turns green). You can turn automatic upload off by going to preferences and switching off “Auto Upload Grabs”.
By default the images are moved to the recycle bin after upload. This option can be changed to move the images to a custom folder. You can do this by going to preferences-> general and changing “After upload perform the following action to”.
If you want to upload the screenshots to your own website you can do so using the inbuilt FTP or SFTP. Configure the settings by going to preferences-> uploading.
The last three options in “uploading” (mobileMe, Amazon S3, Rack Space) are for pro users. (sigh)
You can access your uploaded screenshots via preferences -> account -> online account which will take you to beta.tinygrab where you need to sign in again.
In you go into your tinygrab control panel where all the screenshots you have uploaded are displayed with their respective urls. Tinygrab uses Tinyurl to shorten the urls and as a result they are not few feet long.
Your screenshots can be shared in your Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr accounts. You can either copy and paste the URL or you can click on the image thumbnail in the control panel and then click on the respective website link to allow TinyGrab to do the work for you.
Other options are the usual account management settings, and ability to separate the screenshots into folders, etc.
What I Don’t Like
The inability to use the Windows Printscreen key in Tinygrab got me wondering, “Why did the people at Company 52 decide to ignore it?”. On a hunch I checked out the Apple keyboard.
Lo, there was no printscreen button.
It seems that Tinygrab was developed with Apple in mind and at the last minute they decided to release a version for Windows. Additionally, the screenshots are automatically saved as png files and there is no option to change the format in the freeware version.
Tinygrab is unique in many ways, from how it works to what it offers. If you come to terms with the application you will find that Company 52 has produced a nice little application that makes sharing screenshots online both easy and fast.
Note: Sometimes you may get a “query failed. time vortex malfunction” error, which in my computer had no adverse effect on the functionality of TinyGrab.