Take Better Screenshots With Screenshot Captor

There are numerous reasons why you might want to take screenshots of what is happening on your desktop. If you are creating a tutorial guiding people through a particular task, screenshots are perfect for illustrating things in a way that everyone can understand. If you have a blog and you decide to review a web site or a game, you’ll probably want to include screenshots.

There’s nothing to stop you from simply hitting the Print Screen key on your keyboard and pasting the image from the clipboard into your favorite image editor, and if you have Windows 7, you could use the Snipping Tool to gain access to a few more options. But if you want complete control over the screen capture process, you might be interested in taking a look at Screenshot Captor.

Download and Getting Started

Head over to the DonationCoder.com web site and click the Software link at the top of the page. Now click the Screenshot Captor link in the Mouser’s Software Zone section of the page.

Screenshot Captor can be downloaded free of charge

Screenshot Captor can be downloaded free of charge

Click the Download link to the left of the page and save the setup file to the desktop. Double click the installer and run through the installation in the usual way before launching the program from the desktop shortcut. Click the link that is displayed to return to DonationCoder.com so you can sign up for a free account to get a free serial number for the app.

You'll need to get a free license code to remove the nag screen from the program

You'll need to get a free license code to remove the nag screen from the program

Click the sign up at our forum link and fill in the details you’re asked for to create a new account before clicking the Register button. A moment later you’ll receive an email, and you’ll need to click the link it contains to confirm your account.

Register for a free account to obtain your free serial number

Register for a free account to obtain your free serial number

You should then pay a visit to the registration page at http://www.donationcoder.com/Keys/ where you should click the Generate license key for Screenshot Captor link. Highlight and copy the license key that is generated, return to the program, click the Enter New License Key Information and then click Paste From Clipboard followed by Accept.

While free, you'll need to get a new code for Screenshot Captor every six months

While free, you'll need to get a new code for Screenshot Captor every six months

Configuring Your Preferences

Right click the notification area icon and select the Preferences option from the menu that appears. To save you from having to manually launch Screenshot Captor in future, click the General Settings link to the left and then tick the box labelled Start with Windows; to prevent the program from opening on top of other windows, you should also tick the Start Minimized box.

Configure Screenshot Captor to start with Windows so it is always available

Configure Screenshot Captor to start with Windows so it is always available

While you have the options dialog open, it’s worth taking a look in the HotKeys and Shortcuts section to the left to familiarize yourself with the keyboard shortcuts you’re going to be using.

In addition to these keyboard shortcuts you can also right click the system tray icon to choose the type of capture you would like, and in the Other Shortcuts section of the Options screen you can select a quick-access capture that will be activated when you left click the same system tray icon.

Keyboard shortcuts can be customized to suit your preferences

Keyboard shortcuts can be customized to suit your preferences

If you don’t like any of the keyboard shortcuts, you are free to change them and the lower portion of the dialog enables you to set additional hotkeys for other tasks.

Now move to the Image File Format section and use the drop down menu at the top of the right hand side of the dialog to choose the file format that should be used for your images and if you have select JPG you can then use the Compression Level slider to balance image quality with file size.

While you can choose a default image format, this can be overridden for any capture

While you can choose a default image format, this can be overridden for any capture

The final settings that you might want to change can be found in the Screenshot Folder and Tools section – click the first of the folder buttons to choose where your captures should be saved. When you’re happy with the settings you have chosen, click the Accept button.

Capturing Screenshots

The easiest way to use Screenshot Captor is to simply press the PrtScr button as the program takes over the standard function of this key. The New Screenshot window will appear, showing a small preview of the capture – you can view a large version of the capture by unticking the AutoFit button and maximizing the window.

A preview will be displayed whenever you capture a screenshot

A preview will be displayed whenever you capture a screenshot

If you would just like to save the image, click the Keep Image and Hide button, but if you would you save the capture with a different name or in a different format to the default you have set, click the Save Image As button.

It is also possible to perform some basic image editing by clicking the Keep Image and Show button. In the window that appears, the Screenshot Panel to the left enables to you select which of your screen captures you would like to work with, while the right hand portion is your workspace.

There are a huge range of image editing options to help you make the most of your captures

There are a huge range of image editing options to help you make the most of your captures

The tools available are fairly standard image editing option, and by working with the right hand toolbar and the menus you can perform edits such as cropping, resizing and area highlighting.

Special effects can be used to highlight areas of an image you want to draw attention to

Special effects can be used to highlight areas of an image you want to draw attention to

There are plenty of options to explore within Screenshot Captor and there is a handy timer option that can be used to enable you to position windows and menu as you would like them to appear in an image. To activate this option, right click the system tray icon and click the Use Delay option before using a shortcut to capture images.

Capture delay is a useful option that gives you time to arrange on-screen elements

Capture delay is a useful option that gives you time to arrange on-screen elements

Wrapping Up

This is a very versatile tool and whether you are capturing images for fun or need screenshots for a work project, you have all of the tools you would expect to find in a commercial product in this fantastic free utility.


Summary

Screenshot Captor is a best-in-class tool for grabbing, manipulating, annotating, and sharing screenshots.

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