New product: Snap!
August 29, 2011
Flash Security
September 6, 2011
Show all

Screen Capture Tools

Screen captures are a critical ingredient for software training, technical documentation, and help systems. Screen captures can be used to explain the user interface, system functionality, and put together in “step action tables” to document entire tasks or processes. For some projects, one or two images of a system will be sufficient such as putting together a quick ob aid. On other projects, you’ll need to capture a large number of images, such as system walkthroughs or creating an entire help system.

This is definitely one area where training developers have their own preferences about their development tools. But if you’re serious about screen captures, the built-in capture functionality in Windows OS just won’t cut it. Here’s a list of features you might consider as you evaluate available options for screen capture tools:

  • Automatic file naming
  • Image editing with options to create text captions, highlight boxes, arrows, drop shadows, and other annotations.
  • Capture region options including active window, full screen, scrolling window, active menu, drop-down menus, region (with editable width/height values), object
  • Save as optional file types, including .gif, .bmp, .jpg, and our favorite, 32-bit .png.

Some products we’ve used extensively and recommend are:

  • PicPick – screen capture, image editor, color picker, color palette, pixel ruler, cross hair, whiteboard. Free for personal use, $21.99 for commercial use.
  • Snagit – screen capture, image editor. Many features to edit, store, share image files. $49.95.
  • FastStone Capture – screen capture, screen recorder, many output options. $19.95.