Are you a frequent user of the PrintScreen key? Ever wanted to get more out of that button? Sure, you can paste from the PrintScreen clipboard to any image editing or annotation program of your choice, but now there is a free alternative that extends the PrintScreen button’s functionality and makes it easy to create annotated screenshots and upload them right away to an image sharing site of your work. PrintScreen.Me works in four easy steps:
- Capture your screen with the PrintScreen button
- Annotate, draw, and add notes to your screen capture
- Upload screenshot directly to Facebook, Twitter, Picasaweb, Flickr, or PrintScreen.Me’s free image server.
- E-mail, print, or archive the screen capture.
You must first download and install the PrintScreen.ME program, it is available as a free download and works with Windows machines only. Once you install the program and run it, it will prompt you for a user name and password:
You must set up an account over at PrintScreen.ME. Luckily, the only personal information that is asked for is an e-mail. If you don’t want to disclose your e-mail address, however, anything may be entered into the box, as PrintScreen.ME does not require e-mail verification. After creating your account, you will be prompted to enter your account names and passwords for photo sharing sites like Facebook, Flickr, Twitter, etc.
The entire setup process takes less than 2 minutes. Once the program is installed, an icon should appear in the lower right (this screenshot was created with PrintScreen.ME):
Now, upon pressing the PrintScreen button you will be able to use PrintScreen.ME to edit and upload your screenshots. Here is a more detailed breakdown of PrintScreen.ME’s annotation features:
PrintScreen.ME is an extremely easy tool to use and comes in very useful. However, it has one huge drawback which is my reason for removing this program after using it for a day – no dual-screen support. This means that there is no way to capture the image on your second screen. It’s very upsetting that a fairly good program would not support such features, when the standard PrintScreen functionality in Windows camptures multiple monitors without a problem.
The introduction of high-speed broadband internet to people’s homes meant that internet users could now share vast amounts of files and information with each-other. P2P and file sharing started out with music and has evolved into a medium through which all kinds of data and information is shared.
ScrnShots has taken the evolution of online file sharing further by offering an unlimited screenshot sharing service. In other words, you can take screenshots from your computer, post them online, tag them and name them. Other people will be able to view your screenshots and comment on them and you will be able to do the same to others.
As soon as you load ScrnShots, you are able to search for screen captures simply by typing in a keyword, as in the example above. If you have an account, you may comment other people’s screenshots and upload your own screenshots to share.
Uploading to ScrnShots
Uploading to ScrnShots may be done in two ways. First, you may take your own screenshots, save as picture file and upload using a browser uploader, or you may install the ScrnShots application, pictured below.
The advantage to using the application is that you are able to instantly upload the screenshot, it is available for Windows and MAC OS.
For developers, ScrnShots offers and API for Windows and MAC OS, allowing you to integrate ScrnShots’ functionality in your own programs. In other words, using the API, a program can be made to upload images directly to the ScrnShots server.
While the idea of sharing screenshots is great, there are many other services that would accomplish the same thing, such as Flickr or Google’s Picasaweb, which also allow you to upload large resolution pictures, tag them, and search them. ScrnShots’ interface is very straight-forward and easy to use, which does make it a good service if this is what you are looking for.
How often have you wanted to quickly grab a screenshot of a webpage and post it online, publish it to a forum, e-mail it to your friends, or just save it to your computer? Of course, all these tasks are easily accomplished by complicated programs or browser add-ons, but what if you could do all that without ever actually installing anything?
This is where Kwout (pronounced like “quote”) comes in. Kwout is what is called a bookmarklet and is launched simply by adding the link provided to your bookmarks and then launching the bookmark. For convenient use, you can drag the link directly onto your toolbar, as shown below.
That’s it! You can now take screenshots of webpages, images on webpages, and even save text with links by going to the bookmark that you just added. When you see something on a website that you would like to save, simply click on the bookmark and follow the easy to use proccess. First, you will have to select the area of the webpage that you want to capture and click on “Cut Out”.
You will now be shown your captured area. At this point, you can customize the way it looks, add annotations, and select where to post it. You can copy/paste the HTML code given to put it directly on your site or blog, you can e-mail it to your friends, or post it to one of these photo-sharing and content sharing sites:
- Livedoor Blog
- Ameba Blog
- Hatena Diary
- Excite Blog
- So-net Blog
That’s it! You have now posted an exceprt/screenshot from another webpage! Keep this tool in your bookmarks, it’s easy to use and absolutely free. You never know when it could come in handy.
Jing Project is a free screen capture software package that is distributed online by Techsmith, the creators of SnagIt and Camtasia Studio. It is available for Windows and Mac OS X.
Jing takes screenshots or video of your screen and then stores them or uploads them. Jing is also able to record voice from the computer’s microphone input while videos of the user’s screen are being recorded.
This critical review will look at this piece of software to try to determine its usefulness and functionality.
If installing on a Windows machine, Jing will prompt you to install .NET Framework 3.0, if you do not already have this installed. At the end of the installation, Jing will ask you to create a username and password. The software will not work without the creation of this account.
The software will start as soon as it is installed. You will notice a small yellow semi-circle at the top of your screen. Dragging your mouse over it will reveal Jing sharing options.
Start by dragging your mouse over the yellow bubble and then clicking on the capture crosshairs.
You will now be able to select what area of the screen is to be captured/shared.
Notice how a rectangular option window pops up in the lower left corner. This allows you to choose the capture format (image or video).
After the video or image is recored, Jing will show a preview (if it is a video) and will prompt the user as to what to do with the recording.
Unfortunately, Jing Project is only able to save the video as a flash .swf file, which means that there are no easy ways to share the recorded content. SWF flash files are great for webmasters who would like to post the recording to their site, but video sharing sites such as YouTube, Veoh, and others do not accept this as an upload format. For many, this makes the saving feature quite useless. The recording that was made via the Jing save feature is shown below:
Note that scrolling was very slow, meaning that the capture rate of Jing project is only a few frames per second. The image resolution, on the other hand, was exactly the same as the capture. Jing does not provide the user with an option to resize the output, which makes embedding high resolution flash videos into websites a pain. The video above had to be cropped on both sides due to the fact that the width of the recording made by Jing Project was unable to accommodate the width of the actual webpage.
Screencast.com Functionality and Review
The other thing about Jing Project is that it gives you access to Screencast.com, TechSmith’s content sharing portal. Think of it as a YouTube-like site for people sharing their captures. Clicking on “Send to ScreenCast: URL” will automatically upload the recording to the ScreenCast account that you signed up for earlier. Once the upload is finished, Jing Project will automatically paste the URL of your uploaded video into the Windows clipboard. You must paste it into a browser (press Ctrl + V) to reveal the link.
This is the capture that was made by ScreenCaptureNews.com: http://screencast.com/t/lCZwmjS5. Notice how there are no options to embed or share the video (like on popular video sharing websites such as YouTube or Veoh). Another disappointment is the fact that there is no option anywhere that will allow you to resize the video being viewed from its original size. This means that your audience must have monitors of your size or bigger in order to be able to view the recording in all its size and glory.
In fact, even a video of the same laptop screen did not fit into a full browser window when later being viewed on the laptop that was used to make the recording.
There is one thing to be happy about, however. Even though it looks like ScreenCast.com is an oversimplified and not fully worked out website, the absence of advertising (except for ScreenCast themselves) is always a welcome thing for a free product like Jing Project.
Jing Project is an easy to use software with a very clean and intuitive interface. It does a pretty good job at capturing the area of the screen that it is told. The user is also given the option to record voice over the recorded video using a microphone. This, however, is where the good ends and the bad begins.
Videos can only be saved locally as an SWF file, which severely limits the user in options as to where to upload the video. Of course, the user can always use a 3rd party software to convert the SWF video to a format like AVI, but that complicates the proccess.
What’s more, the ScreenCast.com player is just that – a simple player. There are no options for the viewers to resize the resolution of the recording to fit the screen, and our tests showed that a bigger screen (or a higher resolution) is required to properly view a screen capture uploaded to ScreenCast.com. There are also no visible options for sharing or embedding, although this has become a standard amongst today’s content sharing websites.
The Jing Project seems like a piece of software created by TechSmith in order to get users that require more functionality to look into their other products. Specifically, Camtasia Studio, a $300 software program that pretty much extends Jing Project’s functionality and is also made by TechSmith.
Overall however, Jing Project is a decent software for those wanting an easy way to share their screen contents and store them without paying a cent. At the same time, those users that are serious about webcasting the content of their computer monitors are advised look elsewhere.