OS X has a built-in screen capture function, but it is pretty limited. For example, Command-Shift-4 lets you define a rectangle to capture. Command-Shift-4 followed by the space bar will capture a window. You can also capture your entire desktop with Command-Shift-3, and other commands will save the result to your clipboard.
Sometimes, those basic features are not enough. Apple bundles a utility called Grab with OS X that adds more features, but it still falls short for many users. Enter Screenshot FX, a very handy US$1.99 utility (on sale now) that lets you capture irregular objects by clicking on points and then dragging those points to create a curve.
The app sits in your Menu Bar waiting to be invoked, or you can hit Command-Shift-5 to bring it up. When you have outlined your object, you click on the first point, hit Return and your screenshot is saved to a location you specify in the app’s preferences.
Once your points are selected, you can modify them, or use the arrow keys on your keyboard to fine-tune the selection, either one or four pixels at a time. Any control point can be edited or deleted, giving you a lot of flexibility. The only negative is that all captures are saved as PNG files, the same format Apple uses. I’d like to see an option where I could save as a JPG, TIFF, BMP or GIF.
I tried the app with some difficult shapes, and it worked very well. I did have to refer to the built-in help to learn all the commands and key combinations, but it soon became second nature. In my work for TUAW I am constantly grabbing images like logos or screen shots of apps I am testing, so Screenshot FX is going to be a much-used item. There are similar apps around, like Screenshot Menu, which is free, but you can only draw a rectangle with it. Screenshots ($9.99) is also worth a look, as it has some nice features like sending directly to mail or iPhoto.
Screenshot FX is a handy little utility that I’ll use a lot. If you find yourself needing screenshots, and want more functionality than Apple gives you, this app is just the ticket.
Screenshot FX needs OS X 10.7 or later, and a 64-bit processor.
If you haven’t picked a favorite screen capture utility, here’s one that you may want to put on your list of apps to try, especially if you want to upload your captures to an FTP server.
ScreenSnapr is a simple screen capture utility. The free version has no expiry date and lacks some of the more interesting features such as posting screenshots to Twitter, something that the full version includes, for a fee of 5$.
Since paying for screen capture applications is nonsense (browse our website to see that there plenty of free apps available), let’s have a look at the features of the free version:
- Unlimited 1-click uploads
- Custom FTP uploads
- URL shrinking
- Custom GUI
- Dual-monitor support
ScreenSnapr is launched by a shortcut that is predefined within the program. The program settings are very simple and self-explanatory. FTP settings are easily configured.
A simple window pops up as soon as you create the shortcut. Note that the Tweet option is not functional in the free version of ScreenSnapr.
ScreenSnapr, while still in beta, is a very simple application with no real features that make it stand out. Even free web-based screen capture tools such as Aviary are more advanced than ScreenSnapr, and do not require a payment to use the full version.
Overall, it’s a nice program if you often upload screenshots to FTP, but otherwise it’s best that you evaluate some other alternatives, many of which are available by browsing this site.
You may read more about and download ScreenSnapr at ScreenSnapr.com.
Shutter is a fully-featured screenshot tool for Linux. Within one window, Shutter lets you take a screenshot of the screen, a window, or an area of the screen, edit it, and upload it to the web. Shutter is fully open source and, according to their website, has the following features:
- take a screenshot of your complete desktop, a rectangular area or capture a website
- take screenshot directly or with a specified delay time
- save the screenshots to a specified directory and name them in a convenient way
(using special wild-cards)
- Shutter is fully integrated into the Gnome Desktop (TrayIcon etc.)
- generate thumbnails directly when you are taking a screenshot and set a size level in %
- Shutter session collection
- keep track of all screenshots during session
- copy screeners to clipboard
- print screenshots
- delete screenshots
- rename your file
- upload your files directly to Image-Hosters (e.g. http://ubuntu-pics.de), retrieve all the needed links and share them with others
- edit your screenshots directly using the embedded drawing tool
It works like your standard screen capture program (we review such programs all the time) and does not yet have a video recording feature. The program can be set to run automatically as soon as you press the PrtScn or Alt+PrtScn buttons. Read here about configuring Shutter to activate automatically.
One neat thing about Shutter is the support of plugins.
These plugins are able to create effects similar to those in GIMP and PhotoShop but directly in Shutter, making it a nice tool for web developers who want to add effects to images on their website, but either don’t have the expertise or the time to do so. All plugins have a slate of settings to make your image look just the way you want it.
Uploading your Images
Shutter lets you upload your screen captures to a wide variety of free image sharing websites. One of the neatest feature of the upload feature is that you get embed and direct links to the uploaded images right away, without the need to launch a browser.
Shutter is a very powerful and fully-featured tool for capturing still screenshots within a graphical Linux environment. As a matter of fact, it surpasses many of its’ Windows counterparts in features, ease of use, and usability. For more information about Shutter for Linux visit http://shutter-project.org/.
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.
Here at ScreenCaptureNews, when it comes to software, we like everything that’s free, useful, and simple. A good example of an application that abides by those three rules would be Aviary. Think of Aviary as a tool for capturing screenshots of webpages, similar to FireShot, which we earlier reviewed.
How it works
The way it works is quite simple, just place www.aviary.com/ before the URL of the webpage that you would like to capture.
Once that is done, you will be taken to a loading page, it means that your capture was successful and the Aviary image editor is starting.
You will then be taken to a full-blown image editor, as pictured below. The features are pretty self explanatory. Once you are done editing, you may click on “save to desktop” or “save & host online,” depending on what you would like to do with your saved capture.
Advanced Screenshot Editor
The most amazing feature of Aviary is, by far, the advanced editor, pictured below. It can be accessed by clicking on “Advanced Editor” in the top right of the window.
Those that work with Photoshop will have an easy time adapting to the advanced image editor, which tries to replicate the Photoshop interface and functions with some features like layers, history, magic wand, smudge tool, liquify tool, freeform selection tool, and more. All these features definitely make this web based applet more advanced than most free screenshot editors which need to be installed. What’s more, Aviary works with all operating systems including Windows, Mac OS and Linux, and allows for direct uploading of an image to the Aviary web servers, where you can share it with others.
If you don’t have a webpage screenshot editing tool that you’re used to, or if you’re looking to try something new, I would definitely recommend Aviary. It’s easy to use, it’s free, and it’s packed with features that you won’t find anywhere else!
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.
Don’t you ever wish that your PocketPC had a dedicated “Print Screen” button? Unfortunately, screen capture is not present in Windows Mobile 5 and most screen capture applications are not free. Screener, an entirely free Windows Mobile 5 application that weighs in at under 20KB, captures the screen of your PocketPC device and saves it as a .JPG file in your root folder.
In order to take the screenshot, you must first figure out which hardware button on your PocketPC is assigned to the Screener application (it is usually button #2). Then you simply press that button, after which the capture of your screen is saved to your root folder. Simple as that!
There are many screen captutre programs that capture webpages from web browsers, such as the popular FireShot software for Firefox that we reviewed earlier. However, FireShot captures what you see on your screen only, and does not actually save the enitre webpage, which can be several pages long, as an image file.
Web Screen Capture is a small and free utility for making screenshots of webpages in Internet Explorer. It differentiates itself from other capture utilities by performing only this function and nothing else.
Using Web Screen Capture on the following webpage:
You end up with this *massive* screenshot:
This can be useful if you want to save the entire contents of the page as an image file (Web Screen Capture does JPG, GIF, PNG and JPG) and not just an area of your screen.
Web Screen Capture does not need to be installed and weighs in at under 1MB in size. This means that it can be used on public computers which don’t allow the installation of external computer programs. As well, Web Screen Capture can automatically batch convert multiple webpages to images or be launched through the command line.
For those wishing to integrate webpage screen capture into their existing software, the command line interface of Web Screen Capture can prove to be very simple to implement. Best of all, it’s all completely free!
As long as you have the 2.0 version of the iPhone firmware or above, the iPhone or iPod Touch does not need any special screen capture software in order to take instant screenshots of your screen. Here is how it works:
1. Hold the Home button down
2. Press the Sleep/Wake button
Your screen should now flash white. This means that the iPhone or iPod Touch has successfully captured your screen and saved it as a photo.
3. Your screenshots can be found by pressing the Photos icon.
On an iPhone, you’d have to then navigate to the Camera Roll folder. On an iPod Touch, the screen captures are saved in the Saved Photos folder.