My primary (and only) screen capture tool has been Microsoft’s Snipping Tool. When I found it bundled with the OS, I tried it, and since then, have used it just about every day. There have been two shortcomings though – no way to blur sensitive snips and text can not be added. These are two features I need frequently. So at the urging of a friend who saw one of my blog posts with sensitive info very inelegantly marked out, I started searching.
I found and tried two free tools, but they’ve been deleted now. I kept searching and then I found Screenshot Captor. I went to the website to check it out before downloading and saw that it’s a freeware with donations gladly accepted. I like these types of tools as they are usually lightweight and reliable. I looked at the feature list and saw that my two features were included, so I decided to try it.
Be careful installing it because this program will install a search bar and several other products if you don’t uncheck them before clicking ‘next’ as you use the install wizard. I just hate those ‘tricksy’ things. After the program is started the first time, then you’ll see an icon in your system tray. If you right-click on it, it’ll bring up a a list of key-stroke-shortcuts you can use to capture your screenshot.
Below is a list of of screenshot grab choices. So you can click on one or use the short-cuts. It takes a little practice to use their capture tools if you’re wanting just a section of the page, but it gets easier as you work with it.
Getting your Screenshot
As you can see, there are a large number of types of screenshots you can choose to get. You’ll need to experiment with the ones that get just a portion of the screen as things didn’t work the way I thought they would. A little practice will make you familiar with their terms and how to use their tools to capture what you’re wanting.
After you get the capture, you’ll immediately see your screenshot pop up in a box like this. Then you’re presented with many useful choices. If you don’t need to crop, blur, add text or other effects, simply choose ‘image to clipboard’ and then use the paste command (Ctrl +V) to put the shot in your document. You’ll see you can save, print, email, make a thumbnail or select ‘Keep image and show’, then it’ll take you to a new screen where you can add the blur, caption and other effects.
Working with the add text took me awhile and still I’ll need to work with it more to make it faster. There are two ways to add text. There’s a way to add a caption to each image. After your image is captured, remember to select ‘Keep and Show’ to invoke the large screen with the multitude of options. Then look at the row of commands at the top and select ‘Object’, roll down to add a caption and you can add it there. I had problems with getting the caption text to show when I made the font size larger. It took a bit of playing around to figure out I could stretch the caption box, but it finally worked.
Adding Text via the text tool on the tool bar
The caption here says, “here is my text’, but when I copied it over here, it cut it off. I still haven’t figured out what’s going on with it after trying several things. So either it’s me or there are still some bugs in this part of it. I really haven’t used the text part of it until writing this article. I can use the add caption feature in WordPress, so this is not a big thing for me, it may be for some of you though.
Using the Blur Feature
This is the feature I most needed/wanted. There are times I want to show my Windows Explorer, my Outlook or Outlook.com screens, but I really don’t want to contents to be seen. Perhaps you’d like to the same. This feature is most valuable to me, so let’s take a look.
For our example, I’ve taken a snapshot of my mailbox. I’d like to show two ways to use the blur feature. In the first example, I took the screenshot, sent it to the big clipboard where the tools are, then I selected the entire inbox, except for the dates with my selector. Then along the toolbar I selected the icon for ‘blur inside’ and clicked it and instantly, everything in my selection window was blurred. Cool.
The second example I did to show you can select very small slices of your screen and blur those. So here you can see I’ve selected just a few things to blur. You can only select one section at a time, then click on the blur tool, then go back to the screen and get another selection and on like that. I’m glad this feature works flawlessly.
Too Many Features to Count
This software has so many features – too many to blog about here. To find out if there’s a feature you’ve been looking for, check out their overview video and help for information.
What screen capture software do you use. Leave a comment and share your knowledge.