I do a fair bit of documentation and even the odd user guide/procedure so having a utility to capture parts of the computer screen, menu, window or even the whole screen is an absolute must. As always, free utilities are usually my first choice so here's a couple that make my job so much easier…
- Gadwin PrintScreen
Gadwin PrintScreen basically does everything I need to capture a Windows screen. It defaults to using the Print Screen key, but you can change that if you want, can capture the current window, client window, full screen or a user selected rectangular area and you can even capture the mouse cursor if you want to.
It gives you a preview of the capture and can save directly to the clipboard, printer or a file. If you're saving to a file, it'll let you choose where and you can pick from a selection of graphic file formats. There are a few other options such as delayed capture and grey scale colour, etc. but I find the basic stuff does the job adequately enough.
Another good Windows option is the Free version of ScreenHunter, which also comes in Plus and Pro commercial versions.
It has a few minor extra features over Gadwin PrintScreen but nothing of any note unless you pay them some money for the commercial versions. I suppose it depends what kind of capabilities you want in a screen grabber but both free Windows versions are sufficient for me.
- Mac OS X
Macs make capturing the screen, or part of it, very easy as it's built into the Mac OS X operating system. All you have to do is press the right key combination as follows…
If you want to put the screen shot in the Clipboard, rather than create a file, hold down the Control key when you press the other keys. You can then paste the picture into a document.
PS: I can hardly call this free as you have to pay for Mac OS X but it doesn't cost you any more if you already have a Macintosh running Mac OS X.
Even though Mac OS X makes it so easy to take screen shots, SnapNDrag makes it even easier as it lets you take a screenshot by just clicking a button and dragging the resulting screenshot off to a folder or an application.
It supports PNG and TIFF for times when image quality cannot be compromised or you can use JPEG with adjustable quality for smaller file sizes.