Lately I’ve been teaching some classes and I saw many people using many different methods to create, store and share screenshots. Most of them took too much time and effort in my opinion and were actually distracting from the learning itself.
Since I also had the need to create many screenshots, I was looking for a tool that provided a lot of functionality without these drawbacks. I didn’t really care very much whether the tool would be free or paid, as long as it made my work easier and faster.
Below I’ve included some of the options I’ve explored:
Windows 8 / Windows 8.1 print screen options
With Windows 8 or 8.1 it’s now possible to use windows key+PrintScrn and then all screenshots will be stored in my “Pictures” folder in my documents. And even though it’s a nice addition if you sometimes need to take a screenshot, it still requires a lot of manual work for processing the screenshots and adding them to your desired location.
Windows Snipping Tools
Included in Windows Vista and above, it provides a bit more options than the regular print screen, but it is still very limited.
In the past I also used Irfanview, which is a great image viewer. Since I didn’t have to make many screenshots the workflow would then be:
- Press (alt +) print screen.
- If I needed to crop something, CTRL+V in Irfanview, select the area and CTRL+Y to crop, CTRL+C
- CTRL+V into application I want to use.
As you can see, this is still quite a lot of work if you make a lot of screenshots.
OneNote Screen Clipping
With OneNote you can create a Screen Clipping to be stored in your OneNote notebook, but it requires too many actions in my opinion and is also fairly limited.
I then started using ScreenShotCaptor which provided me with even more options, but it still wasn’t quite what I was looking for with regards to productivity
Then however I came across Greenshot which is free and really makes it so much easier for me to accomplish creating documentation. I especially like the ease with which you can capture and output to many different locations:
And if you’re working on something where you need to save to a specific output, you can (temporarily) configure it to save to a specific location to make your workflow even more efficient.
If you have the need to, you can also use the Greenshot Image Editor to include shapes and arrows, etc.
For me, Greenshot is a product I’ve come to love even though I haven’t used it for that long yet. I hope they’ll also add support for OneNote as well, because that would make it even better for me. Also if you’re not using a Windows system you’re out of luck.
I’ve heard a lot of positive things about SnagIt in the past and I was planning to give it a try even though it is not a free product. But since Greenshot met my needs, there was no use in trying Snagit. If you’re not using a WIndows system it might be worth looking into.
Also if you’re interested in capturing videos of your screen, you might want to try Camtasia.
Immediately after I published this blog post, someone suggested I’d take a look ScreenPresso as well, so I did. The free version is more limited than Greenshot in my opinion and steers you towards the paid version (http://www.screenpresso.com/features). For me, the only reason to buy the ScreenPresso Pro version (29 Euros) would be the video recording ability.
Also be sure to check out my list of other tools I find useful. It is updated on a regular basis: