Use Capture To Make Taking Screen Shots Easy

I take a lot of screen shots whilst writing some of my articles, especially if the tutorial/article is a long step-by-step one like the full install of Windows 7, which was 41 in total, so the normal way of taking screen shots can take a while as you normally have to hit PrtScn (or ALT+PrtScn) then dump the image into Paint, crop the area you actually want, then save to your preferred format.

I had been looking for an easier solution to this, but the only programs I could find were paid for ones, so I asked my friend, Peter Bone, who wrote Pivot Animator (the stickman animation program) to write a program for me that would simplify the process. What I wanted was a small program that would simply allow the user to select an area of the page/ desktop by dragging around the area which will then save anything selected. That’s what Capture does, and it will save you a lot of time. You can now get the screen grab you want in 4 simple clicks which will take you about 3-4 seconds if that.

This program is for Windows only.

You can download the program here. It’s 581KB in size (unzipped). Just unzip the program and double-click on the Capture.exe icon. In Windows XP you will get the prompt asking you if you want to run the program, but in Windows 7 it assumes you are the admin by default and loads straight away.

Capture Icon

You will then see the Capture icon appear in your task bar. To use it, just right-click on the icon where it will give you the option to capture an image to file (the choice I use) or capture to the clipboard.

So let’s say that you want to capture the Google logo. Simply right-click on the Capture icon, select ‘Capture to file/ Clipboard’. You will then see that your cursor has changed to a cross-hair, now just drag-select the area you wish to capture and release.

Google Logo

You will then be prompted by the Save As window asking you which format you want to save to. By default it’s set to PNG which is a lossless format. You can save to PNG/JPG or BMP. It will remember your last preferred choice of image format.

Save file as

That’s it. A simple and easy to use screen grabbing program that is free to use and will save you a lot of time, and cuts out the hassle of having to crop out the area you actually want from your screen grab.

This is a great tool for bloggers.

Thanks Pete.

  • gos

    you’re joking, right? don’t want to start the old back and forth, but if you are serious with this post, there is a much simpler way – it’s called mac – cmd >ctrl >shift >4, to the clipboard (cmd>shift>4, to desktop) and then pasted anywhere… ;-) just a thought to keep in mind when the day comes to replace your pc – OS X is worth the extra cost alone… I mean work-arounds and small auxiliary programs are fine, but holy jeeeezus, for a task like this, your first paragraph – in 2012??? you are joking….?
    best, ghost of steve

  • Anonymous

    HI Peter,

    This is a very interesting piece of software again, it makes me grasp once more concepts that always seems obscur at first glance, but you have a gift to make them simpler…

    As for the Mac afficionados, If you would be developping in Delphi, you wouldn’t insult people without nowing who they are and what they have done in their life…

    Best regards…

    Greg Faulkner

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