Top 5 Screen Capture Tools

21 May

Screen shots, or captures, are super useful when creating things like slide presentations, tutorials, or you just want to share something you saw on your computer with a friend. Either way, there are ways to create great quality screen shots. Clicking the “print-screen” button is no longer necessary. The following products come in different price-points, while others are free. Keep that in mind if you are on a budget or don’t plan on using the software often.

FastStone Capture

This $20 Windows tool is affordable and effective. It’s super light weight, and as its name would suggest, fast. The interface is tiny but capable. There are layered menus for easy browsing, and screen captures are seamlessly attached to emails, embedded into presentations, or uploaded to an FTP server. This little program does it all! For those designers out there, FastStone even comes with a color picker for quick color sampling.

Snipping Tool

This Windows tool comes free with Windows 7, Windows Vista, and the Experience Pack for Windows XP Tablet Edition. This ideal for people who don’t plan on using the screen capture tool often but would like to have the option available to them. You can edit your screen shots with this software and do things like highlight and write on them, but the extras stop there. Snipping tool is really basic, but for most users, it should be just fine.jing screen capture

Jing

This free software is good for Mac and Windows users alike. It’s a product created by the TechSmith Company which is well-known for another screen capture tool: Snagit. Jing is similar to Snagit but smaller. It’s really geared toward the screen capture users who use the software often. What’s great is that you connect Jing to your YouTube and Flicker accounts for easy capture on those platforms. By signing up with Screencast.com, you can have your captures (image, video, audio) hosted by the website. They can provide you with a URL to share with others.

Snagit

This is the best possible software for screen capture, but it’s also the most pricey at $50. For those who make their money making tutorials, presentations, or making dynamic websites, Snagit is essential. This super-dynamic software allows you to take screen shots, capture a region of the screen, and save them in any way you want. You can create a customizable profile that allows you to set how and where your files are saved for easy sharing and archiving.

Skitch

Skitch works well with Mac and Windows, and it’s also free. It’s similar to Jing and works closely with Skitch.com to host the screen captures. If you don’t want to use Skitch.com, you have the option of opting out of that in lieu of using an FTP account, Flicker, or .Mac. This software is great for amateur users who need an easy to understand interface.
Whatever screen capture software you decide to use, there is always something within your budget that can make your presentations look professional. Slow Firefox browser? – I have an article about that!

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