By Alyssa Gregory

30 Screen Capture Tools for Sharing Your View

By Alyssa Gregory

GreenshotYesterday, I wrote about the possibility that you will need some way to provide remote support for clients when you work virtually, even if it’s just on an occasional basis. I touched on three of the ways you can provide these support services beyond a regular phone conference, one of which was providing instruction manuals for the technology you develop or customize and enhancing the guide with screenshots.

There are a number of screen capture tools both you and your clients can use to make training and support a quicker and more productive activity. Here are 30 tools, a mix of free and paid, that are worth trying out.

Windows Tools

!Quick Screen Capture: A free screen capture and image editing utility that allows you to take screenshots from any part of your screen in more than 10 ways, and save images in BMP, JPG and GIF formats.

Capture: A free utility that allows you to capture the entire screen, at any color depth and resolution, and save it into a BMP file.

CaptureExpress: A paid tool that lets you stretch and move your capture area as well as capture items in a variety of shapes, then print, save or email your captured images.

CaptureEZ Pro: A paid application that allows you to capture multiple images and save to over a dozen file formats.

Cropper: A free screen capture tool that can capture an entire window or a defined region, then save to the clipboard, send directly to the printer, or save as a BMP, PNG, or JPG file.

FastStone Capture: A shareware tool for capturing and annotating anything on the screen, then sending to file, clipboard, printer, email, Word/PowerPoint document or uploading to a website.

FireShot: A Firefox add-on that creates screenshots of entire pages or just a visible part, and allows users insert text annotations and graphical annotations.

Greenshot: An open source tool that lets you save a screenshot or a part of the screen to a file, and apply text and shapes to the screenshot.

HandySnap: A paid screen capture utility designed to take snapshots of any portion of the computer screen and insert comments and various graphics into captured images.

Jet Screenshot: A free utility to take screenshots, edit them and share them on the Internet in seconds.
Jet Screenshot

MWSnap: A free and installation-free tool that lets you capture the whole desktop, a highlighted window, an active menu, a control, or a fixed or free rectangular part of the screen.

ScreenGrab: A free screen capture utility that uses hotkey combinations, and saves files as BMP, TIFF, JPG or PNG.

Screenshot Captor: A free screenshot program that runs on Windows and on USB thumbdrives, and includes customizable settings.
Screenshot Captor

ScreenStamp!: A free utility that captures your screen, names the screenshot, saves it to a predefined location and stamps the image with the current date and time.

Snagit: A paid tool that lets you capture any part of your screen, capture video and record screen action in AVI format, and draw, resize, recolor, and annotate the images.

Snipping Tool: A built-in tool in Windows Vista that allows you to capture a screenshot, then annotate, save, and share the image.

Snippy: A free tool that lets you mark out the region of the screen that you want to copy into your clipboard to paste in another application.

WebShot – A free extension for Internet Explorer that allows you to take screenshots of web pages and save them as full sized images or thumbnails in JPG, GIF, PNG, or BMP formats.

Window Clippings: A paid application that allows you to grab screenshots, customize the settings and save for use in other apps.
Windows Clippings

ZScreen: A free open-source screen capture program that lets you upload screenshots, pictures, text and files and put the URL in your clipboard in a single keystroke.


Mac Tools

Capture Me: A free screen capture and recording utility for Mac OS X which features a floating capture window, resize ability, and allows you to save as a MPEG-4 QuickTime movie, PNG, JPG, TIFF, or GIF.

Copernicus: A free screen capture tool that grabs images and video (without audio) from your screen.

InstantShot!: A free screenshot utility for capturing the whole screen, a portion of it or a window, as well as the option to make timed screenshots or delayed captures over time.

Paparazzi!: A free utility for Mac OS X that takes screenshots of web pages that do not fit on one screen, displays a preview and allows you to save the screenshot as PNG, JPG, TIFF, or PDF files.

Skitch: A free utility for taking screenshots that includes the ability to annotate with text, graphics and more.

SnapNDrag: A free tool that lets you take a screenshot by just clicking a button and dragging the window and saving as PNG, TIFF or JPG.

webkit2png – A command line tool for the Mac that captures PNG screenshot images.

Cross-Platform Tools

Jing: A free tool that lets you capture images and create videos of what you see on your screen, then add comments and annotations and save, email or share online.

ScreenGrab: A Firefox add-on that captures what you can see in the window, the entire page, just a selection, or a particular frame, and allows you to save to a file, or to the clipboard.

WebKut: A free Adobe AIR application that allows you to capture an entire page, the current view, or only a selection.

Do you have a favorite way to grab screenshots? What tool fits your needs the best?

  • jmansfield

    I loved SnagIt in my PC days as I heavily used the scrolling window (webpage) feature – who wants to stich together multiple screen grabs of a webpage. It worked really well and I liked the simple annotation tools as well. I have never been able to find a tool on Mac that comes anywhere near it, Screengrab for FF was the best alternative but still lacks in comparison. Come on TechSmit, hurry up with the Mac version of SnagIt!
    Oh and btw, Fireshot does not work on Mac even though it is a FF plugin.

  • @jmansfield – I love Snagit, too, and would love a Mac version especially for the scrolling window functionality. I also use the Screengrab add-on, and you’re right — no comparison to Snagit. I have to say that I love Skitch for basic grabs and annotations, though. Thanks for the FireShot catch…it’s been moved to the Windows category.

  • Jing Fan

    TechSmith is currently working on a version of Snagit for the Mac. It is currently in beta.http://www.techsmith.com/snagitmac/

  • Daniel Foster

    Hi Alyssa and jmansfield,
    Snagit for Mac is in beta; you can download it here. It’s not identical to Snagit on the PC, but does have scrolling capture and most of the annotation tools.

  • Will Collin

    I use Ubuntu Linux. Included in the default install is the Take Screenshot program. Does all i need it to – Whole screen, single window, selection, with or without pointer etc…

  • AndyDH

    what about screenr.com for capturing video?

  • Bob

    TechSmith recently released a mac version of Snagit (in beta right now): http://www.techsmith.com/snagitmac/

  • vg123

    I somehow never investigated these tools, and used Print Screen and Paint to trim my images (believe it or not!) until I got Vista and the Snipping Tool (which is simple, but I love it.)

    Thanks for this list – some of tools that capture video also look interesting.

  • Screenpresso

    SCREENPRESSO is missing in the Windows list :

    SCREENPRESSO (www.screenpresso.com): Free tool, portable (no installation required) with built-in editor, image effects, cropping, resizing, scrolling part capture, twitter integration and history that makes drag & drop easier.

  • prafuitu

    You forgot Screenr!

  • Scott

    I tried Greenshot before moving to Lightscreen. It’s free also and works better in my opinion.

  • mathieuf

    I use the tools from Wisdom-soft: ScreenHunter for still screen captures, AutoScreenRecorder for movies. Free versions do a lot, easy to use and configure. Paid versions add more features.

  • Randy Dunning

    @jmansfield and Alyssa, Snagit is in Beta for Mac. I’m testing it now and it looks very promising.

    Here are few other tools that I use and enjoy:

    1. SnapzPro X is my main tool. It has the ability to capture both whole screen, window or area and add borders, drop shadows before saving to various file formats including .png, .jpg, .gif or even .pdf.

    2. Littlesnapper has similar functionality to Snagit but it is a Mac-only tool built by people who are excellent Mac developers.

    3. Acorn is a highly-acclaimed image editor that also has screen capture ability. The key feature is that Acorn can preserve the windows in the screen as individual layers and loads the screen capture right into Acorn, ready for editing.

    Give these a look. And, Alyssa, thanks for referencing the various Windows tools. I’ve been asked several times what to use for Windows and have been short on answers until now.

  • Anonymous

    Looks like your dream may be a reality mansfield!

    Check out their site. There is a link in the lower right hand corner for SnagIt! for Mac!

  • I use Microsoft OneNote that comes with my Microsoft Office Suite.

    I also have install Snagit and Jing which are both excellent programs.

  • Fetching

    Is there a service that would allow you to “capture” a Trifold brochure? Like upload a pdf of a trifold design and then share it online?

  • SpacePhoenix

    In windows you don’t need any of them. To get a screen grab of the entire screen press the “Print Screen” button and paste into your preferred photo/picture editor. To grab a certain window, select that window then hit Alt and the “Print Screen” button and again paste into your preferred photo/picture editor.

    I’m surprised that not many people know about it, I consider that to be basic computing stuff. It is something that Windows has been able to do for years and is nothing new.

  • gdevore

    We actually develop a cross-platform (Mac/Win) paid application that not only does screen captures but assembles them into documents for you. It is specifically designed for creating step-by-step “how to” documents. The documents can then be exported to HTML, PDF, Word or posted to WordPress, TypePad, MindTouch, Confluence as well as many other formats. It is called ScreenSteps and you can see more about it here:


  • Alex

    Doesn’t Camtaisa Studio also have a screen capture utility? It’s practically great for everything else.

    Romantic Valentine’s Day Ideas Expert

  • Anonymous

    nice list you’ve there

    fireshot is more than an ff plugin for screen capture

    it is an annotating tool, a nice one actually, and works well outside ff and can capture anything outside the ff browser screen as well

  • rayan

    Great list of tracking tools – personally I use delicious, trends, twist & google alerts.

    edopters – ’social trendcasting’ is worth a shout here too!

  • muncman

    I’ve used many of the tools on this list. FastStone was my favorite on Windows, but I’m liking Layers for the Mac these days. Its scrolling browser window support (without refresh!) is a key feature for me, and the ability to save as a layered PSD file is outstanding.

  • Marc Achtelig

    Maybe good additions to this list are the checklist of criteria for selecting a screen capture tool at http://www.indoition.com/screen-capture-tool-choosing.htm, as well as the list of screen capture tools at http://www.indoition.com/screen-capture-tools-survey.htm.

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