Screen Capture Software Review

A good screen capture tool is an essential part of the web designer's arsenal. I often need to grab part of a web page or a graphic or icon and then pull it into PhotoShop. Of course, you can just hit the Print Screen button, but it's a pain to edit out all the stuff you don't need.

That's why I've been using MWSnap a free screen capture utility which is certainly the best that I've come across (and I've tried out a few).

MWSnap is small in size (643 KB) and has all the functionality you need from a screen capture tool. You can capture the whole desktop, a highlighted window, an active menu, a control, or a fixed or custom-sized rectangular part of the screen. It also captures images in 5 formats: bmp, jpeg, gif, png, and tiff.

A neat feature is the ability to add a cursor to your screen capture within the utility. If, for example, you were creating an instructional web page and you wanted to show that something should be clicked on, you could snap the area in question and then choose a "hand"cursor (from the wide selection available) and add that to the screen cap before pasting it into your graphics program.

It is intuitive and easy to use and has a few other features thrown in, including a ruler and a color picker and a zoom feature. Of these, I found the color picker to be the most useful, although I tend to use the Colorzilla extension for Firefox for this purpose nowadays.

Posted on: January 6, 2005 | 3 Comments

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3 Comments Posted

I'm a big fan of MWSnap myself. The only thing I wish it had was the ability to auto-scroll a window and capture the contents of longer pages. If that was included, you wouldn't ever need another screen grab app. Ever.

Oh btw - Happy New Year, Christian...

Derek, that's a nice idea, and one that I haven't seen in a screen capture tool before. And Happy New Year to you too!

Hi Christian -- I believe that the latest versions of SnagIt have automated scrolling capabilities (I had set up the trial of it about a year ago, but didn't end up using it...)

For most regular screen cap work, I would think that MWSnap would be enough though.

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