How to Take a Screenshot on a PC. Best tools
It seems too obvious at first sight. Thanks to Microsoft, we all know these hotkeys: Shift-PrtScr to save your screen in the clipboard, Win-PrtScr to save it as a file. What else can be there? Well, if we still wonder about that, we probably don’t know how often bicycle is being reinvented constantly.
What do we do with a screenshot? There is always some reason we save what our screen looks like.
Best standalone apps
If you need to take screenshots from different applications, you’ll need a special all-covering app for that. And unless you gotta catch them all, there’s two I have found the most useful.
If you search for something a bit more than Win-PrtScr and then open the image in an editor, then consider this one. This is more than a capture utility; it’s a multifunction suite with a simple image editor and customizable grabbing utility running in the background.
As you have installed it, the app requests a hotkey combination you intend to use for quick grabbing, The combination I selected was “Alt-PrtScr”: it doesn’t interfere with Windows settings and allows grabbing with the fingers of one hand.
It’s the perfect solution when you use more than one monitor in your work. SnapDraw can grab either the active monitor (the one with your cursor on) or all the monitors in a single shot.
And yes, it’s completely free, with no tambourine dancing and no forum accounts.
A powerful app for making screenshots that can surprise even an experienced user. Its menu is always floating above any windows you open, so multiple options of taking a screenshot are always available, no matter if you’re doing your regular work or watching a movie/playing a game in full-screen mode. And no, the bar is not captured while you grab images with it. If you want it seen on your screenshot, you need to use some other method at the same time (like I had to do for this article).
So what you can do with one click? Make a regular screenshot, capture the whole window you select (including its parts behind the screen), capture a region you select immediately after, grab a fixed size region, grab the last position. The option we need to emphasize is grabbing images from scanners and webcams. The way it’s done here can save you several moves that might otherwise embarrass you or take precious seconds.
What do you do to the image you get? The automatic action can be selected from that main window. You can open it immediately in the app’s main window, or (if you take several screenshots in a row) keep the window minimized and process them all after you finish grabbing.
So what does this magical tool lack? Just a bit of your money or attention. There’s no ad support or forced purchase. After installing you should register at donationcoder.com and get your free code active for 60 days. Get, use, wait, repeat. Or you can donate and get your lifetime license. The sum is
Best browser extensions
OK, the app we take screenshots of the most often is your browser, sure. Anyway, whatever you do on your PC, you still launch your browser to go online, even if your work is not about the Internet at all. There’s a lot of situations you need a screenshot from your browser. You want proof that you have done something (posted a comment, bought some goods or services, sent some funds). You see an article on a news site and have a feeling that is will be edited soon to cover something the author unwillingly revealed. You see a curious coincidence of ads or headlines, a typo or misspell that makes you smile, or a dialogue so funny you can’t help sharing it. Your habitual opponent says something that you may want to remind him later when the original post may be modified.
So why take full screenshots when a browser extension will do?
This one goes first because it’s the most versatile one: it’s available for Chrome, Firefox, and Edge – all the mainstream browsers that support extensions. After installing it’s always available as a pic in extensions section.
That’s how the main page of The New York Times looks captured with FireShot.
The extension has a lot of options. You can select the format of screenshots (JPG or PNG), the default folder for storing them, hotkeys for quick capturing, and so on. More options are available in FireShot Pro (€59.95). It’s much more powerful: it allows you to capture certain elements of the page (e.g. scrollable areas), edit it in its own editor, save to OneNote, send via email, publish online and so on. Is it worth your money? It’s up to you and your needs.
Its versatility can be compared to FireShot: available for Firefox and Chrome, instead of extension for Edge it offers a standalone Windows application. But the app, in fact, offers little over what Screenshot Captor or SnapDraw can so let’s concentrate on the extension.
Nimbus features are similar to those of FireShot, but modus operandi is quite different. After you grab a picture, it’s opened in another browser tab as an editor. You can select the fragment you really need, draw something you need to mark, point an arrow to the key element, or blur some data you don’t want to be seen. Right from there you can as well save your screenshot, upload it to prntscr.com, search similar images in Google, or print it directly.
And there’s one more thing: Nimbus can record videos. If you need to show someone some operations you perform on some site (as an instruction, for example), Nimbus is the right kind of helper for that.
Images and videos made with Nimbus can be saved to your local memory or clouds like Google Drive, Slack or Nimbus Note – a private cloud service by the developers of Nimbus. The name of the file contains (by default) the site address and the time you grabbed it.
It seems one of the most feature-filled screenshot tool for Chrome, but for some, it may seem overloaded. Its built-in graphic editor has (or it looks so) more features than Chrome! Its size can also impress: some dozens of megabytes.
But the pro is that Nimbus is completely free, including cloud account.
Nothing to install, or Did you know?
Windows keys I mentioned in the beginning are still there, but, hey, they got company now! Along with new Windows version we get more and more hidden tools, and here are some:
- Snipping Tool. Can be found in the Start menu, in “Windows Accessories” folder. Of course, it’s simpler than any of those above, but you can trim your screenshot, highlight or draw something and save your picture.
- Snip Editor. A tool developed in Microsoft Garage that you have to install manually from mix.office.com/Snip. It has many more features than Snipping Tool, but you already have the the former (though you might never notice it).
It seems enough for any screenshot junkie who likes to save all they see on their screens and share it with friends and subscribers. Hope with all these tools you can save anything worth saving!