Top four free programs to capture screenshot

For most web developers, programmers and bloggers taking screenshots is quite a common task. Sometimes you need the screenshot for your next post or article or just to send it to your tech help desk to troubleshoot a problem.

I have been using Snagit for several years and I really like the features it offers and its intuitive interface. Snagit is not a freeware, last I checked it costs about $50. But don’t worry there are quite a few alternatives to Snagit that offer similar features for free. Following are four free screen capturing software that I think are worthy substitutes for any commercial software in this category.

  1. ZScreen:

    ZScreen is a free , open-source screen-capturing software for Windows operating system. The features I like most in ZScreen is the ability to upload capture images directly to some popular photo sharing websites.

    ZScreen

    Features:

    • Multiple-monitor support
    • Support for uploading screenshots to Tinypic and Imageshack
    • Support for uploading to custom places (via HTTP)
    • Allows you to add Watermarks to your images.
    • Allows you to redo your last crop shot through a hotkey
    • Add Balloon tips, sounds, and ability to show cursor in screenshots
    • Upload images from the filesystem via Clipboard upload or Drag n Drop

    Download Zcreen.

  2. Extensoft Screen Capturer

    Screen Capturer from Extensoft is another easy-to-use free program to grab the screenshot. In addition to images you can also capture animation using Screen Capturer.

    Extensoft Screen Capturer
    Features:

    • Allows you to capture full screen, current window, selected window, or a selected region
    • Support several formats including in BMP, JPG, GIF, PNG and TIFF formats
    • Saves captured animations in WMV format
    • Creates new email with captured image attached
    • Allows pasting captured images directly into email body
    • Easily and instantly accessible via [PrtScr] button

    Download Screen Capturer.

  3. Jing:

    TechSmith, the makers of aforementioned Snagit, also offers a free screen capturing software Jing. Jing is not as feature-rich as some other screen capture programs but this is whole idea behind this software. It is an excellent program for a quick screen capture or to record a screencast.

    Jing
    Features:

    • Available for Windows and Mac OS.
    • Click and capture. Capture by clicking Jing’s happy, always-ready “sun” icon…or pressing a hotkey of your choice. You can capture a window, pane, or region.
    • Add notes, arrows, highlights, etc to captured images.
    • Upload capture image to your Screencast.com or Flickr account with a single click.
    • You can customize upto eight buttons to upload your images to your favorite sharing destinations.
    • Allows you to copy and paste the screenshot right into an email, document, presentation. Of course, you can also save the images to your disk.
    • Download Jing for Windows
      or for Mac

    • Lightscreen is an open source screen capturing software.

      Lightscreen is a simple tool to automate the tedious process of saving and cataloging screenshots, it operates as a hidden background process that is invoked with one (or multiple) hotkeys and then saves a screenshot file to disk according to the user’s preferences.

      Main Features:

      • Can execute at Windows startup (hidden or displaying the main window).
      • System tray icon for easy access.
      • 5 configurable actions, each with it’s own hotkey (screen, window, area, etc).
      • Multiple image formats (PNG, JPEG, etc) and image quality selector.
      • A notification when the screenshot is taken.
      • Screenshot delay.
      • Sound notifications
      • New “Open directory” hotkey
      • DirectX screenshots (experimental).

      Download Lightscreen.

Comments 5

  • Thanks for sharing some good softwares. So far, I had been using Crtl + Print screen to make screen shot, then paste the same in Painbrush and saving it to JPG to further use.

    I will install Zscreen and I hope it will have better options available as well.

  • Interesting. thanks for the insights. I will add this to my favourites and come back to check out your updates. very cool

  • Thanks for sharing nice article.

  • Great list, better than using the PrntScrn key on Windows, hitting PrntScrn will take a screenshot and ask for a filename to save as a PNG.

  • Hmmn. Counting 3, not 4 programs.

    I’m a huge fan of ScreenHunter, which has a free version (it’s what I use) for screen capture! It automatically saves as a .jpeg and can be set to stand-by mode so you can call it up at any time by pressing F6. It’s a GREAT tool!

    PS. found you via. Problogger.com forum!

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