Sometimes there’s a vital need to have a screenshot to show it to a tech support specialist, friends, or just to save it for your own. I suppose all of us want to make screenshots quickly and for free. But our requirements may be different: sometimes it’s necessary to have only a part of the screen, sometimes the full screen, sometimes only a program window. Let’s discuss the topic in detail.
One note: today we’re talking about Windows OS, if you’re interested in this topic but own Mac or Android devices, write in the comments that you’d like the story to be continued for other OS types.
Standard Windows Apps
In spite of the post title, I’d like to start with the notorious PrntScr key. Until the recent moment in my life, I found it really irritating to hit the PrntScr key and get a screenshot of all what I saw on the monitor, open Paint and edit an image to get rid of the needless things like background, for instance. It last until my friend gave me a tip:
Press Alt+PrntScr simultaneously to take a screenshot of the active window only.
The standard disadvantages of PrntScr technique are all well-known:
- The key is never found quickly on the keyboard when it so sought-for.
- There are various names for the key PrintScreen aka PrntScr, aka Prt Sc, aka Prnt Scrn, aka Print Scrn, aka…;
- On the modern desktop and laptop machines you have to additionally hit Fn or Function key to get a screenshot. Fortunately, on my laptop, these two buttons are relatively close.
- You take a shot of what is displayed on the screen and not what is displayed on the web-page, for example. To get a screenshot of the full web-page, you have to scroll down, take one more screenshot and then merge two images. For some of us it’s just like aerial acrobatics.
All this time good guys from Microsoft were collecting feedback from users. And as the result, they have developed a Snipping Tool, a free screenshot maker, that can be found in all Windows Vista editions except for Starter and Home Basic, and in Windows 7 (Home Premium, Professional and Ultimate).
This easy tool is good since it has a set of options that in some cases let users escape several actions like image editing. One more plus to it adds the fact that the Snipping Tool saves the pictures in PNG format that saves transparent background in the pictures. Here is a video tutorial on how to work with the Snipping Tool.
Third-Party Tools to Take Screenshots
In this part of my story, I will concentrate on the apps that enable users to take screenshots of entire web-pages, no matter, how long they are. Well and also on the other tools that can replace the Windows Snipping Tool.
One of them is Greenshot, free open source software for creating screenshots. Read our Greenshot review for more details.
Thumbalizr is an online tool that helps you make screenshots on the fly. The best thing about Thumbalizr is that it makes screenshots of the whole web-page by one click. All you need to do is to enter a target url.
- Takes an entire web-page;
- Offers various picture sizes to download;
- Opens a ready screenshot in another tab;
- You have to wait a bit to get an image;
- Although, there are two radio buttons Screen and Page, you get a screenshot of the whole page in both cases.
Screenpresso is a desktop application to get screenshots and even screen video capturing. Well, actually, the process is the same as with Prnt Scr key, but still you save time as you don’t have to look for the keys and additional image editors. What I liked about Screenpresso is:
- Even a free version has advanced settings to shoot perfect images.
- You can also take a video and edit it.
- You can share your work with numerous networks.
- You can set up hot keys.
- You have all tools in one place.
So, you see there are many ways to bypass PrintScreen button!