Thursday, March 16, 2006

FastStone Capture

A good tool for taking screenshots is one of those programs that will always be on my quick launch bar (and believe me: it's a lot better than the PrtScr key).
In my endless search for the "perfect tool", I've tested many programs out there, as you can see in my Free software list.

This time, it's FastStone Capture time: this little, light (and free for home users) application, from the authors of the well-known FS Image Viewer, is well worth a try.

Once the program is launched, a small panel will appear on top of your window: four little icons will provide quick access to the main features (note that if you don't like the panel, the same functions can be accessed through an icon on the system tray):

The first icon shows a menu of the available capture modes:

  • Capture Window/Object;
  • Capture Rectangle Region;
  • Capture Freehand Region;
  • Capture Full Screen;
  • Capture Foreground Window;
  • Capture From Webcam/Scanner;
  • Pick Screen Color;

From the same menu, you can chose where to send the acquired image:

  • To Image Viewer;
  • To Clipboard;
  • To File;

The second icon allows you to open image files from any location on your computer;

The third icon can be customized with a "Favorite Folder";

The fourth button allows to paste images from the clipboard;

The lower part of the panel is occupied by a big eye, the symbol of FastStone: in this area you can drag and drop images from windows, browsers or other programs, to be captured.

The captured images can be edited with some basic functions, such as Resizing, Flipping, Rotating, Cropping and Color Adjusting, by right-clicking on the image window or using the tool bar activated by the passage of the mouse cursor near the bottom of the window;

By pressing the T key, you'll access the "Text Board", which will allows to add some effects to the image (click on the picture below to enlarge it):

  • Text;
  • Freehand Lines;
  • Arrows;
  • Rectangles;
  • Ellipses;
  • Markers;
  • Watermarks;

For each element you can fully customize color, dimensions, transparency and dropshadow.

FS Screen Capture supports several image formats: JPEG, JPEG2000, GIF, BMP, PNG, PCX, TIFF, WMF, ICO, TAG, EMF, PXM, WBMP and saving to TIFF, GIF, PCX, BMP, ICO, PNG, TGA, PXM, WBMP, JPEG, JPEG2000, PS, EPS, PDF;

Some other interesting features include: magnifier, EXIF metadata support and undo/redo through the mouse wheel.

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  • Wow, this is the most useful software I've ever seen :D
    It's really amazing.
    Thanks :D

    By Blogger Carlo Trimarchi, at 11:08  

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