Providing screenshots can be a very effective way of delivering information, whether in a tutorial or presentation. There are several free tools available online that can help you capture, manipulate and share screenshots from your computer:
FastStone Capture is not only lightweight but also very responsive. Designed for Windows, it can capture multi-level menus, as well as multiple regions and windows. In addition, you can configure it to automatically upload screenshots to an FTP server, embed them on a PowerPoint or Word presentation, or send them by email. This app can also be configured to automatically prompt for a caption for your screenshots. FastStone Capture supports audio input and also comes with a color picker to enable color sampling.
Snipping Tool is the ideal screen capture tool for anyone that is comfortable with basic functionality. It allows you to capture the entire screen, user-specified areas or individual windows. This tool also comes with basic editing functionality which allows you to write and highlight on your screen captures. Though it lacks the advanced features of other tools, Snipping Tool is at least better than the ‘print screen and paste’ style of screen capture.
Snagit not only allows you to capture still images from your screen, but also video frames. It comes with a customizable profile system which lets you create profiles for a wide range of capture techniques. For instance, if you want to a menu to be activated before a screen capture is generated, you can create a profile to suit that purpose. Snagit also comes with an inbuilt editor which can be useful for adding basic effects and annotating your screenshots. In addition, it has a screenshot organizer which lets you arrange your shots based on name or date.
Jing is a free service that allows you to capture still images, animation and videos from your computer. To capture all these, all you need to do is highlight any region or window on your screen, create a textbox and add a relevant caption. Jing allows you to record everything from narrated tutorials to basic mouse movements on your computer. However, the videos cannot exceed 5 minutes in length. Once you have edited your videos or screenshots, you can then embed them on your site or share them via social media and email. The downside of Jing is that it does not support features such as auto-save, scrolling windows, hot keys and delayed capture.
This screen capture tool from Evernote comes with a simple and user-friendly interface. Once you have captured your screenshots, Skitch allows you to annotate it, as well as draw sketches and shapes on it. You can not only share your screenshots on Skitch, but also on your own .Mac, Flickr and FTP account. Skitch can be accessed from a computer, laptop, tablet or smartphone.