Free Screen Capture Tool: The Best I’ve Come Across In a Long Time

I’m not going to make this post long. I’ll get right to the point. The name of the tool is FastStone Capture (version 5.2) and it is completely free for personal, educational and non-profit use.

You can find it here: http://www.faststone.org/index.htm

There are many [tag]screen[/tag] [tag]capture[/tag] tools available. I’ve used a couple dozen or more over the years. The features provided with this free tool are mostly only seen in software that has to be purchased. The four features I always look for in a screen capture tool are the ability to add arrows, text, work in a multi-monitor environment and have customizable keyboard shortcuts for it’s functions. This has all of those and more.

Features (as listed from their site):

  • A small floating Capture Panel that can be dragged anywhere or minimized to the Windows tray area
  • Resource friendly – uses a very small amount of memory, especially when minimized to the Windows
  • tray area
  • Global [tag]hotkeys[/tag] to activate the program’s capture capabilities anytime, anywhere
  • Efficient tools to capture windows, objects, full screen, rectangle/freehand-selected regions and
  • scrolling areas
  • Capture web pages in Microsoft Internet Explorer, FireFox and Opera
  • Option to specify destination (internal editor, clipboard or file) where the captured image will be sent
  • Screen color picker
  • Text/Arrowed line/Highlight/Watermark annotation
  • Drop-shadow, torn-edge effects
  • Add comments
  • Resize, crop, brightness, contrast, gamma, sharpen, blur, gray, negative
  • Zoom in/out
  • Undo/Redo
  • Save as BMP, JPEG, JPEG2000, PNG, GIF, TIFF, TGA, PDF
  • Send captured images in e-mails
  • Screen Magnifier
  • Divide it into multi-pages when printing long document
  • Multi-monitor support
  • Option to run when Windows starts

In addition to this [tag]free[/tag] [tag]software[/tag] tool, you might also want to check out the other freeware that they offer:

FastStone Image Viewer– A great image browser, converter and EDITOR. An excellent replacement for the software that comes “stock” with your computer’s O/S.

FastStone Maxville– A very small, “quick and dirty” [tag]graphic[/tag] [tag]image[/tag] viewer and manipulator.

FastStone Photo Resizer– A great program for digital camera owners.

FastStone is offering a great line of products at not cost to the personal user. Their software is advertisement and malware free and incredibly effective. The productivity you will gain due to the “ease of use factor” of these products is well worth the minimal time it will take you to download them!

If you like the products, FastStone would certainly appreciate a donation from you; however, no options are taken out of the software regardless. If you have a need for these types of programs, the products offered by this company just might “capture” your attention and become a mainstay within your software tool collection.

~J. Pisano

Joseph M. Pisano, Ph.D. is the creator of many education websites, a lecturer, clinician, trumpeter, and conductor. He is currently the Associate Chair of Music and Director of Bands in the Calderwood School of Arts at Grove City College in PA. He been named a TI:ME Teacher of the Year, received the JEN Jazz Educator Award and the PA Citation of Excellence. He is a past Vice President of the Technology Institute for Music Educators and the current Vice-President of the PA Intercollegiate Bandmasters Association. He also writes for DCI Magazine, Teaching Music Magazine, and is the Educational Editor for In-Tune Monthly Magazine; he has contributed hundreds of articles to various publications. Find out more at his website jpisano.com.
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