October 16, 2007

Create screenshots for your blog easily with this free tool!

Screen shots are an excellent way to illustrate a post, especially when explaining how to use a website, or to demonstrate a new template. All of the screen shots featured in this blog were created using ScreenHunter: a free program which allows you to take pictures of the screen you are working on, and save them directly to your computer. This works on all Windows operating systems, including Windows 98/NT4/ME/2000/2003, XP and Vista.

I've been using ScreenHunter for a few years now, and have found this to be the easiest screen capture facility to use. Best of all, it's free for unlimited personal and business use! There is no expiration date, nor is this trial software.

You can download your free copy of ScreenHunter 5.0 from the Wisdom Soft website using the link below (scroll down the page a little to find the correct download):

Download WisdomSoft ScreenHunter 5.0 Free

Installing ScreenHunter

Once you have downloaded the ScreenHunter program, you can easily install the software with one click. However, you will be presented with some options for the installation that you should be aware about:

  • Install a desktop shortcut: You may want to check this box if you prefer to have all your programs accessible from the desktop
  • Load on startup: This starts the ScreenHunter program as soon as you start up your PC. I personally don't use this option, as it only takes a couple of seconds to load anyway.
  • Install ScreenHunter toolbar for your browser: This installs an optional toolbar which features the same screen capture facilities as the program, plus a few other tools. Not essential (and I don't use this function), though it may be useful for some.

Once you have finished the installation, you will need to restart your computer for the program to finalize installing. Then you will be able to use your new screen capture facility.

Using ScreenHunter

When you start ScreenHunter, you will see a screen which features the various options for capturing the images on screen. You can begin taking screenshots straight away, though there are a couple of options you may wish to change first in the "TO" section:

  • Where the screen shots are saved to: In order to find and use your screenshots, you will probably want to specify the location where these images are saved. By default, this is your desktop, though I prefer to use a designated folder to ensure my desktop does not become cluttered.
  • The file format of saved images: this latest version includes the ability to save in GIF, JPG or BMP format. If you have a preference, you can set this here.

When you are ready to take screenshots, there are three different options to choose from:

  • Rectangular area: this enables you to specify a section of the page you are viewing to be copied to a file (or to your clipboard).
  • Full screen: this copies the whole of the screen you are viewing on your computer.
  • Active window: this will only copy the window you are viewing, and none of the background which may be visible also.

I hope you enjoy using ScreenHunter and find this to be a useful tool for your blogs!

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