Tuesday, 12 October 2010

How to create a screenshot of part of your screen?

Most of you using Windows will probably know that you can take an image of your screen by pressing something like ALT and SCRN PRNT together. This is called taking a screenshot.

What this does is basically copy an image of your current screen. You then have to paste it on an image editor, such as PAINT. There might be superfluous information on the image that you would like to remove, but here is where it gets complicated for some people.

Even for someone like me, it gets a little tedious. I would paste it using Paint. I might add notes or highlight some parts of the screen. Then, I would save it in a lossless format, such as TIFF.

Having done that, I'd reopen it on another editor, Microsoft Office Picture Manager, crop the extra bits out, and save it.

Perhaps I can crop it using PAINT, too, but I have never figured a way with which I had been satisfied.

If I need the image in jpg format, I would then reopen it using IRFAN VIEW (my preferred image viewer) and save it in jpg format.

All somewhat of a pain in the neck.

Then, a few days ago, I discovered a nifty freeware tool which does all that, and more. It's called Greenshot. You can download it from here.

When you've installed it, you'll see a Greenshot icon on the bottom right of your screen (system tray). Note that once installed, Greenshot takes over the PRINT key; in other words you can no longer take a screenshot and paste it using PAINT. However, you can change your preferences and tell it not to launch upon startup.

There are four basic ways Greenshot allows you to take a screenshot. If you click on the PRINT key, you can select a part of the screen to be captured. Greenshot calls this REGION CAPTURE. After starting region mode, you will see a crosshair appearing where your mouse is. You don't need to worry too much about this. What you do is move your mouse to the corner of the region you're interested in, click, hold, and drag to define the rectangle you want to copy.

When you release the mouse, the image is copied, and Greenshot's image editor automatically opens (this default can be changed in preferences).

Here, you can add shapes and texts, crop, highlight, and even obfuscate. However, I did find a few weaknesses. The most annoying thing is there isn't a way to undo your edits! Isn't that just amazing? Also, editing texts could do with more versatility. Changing fonts isn't very straightforward, and you can't justify your text.

If you use Shift + Print, you'll capture the last region. For example, in the first image above, I first clicked on Print so that I get the crosshair. To capture the screen plus the green lines, I then click on Shift + Print.

To capture the window which is currently active, use Alt + Print, and to create a screenshot of the complete scree, use Control + Print.

Having edited your screenshot, you can then print it, or save it in jpg, gif, png or bmp format.

Well, until I find something better, I will be using this for my future screenshots! Will you? You can download Greenshot from here.


  1. <span>have you tried jing? It captures what you have on the screen and videos too.

  2. Thanks for the tip, Saro. I'll take a look at it when I have my own PC. I'm PC-less at the moment!  :'(

  3. <span>The software is very good, but I prefer no resident software, this makes your computer works so slower. I disabled it in "inicio, ejecutar, msconfig, inicio de windows. And now I use it when I want. Thanks Chiew.</span>

  4. José, you can also change it in preferences (right click on icon in system tray) and tick off 'launch Greenshot on startup'.

  5. <span><span>ok I had not seen. </span><span>thanks</span></span>

  6. <span><span>ok I had not seen. </span><span>thanks</span></span>


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