Screen shots are great. They help create a visual that can replace a lot of written text instructions. There are plenty of options out there.
First off, show me the free options
Don’t want to spend money and buy software. Most operating systems contain some free options.
- Windows 7 – The Snipit Tool will do screen captures.
- Windows XP – There’s no built in tool. Press the print screen button (Prt Scn). It will save the image in your clipboard. Just paste it anywhere you want. You’ll have to use some tool to crop the portion you want.
- Mac OS X – Type in Command-Shift-3 to capture the full screen, or Command-Shift-4 to capture a portion of the screen. For the latter option, your cursor will change and you can select the portion of the screen you want to capture. Images will be saved on your desktop.
What about a more advanced way
I use Techsmith Snagit to capture screen images. It’s been on the market for a long time and is a great tool. There was a recent promotion that let me upgrade my Windows version to the latest version and also get a copy of the Mac version as well. The Mac version was just released.
If you need to capture screen images often, Snagit comes with many predefined workflow processes. For example, you can click a button to capture a portion of the screen, save it at a certain resolution, and copy it to your clipboard. I use this when creating user manuals. There are tools out there that will automate these functions but I still prefer to do this manually to capture the right images.
The new Snagit also has the ability to capture just portions of the menu bar, great if you’re trying to display navigation.