Taking snapshots of a computer's screen is an activity that few of us need to exercise on a regular basis and therefore the majority of PC users needn't install a special software for that purpose alone. In other words the ''Print Screen'' accompanied by the ever-present ''Paint'' are sufficient for grabbing the content of the desktop. But what do you do in case you come across a beautiful picture or a must have on-line documentation that you want to keep or simply anything that makes you want to seize the moment? Well, then you'll be glad to have a dedicated utility that enables you to select the precise region of the screen and save the image in a format of your choice. You don't have to look farther for such a program because you just found it. The name is DuckLink Screen Capture
and it comes free of any pecuniary duty, ready to snap around your desktop.
The installation procedure is a breeze and the application will be up and running in no time. The interface is quite user-friendly, with all the features easily accessible and overall the GUI doesn't look half bad. There are four operating modes for this tool that can be selected by clicking on the nice looking buttons corresponding to each of them. A nice trick is to hover the mouse over any of them and read the explanation that seems to appear from thin air in the form of a tooltip that details the functionality of that command. Note that by default the ''Advanced Options'' are hidden but you can unveil them with a simple click.
The first mode that you can work with is Region and you probably figured out immediately what you can do with it. This setting is designed to provide you with a means of manually drawing the area that will be saved. With the help of the second tool you'll effortlessly capture an entire active window or only a part of it. It's worth mentioning here that the color depth for both these modes is 32 bit while the following ones will offer only 24 bit color. An interesting addition is the possibility to add a colored frame to the selected area. There are four types of borders available and seventy colors you can choose from.
The next function is one found not too often in this type of utilities but a very useful one. When choosing Scrolling you'll be able to take a snapshot of an entire
web page that is continued beyond the visible bottom edge and thusly would require you to move the slider by hand. DuckLink Screen Capture
can do this operation instead and deliver you a perfect graphical copy of the selected page. Finally, the Full Screen mode will grab the entire desktop, much like it would happen if you press the above mentioned ''Print Screen'' key.
Now it's time to focus on customizing the running settings of the program. In this respect, you are presented with three different tabs for configuring the general, output and system related options. From the first section you can choose to have the mouse cursor included in the resulting picture and pick the output target. The latter can be either the system clipboard or an image that you can save in any accessible location. Also, there is a check box that you can tick and by doing so you will be asked each time a snapshot is taken where to store it.
The General window contains another function that is tailored for defining the time interval for scrolling the web pages which can reach a maximum of 5,000 milliseconds. This is useful for large webpages, with a lot of content that would require from the user to manually scroll each time and make a snapshot. However, it would be better if the application could simply record all the content to a graphical file without a delay, just like AeroSnap
can do. The last two settings will give you the possibility to run the utility when Windows starts and to send it to the system tray. While the application is minimized, you can right-click its icon and access the capture tools but there is another way to reach them. All you need to do is pass the mouse over the button that reveals the hidden tray icons and a nice, transparent panel with the four buttons will pop up.
From the Output File tab of DuckLink Screen Capture
you'll be able to configure the options relative to the name and format of the screenshots. The choices are to be prompted each time you save the picture or automatically place them in a specific directory. In this case, there are several things to be set in a separate window like the format of the naming scheme and of the optional subfolders that can be generated as well. When it comes to the supported graphical types you can pick one from the three that are supported: BMP, PNG and JPEG. The last mentioned one supports quality adjustment by means of a slider ranging from ''Low'' to ''High''. Using the third tab of the advanced options menu you can individually define and selectively activate the hotkeys that trigger the four capture modes.The Good
Among the strongest points of this program are the ease of use, the friendly and rather appealing user interface as well as the good pack of customizable features. One of the best functions available the ability to take a snapshot of an entire web page distinguishes itself. Another thing that is worth mentioning here is the fact that you can personalize the key combinations and choose those that will be active.The Bad
There is a limitation for this utility when it comes to supported file types because it currently doesn't support GIF or TIF formats which are also well known and often used. Something else that is not available at this time and would make the software more complete is the possibility to define a fixed size for capturing a region of the desktop. Also, it loses some points due to the fact that it cannot take a snapshot of a larger webpage without any delay.The Truth
To sum up, DuckLink Screen Capture
offers you a very good solution for making instant screenshots. It comes with many useful capabilities that will appeal to both experienced and novice users alike. With its friendly and nice looking GUI and high quality output this free tool surely deserves a place in anyone's tool belt, so grab it now and take it for a spin to see what it's really capable of!Here are some snapshots of the application in action:
This article is also availble in Spanish: El pato que ajusta la pantalla