Sharing files, especially digital pictures, has been one of our most common endeavors since quite a while now. Holiday photos, mobile-phone snaps, images found or grabbed from various websites, they're all passed around for amusement, just as others are part of business projects, web design or similar work-related tasks. The diversity of graphical file types and uses is matched by the methods and devices used to acquire them. From numerous hardware devices to countless software applications the list is so long it's not even worth trying to make one.
Insofar as computer programs are concerned, the tools you can use to create from scratch or simply capture images differ in functions, processing speed, usage of system resources and, of course, price.
Anyone is obviously after more while trying to keep the expenses of any kind to a minimum, so it's a good idea to start searching for the most appropriate utility in the freeware bunch. There, you will find all sorts of instruments that offer many features, some of which are common in some cases.
If screen capture is the intent, almost 600 applications await in Softpedia's dedicated category
, out of which nearly half are free
. Among them, belonging to the latter section, is Screenshoter
, one of the smallest utils that can catch a shot of your screen while providing you with quite a few useful options.
First off, the package weighs in just under 100 KB and doesn't require installation, just unzipping the files and running the executable. The portable character of the program makes it a great addition to anyone's software toolkit, as it is very easy to use and also light on system resources.
As you may expect, there will be no fancy interface, catchy menu effects or anything remotely similar to this. A clearly function-oriented GUI, with all the commands in plain sight, is what this tool will present you with at a first glance. Save for the buttons in the main tab, there are two menus to help you choose the general options and window behavior of the utility. In those lists, you can find the aces Screenshoter has up its sleeve to give you more than just a desktop snapshot.
Just like with any similar utility, you'll be able to make full screen captures, but also some of any area you choose. Marking the desired region is done with red borders, but this isn't all you can do before taking the shot. If you check the Options menu, there's a Screenshot sub-section that gives you the possibility to have the mouse cursor included in the snap. This particular feature can come in very handy if you need to point at something enclosed in the ''hot zone.'' The first example I can think of is that of tutorials, where there's always something to highlight and indicate in the attached images.
Another attribute not often encountered with this kind of software is the ability to show or hide the selected area according to the user's preference. You will also be able to find this function in the same Options list previously mentioned.
If you noticed the omnipresent tooltips that became visible when you hovered the cursor over various buttons and text strings of the interface, you're just about to discover that the size of the designated screen region is also revealed in this manner. The purpose is to assist you in reviewing the final details before capturing the image.
The program supports three graphical formats, the most common ones, namely JPG
. The quality settings are available only for the first filetype and there are four presets you can opt for: low, average, good and best. When it comes to the output settings, the application will enable you to input a specific location for the screenshots and, by accessing the Options section, under the Saving section, you can find a facility for customizing the name of the files.
If the configuration you defined will be used every time the software is employed or at least the next time you run it, pressing CTRL+S or clicking Save in the above-mentioned menu will memorize it for you. You can revert to the defaults at any time by simply using the Reset command. The window controls at your disposal that can make the tool sit on top of all the other running apps and also have it minimized to tray for an easy access are also worth mentioning.
Once all the settings are determined, it's time to start taking the screenshots you need. This operation can also be done in more than one way. There is the big button you can't miss from the main window, but you can just as well press Print Screen on your keyboard. The capture is completed in the blink of an eye with no stress on your system because the memory and processor usage is simply unnoticeable. The Good
The main strong points of Screenshoter reside in its portable character and the ease of use. It also offers some neat functions, like having the cursor included in the capture, while keeping everything but the quality to a minimum: application size, RAM and CPU utilization, learning curve. The Bad
The unattractive interface and the lack of some features like the fixed size capture or more image formats deduct some points off the scoreboard. A more comprehensive help file could also be added in order to better explain all the abilities of the software. The Truth
On the whole, Screenshoter leaves quite an impression by providing more than the basics one may need for creating desktop snapshots fast, easy and with very good quality. To sum up, it's a lightweight tool ready to be used right off the bat with no hassle, it gets the job done in a flash for free, so take it for a spin and check out what it can do for you. Here are some snapshots of the application in action: