Wednesday, September 26, 2007

14 great web tools for taking screenshots (Part I)

If you are a blogger or a journalist, you would understand the need of a good and handy web tool for taking screenshots of a website. There are many of them, some are web based, some are standalone executable programs and some are just browser add-ons. Still more, some are free and some require you to purchase them. My personal favourite being SnagIt.

In this two part series, we take a closer look at some of the most common screenshot web tools.

Browser Add-on's

Save as image: A neat firefox add-on. Takes screenshot of all of the contents of your current page, even if it above or below what you currently are seeing. After takinga capture, it prompts you to save avoiding hassles of opening your image editor and pasting the image there. You can also crop the image before pasting.

Pearl Crescent Page Saver: Another Mozilla Firefox add-on. It also gives you an option to capture the entire page or just the visible portion. Lets you save the image either in pNG or JPG. Also allows you to save the image either in full size or scaled down. The pro version, costing around $15, gives some more features.

Picnik for Firefox: Very easy interface, nice tools, and you can add text caption to your images. Launching a new premium subscription service today. At a price of $24.95 a year, you get of access to host of advanced effects and fonts.

Standalone programs

SnagIt: The king of all screenshot capturing programs. It is a powerful image, text, video, and Web image capture program with many features and options. Here is nice guide for using SnagIt. It costs you $ 39.95, and there is also a trial version for free. Torrent version is available here.

FastStone Capture : A powerful, flexible and intuitive screen-capture utility. It allows you to capture anything on the screen including windows, objects, full screen, rectangle regions, freehand-selected regions and scrolling windows/web pages. It also has innovative features such as a floating Capture Panel, hotkeys, resizing, cropping, text annotation, printing, e-mailing, screen magnifier, screen ruler and many more.

WebShot: Freeware and allows you to take screenshots of a web pages or the entire websites. The main advantage is its powerful command line utility which enables you to automate the process of taking screenshots.

Paparazzi!: For Mac OS X, allows you to take screenshot of the entire webpage in contrast to the built in feature of Mac, which allows you to capture only the visible portion.

Web based

WebShotsPro: Now downloads, no purchasing, no installation. Just visit this website adn enter the URL of the page for which screenshot is to be taken. But you may have to wait a bit, because there is a queue.

[Part II of this series coming soon.]