Greenshot: A Lightweight Yet Feature-Rich Screenshot Tool for Windows

Greenshot-1Images taken off a computer screen are called screenshots. While reading tech-reviews on websites, including this one, you will find numerous screenshots that serve as references to what the reviewer is writing about. These images greatly help explain a certain interface feature or guide the reader in knowing where to click in an application.

The most basic way to take screenshots is through the “PrintScreen” key located on your keyboard. This key takes a snapshot of your computer screen and copies it to the clipboard. You can then paste this copied image into any software like Paint and save it. Alternatively you can install one of many available screenshot applications that lets you take, save, and use screenshots in a far more convenient way than the PrintScreen method. One of the most user-friendly of these applications is “Greenshot”.

Greenshot is a free to use desktop application compatible with Windows computers. While modern screenshot-capturing software come equipped with a plethora of “bonus” features such screencast recording and automatic uploading, Greenshot focuses on simplicity of usage and effectively taking screenshots the way you want. A tiny program, Greenshot installs quickly and silently runs in the background, operating only when you need it to. You can use it to instantly capture the entire computer screen, specific open app windows, or specific rectangular portions on your screen.

The first thing you will need to do is download Greenshot’s setup file. The EXE setup file is sized under 600KB and quickly downloads and installs. The app works fine in both Windows Vista and 7.

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With the application installed, you will find its icon in your System Tray. Before you can start using Greenshot, you should right-click on its icon and modify a few options. Select the “Preferences” option.

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Clicking on Preferences will display a Settings window where you can modify the default settings. Under the General tab, you should check the options to register hotkeys and startup Greenshot when your computer turns on. You can select whether or not to play a camera sound and show flashlight each time a screenshot is taken. The capturing mouse pointer option depends on the type of screenshots you will be taking. Checking the “interactive window capture mode” will ease the task of taking screenshot of individual windows.

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The Output tab in the settings window lets you control how your screenshots are treated. You can choose your screenshots to be copied directly to the clipboard, sent to your default image editor such as Paint, saved by prompting you for a name and location, saved using a predefined name and location, attached to an email, or sent to your printer. Greenshot lets you select multiple options thus letting you have full control over your screenshots.

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Under this tab, you can also select the file format in which your screenshots are captured: JPEG, GIF, PNG, or BMP. In case you choose JPEG, you can select the quality of the output image; choose lower qualities for smaller file size.

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If one of your options included sending your screenshots to the printer, you will want to adjust the default settings of Greenshot’s printing under the Printer tab. Here you can control whether or not print data and time with the image, rotate the screenshot, and similar relevant printing options.

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With these controls set according to your needs, you can start taking screenshots. The program’s hotkeys include CTRL+PrintScreen for capturing the entire visible region on the screen, ALT+PrintScreen for capturing a particular open app window, and merely PrintScreen for capturing a specific rectangular region. Most users will be using the last option most.

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With Greenshot running, pressing the PrintScreen key transforms the mouse pointer into a crosshair; you can click-and-drag to select the region you want captured. Your captured region has a semi-transparent green shade; a measurement in pixels of your captured region is displayed as you drag your mouse.

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Once your screenshot is taken, what happens to it depends on your selected preferences in the previously mentioned Settings window.

Greenshot is a lightweight screenshot capturing application for Windows computer. It is feature-rich and provides you full control over your captured screenshots. Unlike competing apps that try to incorporate non-screenshot features as bonuses, this app focus on its primary objective and excellently serves it. In other words, if you are a Windows user looking for a screenshot capturing software, Greenshot is where your search ends.

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