If you find yourself taking screenshots a lot in your daily life, you can do a lot better than pressing the Print Screen button and editing the image in Paint!
The tech world has seen a few screenshot tools come and go, but one that has stuck around for years now is ShareX. Its staying power is mostly due to how useful it is, making it an essential tool to recommend to others. We’ve covered it a few times before, including crowning it as one of the best screenshot tools on MacOS, so it’s time to dig into this program and see what it can achieve.
Getting ShareX Running
You can grab ShareX from the official website. Once you have it installed and running, you may notice that ShareX doesn’t really show itself around the screen. This is because it runs discreetly in the background, waiting for when you need to take a screenshot. If you want to check if it’s running, look for the rainbow circle in your taskbar. If it’s there, it’s running!
Getting a Screenshot
So now it’s time to take a screenshot. Let’s say we’re doing a tutorial on how to add a printer in Windows 10. We have this screen which we want to show to the readers.
If we press the Print Screen button, ShareX will take a screenshot which we could edit in an image editor; however, that’s not putting the full power of ShareX to good use. We can make the creation of this screenshot much easier if we use ShareX’s tools to add elements and crop out unneeded screen space to make the perfect picture. That way we don’t even need a secondary program to do all of our edits.
To start, we tell ShareX that we’re going to take a screenshot of a region of the current screen. To do this, we press Ctrl + Print Screen to activate the editor.
Drawing with ShareX
Now that the editor is open, we have a few tools to play with. You can see them on the bar at the top. First, let’s put down visual elements so that people know what to click. There are two ways to do this. First, we can use the “Drawing: Rectangle” tool to draw boxes around the elements we want the user to click. This very clearly shows where the reader should be looking.
Secondly, and probably the neatest option in this scenario, is to use a numbering system to show what the user should click in what order. We can do this by selecting the “Drawing: Step” tool, then clicking on the spots where we want to place the numbers. They appear numerically in the order than you click them.
There are also line and arrow tools you can use to point or underline things you want to draw attention to.
Sometimes you don’t want to draw attention to an area. This may be because you’d rather have the user look elsewhere, or you may even want to censor sensitive information before uploading an image. Thankfully, ShareX has the tools to do just that. Both the “Effect: Blur” and “Effect: Pixelate” tools are great for hiding parts of a screenshot. Here we’ll blur the names of the printers on the list, as they’re not very important to what we’re showing right now.
If it’s not blurring or pixelating as much as you like, click on “Shape Options” while you have the tool selected to increase or decrease the amount of obfuscation.
Cropping the Image
Now that we have our image set up, we can take a screenshot. Again, we don’t want the entire window – just enough to capture what we want to show. To do this, we select the “Region: Rectangle” option on the far-left and draw a box around the area we want to screenshot. Once you let go of the mouse, a camera shutter sound will play and your image will be ready!
Sharing the Image
If you right-click the rainbow circle in the taskbar, you’ll find “After capture tasks” and “After upload tasks” functions. These tools are very handy for automating mundane tasks. For example, you can set the option to “Upload image to host” in the after capture tasks, then “Copy URL to clipboard” in the after upload tasks. In “Destinations” you can set the upload path to a popular image sharing site, such as Imgur.
Once done, your screenshots will upload themselves to the host, then deliver the URL straight to your clipboard once it’s finished. When you want to share a screenshot online, all you have to do is take it, then press Ctrl + V to paste the link. It’s much easier than manually uploading it!
Image sharing is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to ShareX’s features; however, if we tried to cover each one, this article would read like an entire book! If you take a look within ShareX, you’ll find the ability to record an area of the screen, make a scrolling capture, generate a QR code, and other very useful tools. It’s worth poking around ShareX to see what kind of wonderful things you can do with it.
Sharing the Love
ShareX is a powerful tool that comes with many great features. If you just want a screenshot tool that comes with everything you need to annotate screenshots, ShareX can also do that. Now you know how to use ShareX to capture, edit, and save a screenshot.
Is ShareX the best choice for you? Or do you know of an even better tool? Let us know below.