If you write a lot of “how-to” articles or posts, you likely have come across the same issue that I have: cropping full-screen screenshots is time-consuming and stupid. After all, the technology that captures an entire browser window should be able to capture a partial screen with similar ease (amen?).
The technology does exist and one of the most popular pieces of (free) software to do this is Greenshot.
Greenshot is an app that enables you to capture a partial screenshot. This eliminates the need to crop a screenshot in WordPress or another third party app.
It is straightforward to download and set-up (You can download it for free at http://getgreenshot.org/). Once installed, it offers you a menu to directly initiate screenshots or to set your preferences:
Greenshot preference options
In this next section I’m going to show some screenshots of preferences (in kind of a meta-twist captured by Greenshot).
There are a lot of really useful preference options for Greenshot. One of them is the Hotkey options. You can set this to whatever you like – you can see that I have Greenshot running when my computer is running, and anytime I hit control-down it triggers a Greenshot window. You can set this up however you like, this works well for me.
One of the more useful options to set is the “destination.” If you check “select destination dynamically” the destination prompt will pop-up everytime you take a screenshot. I prefer to set it ahead of time depending upon how I intend to use the image.
- For applications like OneNote, Evernote and Gmail where I want to paste an image into a note or email, I check the “copy to clipboard” option.
- For writing (specifically in WordPress), I choose the “save as” option. This saves the file to my downloads so that I can batch upload to WordPress and publish them easily.
Greenshot isn’t a unique app – it’s just very user-friendly. I’ve also tried PicPick at the recommendation of somebody writing for Lifehacker, and found it equally useful but not as easy to setup and use (it may be that my application has a limited scope).
In any event – Greenshot isn’t the only free software that can do this for you.
If you use a lot of screenshots (or even a few) in your writing – Greenshot is a great app to have in your arsenal. It is easy to use, does what it says, and is free. It’s hard to argue with that triumvirate of benefits.
If you have experience with Greenshot or an alternative please share in the comments.