Top Screen Capture Tools for Windows 7

December 23, 2010, By Christian Cawley

If you’re looking for a way to capture images from your PC desktop, there are many applications available for doing this, in addition to the functions built into Windows 7.

You might be planning to use your image grabs to illustrate a report or tutorial, or planning to demonstrate your adeptness at reaching a specific stage in your favourite game. These applications can all be easily used to acquire grabs of your favourite software or portions of your Windows 7 desktop, saving them as JPEG or PNG format images for you to further manipulate or email.

Screen capture tools for Windows 7

The Professional Option – SnagIt

The screen capture software of choice, SnagIt is used by tech professionals around the world to acquire good quality, precise and relevant screen grabs.

Among the features of this tool are the ability to take full screen grabs, specific selections, menus and even free hand captures, while web pages can be saved as PDFs with links included and your captured output can be saved to SnagIt’s own image editor, a file or another program entirely.

The downside of having so many options is that SnagIt can take some time to use effectively, although of course with practice this will improve. Note that SnagIt isn’t ideal for capturing DirectX and OpenGL software and games.

With a full purchase price of $49.95, you can download a trial copy from www.techsmith.com/snagit

The Free Option – ScreenGrab Pro

Available online from Softpedia.com, ScreenGrab makes capturing screens easy with its basic user interface. You can choose to capture the entire screen or just an active window, and choose from PNG, JPG, BMF and TIF formats for your captures.

A hotkey can be assigned to capture images from any application, and you can also configure ScreenGrab to auto-save to a specified output folder with an arbitrary filename. Alternatively it can prompt for a filename or copy the screen capture to the clipboard for you to paste into an application of your choice.

Where ScreenGrab falls down, unfortunately, is with its ability to capture DirectX and OpenGL – for this sort of grab you will need an application like WeGame.

The Gamer’s Option – WeGame

WeGame is the ideal tool for anyone wanting to take a screen grab from within a videogame but isn’t prepared to splash out on FRAPS for $37.00.

A little different to the other tools here, WeGame is linked in with its own website, wegame.com, where the idea is to download the client and use it to capture your triumphant videogame moments. This is a great idea that can be used as an option in addition to the main purpose of capturing screenshots from your favourite games.

Thanks to the client-server nature of the application, you unfortunately have to login every time you use WeGame, however the app can also be used to record video from your game, ideal if you’re providing a walkthrough.

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