Budget cuts may force us to hunt & gather, try ScreenHunter 5.1

full_screenAs budget belts keep tightening, we find ourselves scavenging for free software options. I’d like to introduce one such option – ScreenHunter 5.1 is free screen capture software for Windows users. You might be thinking, “So? I can capture my screen by pressing the Print Screen key.” Ah-ha! But what if you want to crop out all the noise and focus in on a specific section of the screen? ScreenHunter can help.

select_imageWith ScreenHunter you have choices. You can capture your full-screen OR you can drag your mouse to select an area for capture. The selected area can be any size. However, it must be rectangular. You can also choose whether or not you would like the mouse pointer to appear within the captured image. If you want to select a rectangular area for capture AND include the mouse pointer in the selected image, you will need to use the hotkey option. Place your mouse pointer where you want it to appear on the screen and hit the hotkey (F6). The pointer will stay where you left it and your mouse will be transformed into a ScreenHunter selection tool. Capture What, Mouse, and Hotkey settings are all found under the “From” settings.

desktopUnder the “To” settings you can designate where screen captures should save to, what file format they should be saved in, and how the new files should be named. You can designate screen captures to save to the clipboard and/or to a particular folder, such as your desktop. ScreenHunter will save screen captures as JPEGs, GIFs, or Bitmaps. And it will automatically name the  new files with their date and a number or you can ask it to prompt you to name each one as it is taken. My screen captures are being automatically named by ScreenHunter and are saved as JPEGs to my desktop. From there I rename the ones I want to keep, and drop them in their appropriate folders.

ScreenHunter 5.1 makes screen capture easy and affordable. Plus and Pro versions offer image editing capabilities and advanced capture options, such as movie capture and customized watermarks.  They are available for $19.95 and $29.95, respectively.

3 Responses

  1. Basic question — Is there a reason why you’ve chosen JPEGs for the default? Are there some circumstances in which you might want to use GIFs or Bitmaps? How about the mysterious PNG, another format that comes up sometimes? Thanks!

    • Thanks for the great question. I did a little reading and tried to condense what I learned into a fairly short answer. The following information and much fuller descriptions of BMP, TIFF, GIF, and JPEG are provided by Tom Arah on designer-info.com.

      Bitmaps (BMP) are important for fast and efficient screen display. They work best with images with a limited number of colors. They are sufficient for screenshots, but do not provide adequate detail for scanning photographs.

      TIFFs (tag image file formats) offer a lot of flexibility for the print publishing industry, but their flexibility requires large file sizes and can also cause compatibility issues between applications.

      GIFs (graphic interchange formats) are important for browser-based display. They minimize file size (restricting images to 256 colors) and use interlacing (even number scan lines are stored first and display in a venetian blind effect, so viewers can interpret the whole image after only half of the data has been downloaded). Best for flat color web display such as simple graphics or logos.

      PNG (portable network graphics) is GIF’s rival in the public domain. PNGs have their advantages (read about them on the W3C’s website). However, GIFs are more widely supported especially on older browsers.

      JPEGs (Joint Photographic Experts Group) use “lossy” compression. They lose some information for the sake of smaller file sizes and quicker downloads (the loss is made as imperceptible as possible). Best for continuous tone web display such as photographs. However, each time you resave a JPEG a little more information is lost. Therefore you should never edit a JPEG image directly, instead save the image in your editor’s native format. You can later resave it as a JPEG after you have made your last edit.

      Note: It is generally a good idea to save to your editor’s native format, such as PSDs (Photoshop Documents) in Adobe Photoshop, while working with any image file format.

  2. Thanks Carrie, this is extremely helpful in sorting out the many different formats!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: