Beginner Builder series 75% done! will probably never be finished. :(

Thursday, June 25, 2009

FastStone Capture: Gotta Cap 'em all!

FastStone Capture is a screen capture utility that really helps you get the most out of your screen. When you run it, FSCapture will sit down in your tray, waiting to be called upon. It also has a little menu bar that can be dragged anywhere across the screen. Rather than just capturing the entire screen, FSCapture has multiple options for making screencapping easy.

  • Capture Active Window: Self Explanatory.
  • Capture Window/Object: My favorite. You can capture something inside a window, such the website inside a web browser without getting thee toolbars. It's very versatile.
  • Capture rectangle region: Self explanatory. Except one note, it does provide a small zoom box to help you grab just the right spot, so you don't have to resize it after capping.
  • Capture Freehand Region: Pretty much can capture any region you want, even if it's not rectangular.
  • Capture Fullscreen: Self explanatory.
  • Capture scrolling window: My second favorite. This is probably the most decisive feature that separates FSCapture from other screen cap utils. You can actually select a part of a window that has a scroll window, and FSCapture will scroll the window itself, capture the entire time, and then copy the entire thing to the clipboard. To put it simply, FSCapture puts an entire scrollable window into one screen capture instead of having to piece them together in paint.
So that's it for other stuff. Not only are these handy options, but they also all have keyboard shortcuts that have to to with Print Screen (like Alt+PrtSc, Ctrl+PrtSc, etc.) There are also a ton of useful options, once you've set the method of capture.

-Destination: You can set where the image goes after you take it. For example, when you normally hit Print Screen, the capture goes to your clipboard. With FSCapture, you can send it to:
  • FSCapture Editor
  • Clipboard
  • File
  • File (autosave)
  • Printer
  • E-mail
So let's talk about the FSCapture Editor. It's surprisingly amazing. You can do alot of editing in it (duh), including adding watermarks, changing the edge, sharpen/blur, etc. You can also select a rectangle selection then hit "Save selection as". You can save as JPG, PNG, TIFF, BMP, GIF, and even PDF. The only fault I can find with the Editor is that it seems to delay the screencap by like half a second. But otherwise, it's changed the way I screencap.

This may seem like a large post for just a screencap (and maybe it is), but FSCapture is really more than that. It even has a color picker and screen magnifyer built right in. Not to mention the fact that you can "Open file in editor" so it's also a light image editor. Speaking of light, the entire program is only slightly over 1MB, so I'm gonna go ahead and round that down to "Tiny". Likewise, it's also very light on resources; it runs at less than 1MB of RAM when minimized in the tray.

There's only one hitch, and that's that this entire post is about FSCapture v5.3. Any later and FastStone decided to make it shareware, giving it an experation date on the trial. However, A+ Freeware is benevolent to host it there, so head on over for the download. While you're there you'll probably see that there is FSCapture portable. Yes, that's right, it's portable.

*FSCapture icon by sonnysavage of DeviantArt. To him be the credit.

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