Friday, January 13, 2017

Greenshot Review - Free screenshot software

Greenshot screen capture tool is one of the powerful screen capture software that is free to use for both personal and commercial purposes. Greenshot screen capture software packs a punch for a product that is free to use, thanks to the team of developers who release the software as open source software and can beat many commercial screen capture software hands down.

Note: The review of this Greenshot free screen capture tool was done on version, released on December 30, 2016

Greenshot free screen capture software is available for both Windows and Mac OS X operating systems and is compatible on both 64 and 32 bit versions on Windows.

The Greenshot screen capture tool comes with a lot of features that is fairly sufficient for most of the day to day uses with screenshot software. In fact there are some commercial screen capture tools that tend to offer these very features at a premium, so Greenshot screen capture software is probably a game changer when it comes to taking screenshots on your desktops.

Greenshot screen capture software is easy from the word go! You simply download the file (click here) and run the installation on your windows desktop. You don’t really need to think much about any specifications you made as all of it can be customized after installation as well.

What is Greenshot screen capture software?

Greenshot is a free to use, open source screen capture tool for Windows platform. It is lightweight and offers users advanced features for capturing your windows screen, or part of your desktop, including scrolling webpages as well. The free to use screen capture tool is powerful yet easy to use software that offers you advanced annotation tools and imaging features such as annotation, highlighting, obfuscating and so on. Unless you are in the business of writing technical manuals or drawing where you need to take screenshots of products or images and annotate them at a very high level, Greenshot screenshot software does a fairly good job when it comes to handling most of the day to day tasks with using screenshot software.

Greenshot screen capture features

Below is a summary of the features from the Greenshot screen capture tool.
  • Windows based software
  • Capture full screen, part of the screen, scrolling webpages
  • Annotations includes call outs, text boxes with font configuration and text effects
  • Draw objects such as rectangle, square, ellipse, line, arrow
  • Freehand drawing supported
  • Add automatic counter (numbering)
  • Five preset effects (Border, torn edge, Grayscale, invert, Drop shadow)
  • Image cropping and rotation
  • Automatic export of image to Outlook, Word, Excel, Powerpoint, MS Paint
  • Automatic upload to IMGUR
  • Arrange objects order
The above screen capture features from Greenshot shows some of the most advanced features that can be used with this free open source screenshot capturing software. Below is a screenshot of the Greenshot screen capture software.

Greenshot Screen capture software (Windows version)
There is a very detailed How-to guide for Greenshot software that is available here, so I won't reinvent the wheel.

What features of Greenshot stand out the most? Below are a list of features from Greenshot screen shot software that I think offers the most value and something potential users who are evaluating a new screenshot software will find it most interesting.

1.Ease of use

Using Greenshot software is very easy right from the start. Once installed, you can configure the hotkeys and set the screen shot software to run at windows start up. This way, every time you hit your favorite hot-key, Greenshot screen capture software automatically loads up.

2.Quick tools

You can make use of the present software applications from within Greenshot to send the image straight away. The default applications include MS Word, Powerpoint, Excel, Outlook mail client or upload to IMGUR. Of course you could also make use of Greenshot image editor to make any changes that you want to do before you send/save the exited screenshot.

The picture below shows the list of options that are available when you right-click on the Greenshot icon on your Windows application tray.

Greenshot Screen capture options

3.Scrolling web pages

Taking full pictures of lengthy websites can be a pain and a challenge for just about any screenshot software. Greenshot does a very good job at this, although there are some things that need to be update. The good things first! With Greenshot software tool, you can capture the full website (regardless of how lengthy they are) in just a few clicks. In order to get this done you however need to have Internet Explorer Browser installed on your computer. It doesn’t work on Windows Edge browser.

Another short coming with regards to capturing web pages with Greenshot is the fact that dynamic websites with Javascript or flash will be a bit difficult to capture.
Simple static website captured with Greenshot website screenshot tool

4. Drawing/Annotation Features

Greenshot screen capture software comes with a fairly decent inbuilt image editor. You have a lot of options starting from cropping the image to resizing the dimensions. For image editing, Greenshot screen shot tool offers you a lot of flexibility. You can make use of the preset shapes (rectangles, circles, lines and arrows) alongside making use of a free hand drawing tool as well.

The text functionality allows you add/edit text while the obfuscate feature can help you pixelate any sensitive information from the screenshot. As with most screenshot tools, you can also make use of other features such as speech bubbles and highlight tools.

5.Presets (Save objects to file)

A little known feature and one that is quite unique to Greenshot is the ability to save the template. This feature "Save Objects to File" simply requires you to first add whatever annotations/shapes and other things you want to add to your screen shot image. Once done, you can then save the shapes as a preset or a template. Now, if there are repetitive tasks, you can simply load up the template instead of doing it all over again.

First screen shot annotated and objects saved
Second screenshot with object preset used

Greenshot Screen capture software for Windows and Mac

In conclusion, for a screen shot software that is free to use, Greenshot packs a punch. In most cases, you can get a lot of things done with Greenshot screen capture software. What stands out the most from Greenshot is its simplicity and the ease with which you can quickly send the edited image via Outlook mail or send to your word or excel or to powerpoint or simply upload to imgur.

There are a few limitations with Greenshot screen capture software which makes it just a little bit rigid. For example, I’d like to see the ability to tilt the text or the shapes, which is currently not possible. Also, for some strange reason, triangle shape is missing. And probably one aspect that I’d like to see in a screen capture software is the ability to watermark your pictures, which is currently not available with Greenshot.

Still, the limitations mentioned above are in no way the reason not to use Greenshot. As mentioned in this review, Greenshot is probably as good as it gets for a free to use fully functional screen capture software for windows or mac

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