BlogNets Top 3 Screen Capture Tools

October 5, 2008 in Blog Tools by Diane

While there are many names for “screen capture” including screen shot(screenshot), screen grab (screengrab) screen cap (screencap), the purpose to them is pretty much the same… to take an image taken from your computer to capture what is visible on your monitor and share it with others.

From a bloggers viewpoint, screen captures are valuable tools that will become indispensable to show tutorials, creating images for any blog post you are writing or even for making a copy of important documents.

As with anything you are doing when blogging you also need to be aware of the legal aspects to screen captures so here is my viewpoint on the copyright issues

Copyright Issues

Not everyone is going to like you taking a screen capture of a persons process of doing things, an image of a business or other such images and while the tools themselves are legal to use, then as with any issue, use some common sense.   Read any TOS or privacy documents on a given blog or site to see if you are ALLOWED to take an image.  If you are unsure, then contact the site owner and ask them. If you do decide to take a screen shot, then only take what you need to show your point and ALWAYS link back to the persons site.  Not only is it a great linking strategy, it will also let the person know that you are not taking the credit for their work and lets face is just good manners.

While there are many screen capture tools available, I prefer simplicity ( I am not the most technical person) and I love free, to me that is how to be successful, so my favorite tools are Firefox extensions ( I also prefer Firefox as my browser although Chrome is coming in a close second :-) ) .

Here are my top 3 Firefox screen capture tools:

Screengrab a Firefox screen capture addonScreengrab is an easy and versatile screen capturing tool where you can save an entire page, a frame or a particular selection and save in JPEG or PNG format. Another cool feature is that Screengrab can capture and Java or Flash embedded in a page, but you do need to have Java installed in the browser.

Kwout Firefox Screen Capture ToolKwout is a terrific screen capture tool that “enables you to cut out any page and upload it with an image map, including private pages (such as SNS) and flash pages. Even while playing a movie on YouTube, you can cut out a favorite scene in the movie.”  Kyle Judkins did a fantastic post on about Kwout that is worth reading.

Fireshot - Firefox Screen Capture Tool

FireShot is as close to Snagit as you will get in terms of functionality. Like the other screen capture extensions, you can capture screens of web pages( entirely or just the visible part. With FireShot you can edit, annotate the screen shot, add graphics and text messages.
If you are wanting to see FireShot in action, click on FiresShot Video.

There is one last screen capture tool that I think you will be interested in is Screen Toaster.

ScreenToaster - Free Online Screen Recorder

If you are wanting to capture videos of whats happening on your monitor independent of your operating system then ScreenToaster is what you want to look at.  It is a free online screen recorder that is perfect for tutorials or pre-recorded screencast. You do need to know that you need to register to use this site and you do need to have Java enabled for whichever browser you are going to use.

Looking forward to hearing about your screen shots and how these particular tools are working for you.