The ability to combine written words with pictures or videos
helps convey the exact message you are looking to present. For instance, if you
are working on a software user’s guide, screenshots can show your clients
exactly what you mean in a particular context. Although the Windows Snipping
utility that comes bundled in Windows since Vista might qualify and work fine
for your needs, you might also be looking for features like extra editing
functionality and recording capabilities. Here are five apps that act as proper
extensions of any basic screen capture system.

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Five Apps

1. SnagIt

For those interested in a comprehensive package, SnagIt by
TechSmith is one of the bigger names in screenshot and video recording apps. In
addition to offering multiple modes of capture (i.e. full screen, window,
region, et al), images and videos that you create are automatically saved in an
organized and catalogued fashion for quick retrieval. Basic editing
capabilities exist as well, allowing for quick crops, drawing lines and shapes
and countless other effects. SnagIt can be acquired for $49.95.

2. Jing

TechSmith also has a little brother to SnagIt in the form of
Jing. Although much more simplified in terms of features and capabilities, the
app is free to download and use. Essentially, you have most of the same image
and video capture functionality with a subset of the editing tools that
typically come with SnagIt. It even includes a similar control-panel
“bubble” which can be dragged around for easy access to the Jing.

3. CamStudio

If you need to create an on-screen video recording versus
simple screenshots, CamStudio is a worthy candidate for the job. The user
interface simply stays out of your way and you can create projects ranging from
tutorial videos to product demos and distribute them as AVI or SWF format
files. As a nice bonus, CamStudio offers a free lossless video codec which is
also rather efficient on bitrate, while providing a quality video, devoid of
artifacts and chunking.

4. TinyTake

Combining an elegant user interface with the ability to
quickly push screenshots and video recordings to the cloud seems to be the
forte of MangoApps, creator of Tiny Take. I find TinyTake to be similar to
SnagIt in its image editing and annotation tools, all with a price tag of $0.
The only minor annoyance I’ve noticed is that, in order to properly use
TinyTake, you need to create an account using a “business” email
account, ala no personal Gmail, Live or Yahoo! email. Fortunately, I was able
to mitigate this concern, using another personal email address that is attached
to a custom domain name.

5. Greenshot

For the open source enthusiasts out there, you haven’t been
forgotten either. Greenshot is a screenshot utility for Windows provided under
the GPL. It takes images and handles edits with aplomb. There are also plugins
that offer integration with Atlassian’s JIRA and Confluence, making quick snaps
and uploads to a wiki page painless.