Being in IT means I have to take a lot of screenshots for use in various kinds of documentation. With the release of Windows Vista/7, Microsoft included the “Snipping Tool” which proved to be an invaluable improvement over any free solution I used at the time. That is to say, alt-print screen and mspaint. Snagit was always available but not only was it a commercial product but it grew to be a beast in terms of functionality and size. I just wanted a simple screenshot tool that would allow for simple annotations.
Once I started posting this blog more regularly, I quickly realized I needed a way to obfuscate certain work related screenshots before publication. Using the snipping tool, this proved to be a pain in the butt as there are no shape tools… or anything really. With that in mind I finally decided to sit down and “see what’s out there” for free screenshot solutions. As you might expect, there are many, many of them. Over the course of nearly 2 hours, I installed more than a dozen tools. Some promising, some crap but none of them did exactly what I wanted.
My objective was to find a tool that had that met the following requirements:
- Tiny in file size, memory footprint and UI
- Portable (that is to say no installation is necessary
- Supports keyboard shortcuts so I can press a single key combination to select a region of the screen
- Simple annotation tools (I would have been able with the ability to draw only boxes)