Ah, today is a good day to write about open source software. Let’s look at an increasingly normal workflow for people:
- click on Snipping Tool
- click “New”
- squint closely at the screen to select the desired pixels
- repeat steps 2 and 3 until the selection is correct
- click “File” > “Save As…”
- finally, choose a destination folder and manually rename the file from “Capture.PNG”
- repeat starting at step 2 for each selection
Snipping Tool is abandonware with a dated, cumbersome, limited interface. It supports only four file types, PNG, GIF, JPG, and the oft-ignored, and hardly supported MHT, without options for compression. Snip & Sketch at first seemed like a drop-in replacement with shortcut keys, but its lackluster, mobile-quality features and near to no options made it a non-starter for me, and a downgrade in some respects.
Well, let’s put those troubles behind us, because today I want to write to you about Greenshot: a free and open source screenshot software that supports selected region, window, and fullscreen screenshots. Greenshot has too many options to list here. However, it solves every problem I outlined with the Microsoft alternatives, and goes so much further.
Here’s a quick rundown of my favorite features, which are always just one rebindable hotkey away:
- a magnifying cursor for precise selection
- output options, including filename formatting, and a compression slider
- external commands
- integration for services such as Flickr, Imgur, and MS Office
- a handy context menu for quick preferences
- an editor with shapes, text, copy, paste, and more!
Please, allow me to take a moment to appreciate using a single file for settings. Greenshot uses a single
greenshot.ini file, meaning migrating or backing up my preferences is as easy as copying one file.
I highly recommend checking out the official Greenshot.org, or its git repo. I give this application 10 “quality desktop tools made for this decade” … out of 10.