Greenshot

A free, feature-rich open source screenshot application for Windows.

Ah, today is a good day to write about open source software. Let’s look at an increasingly normal workflow for people:

  1. click on Snipping Tool
  2. click “New”
  3. squint closely at the screen to select the desired pixels
  4. repeat steps 2 and 3 until the selection is correct
  5. click “File” > “Save As…”
  6. finally, choose a destination folder and manually rename the file from “Capture.PNG”
  7. 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.

The Greenshot logo.

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!
Snipe those borders perfectly with this brilliant magnifier.

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.

Author: Frank

I'm the senior software engineer, systems administrator, and Chief Security Officer at my apartment in Connecticut. I write about tech I make, or find interesting.