Screenshot Captor, from DonationCoder, is the most powerful free screen capture tool you can download. It's thoughtfully designed and packed with options that will make your life easier, whatever you need screen grabs for.
Type: Screen capture
Developer: DonationCoder (opens in new tab)
Operating system: Windows
Screenshot Captor is available as both installable and portable versions for Windows XP and later – though there’s currently no version available for Mac or Linux. It's free for personal use and supported by donations rather than ads.
It lets you capture your whole screen, a selected area, an individual window, or even the content from a scrolling window – a feature you won't find in any other free screen capture software.
Screenshot Captor can even capture stills from your webcam, or import images directly from your scanner.
If all that isn’t enough, you can also import images from your scanner directly into Screenshot Captor’s image editor, neatly bypassing several steps that would normally be necessary for tasks like importing and annotating contracts. Scanned images can be rotated, aligned and enhanced.
There’s an enormous range of customization options, including print settings, automatic capturing, hotkeys and shortcuts, automatic file naming and much more besides.
Before you can install and use Screenshot Captor, you need to request a free key from the developer. Registering for a forum account (opens in new tab) will give you a key that's valid for six months, after which you'll need to create a new one. You can generate a lifetime code after 12 months.
If you're opposed to the idea of signing up for a forum account, DonationCoder also lets you generate a key (opens in new tab) that's renewable after 60 days. It's a strange system, but is designed to encourage users to consider making a donation.
Once installed, Screenshot Captor appears as an icon in your system tray and a desktop widget. You can either use this to choose a capture option, or use a customizable keyboard shortcut.
Once you've captured a screen, window or selected area, there are several ways to proceed. You can save it and select another area, begin a scrolling window capture, or capture multiple images.
There’s an excellent selection of possible post-capture operations, too. You can save the image to a location of your choice, save it and then view it, send it via email or FTP, or copy it to the clipboard.
Screenshot Captor also includes a feature-packed editing and annotation tool, which saves you the effort of opening screen grabs in a separate graphics application. You can access this by double-clicking the icon in your system tray.
Screenshot Captor's toolkit includes options for blacking out sensitive information like passwords and usernames, and highlighting important areas. There’s also a comprehensive set of watermarking tools, plus all the brush, text, selection and shape tools you’d expect from a basic photo editor.
This screen capture software is extremely impressive, though it's important to note that making a donation gives "guaranteed lifetime to site content with no recurring charges ever, regardless of any future changes to site policy”, implying that Screenshot Captor may not be free for personal use indefinitely if voluntary contributions aren't enough to sustain it.
The latest version of Screenshot Captor includes several new features an bug fixes. It resolves a GDI leak that sometimes caused ScreenCaptor to hang after taking thousands of captures, and adds an option in the uploader to preserve logs across runs, and copy the log to the clipboard. For a full list of all changes, see the version history (opens in new tab) on the Screenshot Captor forum.
Another flexible screen capture tool with an interesting set of post-capture editing options, including some more artistic effects.
No annotations and editing unless you pay for the Pro edition, but the free version makes capturing and saving grabs effortless, in any format and location.
Microsoft's built-in screen capture tool is a hidden gem that lets you capture your whole screen, a window or a free-form area, then add your own notes.