Have you ever done something on your computer – maybe found a really cool bug in windows, had a program crash out on you with one of htose error messages that you just cant write down because its got too many zeros and ones, done something really cool in a game or just had a really cool desktop setup that you wanted to share?
Or maybe you are interested in publishing a video series on youtube of you doing something cool on video (Hey you never know)?
Well if any of the above scenarios apply to you, then you will probably need whats call Screen capture software Windows.
What is Screen Capture?
Screen capture is the process of taking a picture (still) or a moving image (video) of the information that is being displayed on your computer screen, and then using that information elsewhere on the computer – whether it be playing it back in real time, saving it to a file, uploading it to youtube or sharing it with your friends.
In essence its a way of saving something thats currently being displayed to your on your screen.
Why do I need a software to do this?
The most common reasons for needing to do this is so that you can save something on your screen – either for your personal use, for archiving purposes, or so you can show someone else.
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Specifically, you may need screen capture for one of the following reasons, depending what type of capture we are talking about:
- Still image capture
- For saving an error message for later diagnostics
- For saving the layout of a program, or your desktop in general
- To show something on your PC to a friend
- To build a tutorial guide for a common windows task
- As part of a project
- Video image capture
- To record an issue in real time, for later diagnostics
- To show something to your friend – like a scene from a video or a game on your PC
- For a video tutorial – to show how a task is actually carried out on your computer
- As part of a project or a course you are doing
There are loads of other uses for needing screen capture software, those are just a few of the most common examples.
Still image or video?
As described above, you can capture the screen as a still image – a single frame documenting a static point in time on your computer, or a video image – a moving image depicting the events over a certain time period in your computer.
The lists above should give you a good idea of when each option is more appropriate, but there are other considerations to take into account as well:
- Size: In the main, a still image capture will be a lot smaller in size that a video capture – sometimes a video capture can grow to an exceptionally large size. This can have implications, especially for storage purposes.
- Processing requirements: Typically a video capture will require a fair amount of processing power – it is having to encode hundreds if not thousands of frames a minute from your PC display, into a video format and then save that to your disk which believe it or not, is quite intensive, so to get a smooth video capture, you need a reasonable spec on your PC.
- Sending limits: If you are planning to send your capture via email, or upload it to youtube, you need to keep in mind that depending what form of capture you chose, and then length of the capture if its video capture, you may have issues a) Uploading it (because of your connection speed) and b) actually having it received at the other end – email for example typically has a 10MB-25MB send/receive limit in place, so if you are sending a video capture to your friend, they may not be able to receive it.
What is the best software out there for capturing the screen?
We have used lots of different screen capture software – from built in tools available within windows, to third party paid software.
One of the best softwares we have found to date is TinyTake – Its a freeware tool that runs on windows and allows you to easily take still or video screen captures with extreme ease.
With the software installed on your computer, you can take still screen captures and video captures and then you can add comments to those captures, which we think takes screen capture to a whole new level.
The software also allows you to easily share those captures with your friends.
Some of the key features of TinyTake are:
- Record a video of your screen (you can record up to 120 minutes of video in one “session”)
- Record a video using your web-cam (This is a fantastic addon feature of TinyTake)
- Capture a region, a window or entire screen – Again, very useful to be able to captuer just one area of your screen
- Capture a still image using your web-cam
- Open, annotate and share an existing image on your computer
- Copy to clipboard or save it locally
- Store screenshots & videos in the cloud
- Share a link to the stored screenshot & video
- Zoom in / zoom out
- Assign custom short-cut keys
- Proxy server friendly
Other screen capture software
Of course there are lots of other screen capture softwares available on the market, and they all have different features and uses, so depending on your requirements, you should check them out, some of the most popular ones are listed below.
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