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Old 01-16-2013, 08:07 PM   #1
saratoga172
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Default Sceen Capture Software

I do a lot of documentation at work and it is by far my least favorite part of what I do. I use Windows 7 and 8. Windows 7 comes with a program called Problem Step Recorder that records screenshots of clicks and allows you to input comments. Windows 8 includes a slightly updated version called Steps Recorder.

PSR and Steps work but are limited in function. PSR is limited to 100 screenshots and outputs to an MHTML file that has to be edited in Word. The file doesn't come out right if I convert it to a PDF. Steps in Windows 8 simply increases the screenshots to 999.

Jing has a bit of what I want. I'd like the ability to record video of my screen, even though it may not be used much, it would be useful for some training I'll be making. It'll do screenshots and output them into a file then I can create the document from that.

I haven't used SnagIt yet. This might be the option I go if the trial pans out.

I've been using something called ScreenHunt free. It allows me to press a hotkey for screenshots that automatically are saved to a folder. From there I usually use Word to drag images and type to explain what I need. Then convert to PDF.

I'm open for suggestions based on use. Free is obviously preferred but I don't mind paying $50-100 for something that works well. I won't pay for the software if they don't have a trial.

Suggestions?
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Old 01-16-2013, 08:37 PM   #2
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When working at Boeing, SnagIt was the one placed on Desktop by IT

As an engineer/developer, I use the easiest possible, PrintScreen pasted into MS Paint.

May not be the most powerful out there, but fast and simple
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Old 01-16-2013, 09:05 PM   #3
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Thanks.

I've tried the print screen + Paint option but the things I'm documenting can be anywhere from 10-50 screenshots. I usually break them into sections but it's tough to stop someone in the middle of working on an upgrade to screen cap, comment, paste, resume etc...

Ideally I'm looking for something I can turn on that will capture my screen while in the process of a software upgrade, fixing an issue, setting something up etc. Similar to PSR but more robust.

Think I'm going to check out SnagIt thus far. Experiences with it?
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Old 01-16-2013, 10:22 PM   #4
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You could try out the freebie version of Microsoft Expressions Encoder 4: http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/downl....aspx?id=27870 It can capture up to 10 minutes before you have to start a new capture. You can define which part of the screen you want to capture.
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Old 01-16-2013, 10:25 PM   #5
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i've used Wink for this purpose, it creates Flash videos of your desktop
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Old 01-17-2013, 07:15 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by saratoga172 View Post
I've been using something called ScreenHunt free. It allows me to press a hotkey for screenshots that automatically are saved to a folder. From there I usually use Word to drag images and type to explain what I need. Then convert to PDF.
Why don't you like this? It seems ideal for your purposes. You get a quick screenshot, then when you have the the time, you can organize and annotate them.
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Old 01-17-2013, 10:17 AM   #7
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HyperSnap is a good one, also FRAPS (despite the gaming marketing). FRAPS also does video if you need it.

Both of them allow you to set up macros where you hit a key and it just takes screenshots every x seconds until you hit it again. Do your software update or whatever, then go back to the folder full of screenshots and use any image editor to add comments/notations as needed.
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Old 01-17-2013, 12:05 PM   #8
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Greenshot http://getgreenshot.org/

Its open source and works prety well
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Old 01-17-2013, 01:38 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lxskllr View Post
Why don't you like this? It seems ideal for your purposes. You get a quick screenshot, then when you have the the time, you can organize and annotate them.
I don't necessarily dislike it. I was just interested in something that might be a bit easier and quicker. I may come back to this as it's worked so far. It's just time consuming to create documentation and so many cases are unique.
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Old 01-17-2013, 01:39 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gitano View Post
Greenshot http://getgreenshot.org/

Its open source and works prety well
I found this yesterday. I've got it installed but haven't tried it out yet. It looks promising in that I can dump it into a shared folder, Dropbox, or local folder on my system. I'll be using it this weekend for a few documents to see how it works out.

Thanks.
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Old 01-17-2013, 01:51 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dstoop View Post
HyperSnap is a good one, also FRAPS (despite the gaming marketing). FRAPS also does video if you need it.

Both of them allow you to set up macros where you hit a key and it just takes screenshots every x seconds until you hit it again. Do your software update or whatever, then go back to the folder full of screenshots and use any image editor to add comments/notations as needed.
Thanks I hadn't heard of HyperSnap. It looks pretty good based on the description and screenshots. I'll have to give it a go after Greenshot.

I've used Fraps before and had thought about maybe using it for video recording. Hadn't thought about using it for documentation. I'll take a look into its functionality and see if it'll work.

Thanks for the recommendations everyone!!! Keep them coming and I'll report back which I'm liking and why.

Side note: I've been using the Steps recorder for Windows 8 the past day. It's very basic but Microsoft added a couple nice things into it vs the Windows 7 version.
1st: You can now capture up to 999 screenshots vs 100.
2nd: The review option after you stop a recording is very nice.
3rd: The comments are still a nice thing to have and not very intrusive/time consuming.

What I still dislike:
1st: Always puts files into MHTML. This is not bad per se, but I haven't the best of luck converting these files to PDF which is our preferred method of distribution. It's nice I can open in Word, make/edit comments and be on my way though.
2nd: The number of screenshots changes back to the default of 25 every time the program is launched. Supposedly there is a registry hack to change the default but I need to track it down. It would be very nice.

I'm liking Steps now that I've got it working the way I want. I just need a couple more things that SnagIt for example has. I'd like to have the ability to easily input Arrows, highlight sections, so on and so forth.
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Old 01-17-2013, 09:34 PM   #12
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Try camstasia studio. It is not really free but you can try it for a month I think. It worked for me as I only had to make a couple of videos.
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Old 01-18-2013, 12:00 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mechBgon View Post
You could try out the freebie version of Microsoft Expressions Encoder 4: http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/downl....aspx?id=27870 It can capture up to 10 minutes before you have to start a new capture. You can define which part of the screen you want to capture.
I've used this to make some tutorial videos. Works well.
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Old 01-18-2013, 05:10 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gitano View Post
Greenshot http://getgreenshot.org/

Its open source and works prety well
+1

For screen recording - !Action: http://mirillis.com/en/products/action.html seeing as FRAPS doesn't work in Windows 8 yet.

I've used !Action now for a few weeks and have found it to be extremely easy to use, even better than FRAPS at desktop recording. It's possible to record applications like games as well, but I've never tried. It does however cost $30.
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