How to Take Perfect Screenshots in Less Than 2 Minutes

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JingIn the good old days we took screenshots using the Prt Scr/Sys Rq button on our keyboard. Some of you probably still do. When you push this button it basically takes a snap shot of your computer screen and copies it to the clipboard. You can then open some form of image editing software and either paste it or use Ctrl+V (shortcut/same as paste) into your program.

After it’s pasted into an image editor you might add some circles, squares, arrows, text, etc. to highlight and point out an area of interest so others understand what you are talking about.

There are also some great Firefox addons and Google Chrome extensions that can help you take a quick sreenshot with a few simple mouse clicks. Usually you still need to paste it into an image editor of some kind. These are pretty much the equivalent of pressing the Prt Scr/Sys Rq button. All they are really doing is making it a little easier for people by allowing them to use their mouse instead of the keyboard.

People like myself use screenshots for tutorials and other helpful tips. Screenshot examples are very helpful, but if you add highlights, text, and such they can be extremely time-consuming especially if you have several images or a series of Step 1, Step 2, Step 3, etc.

 

Enter Jing Screenshot and Screencast Software

A very nice program that helps save a lot of time that I have been using for a few years now is Jing. It’s a screenshot and screencast software program all in one. Jing used to be available in both free and paid versions, but they have since discontinued the pay version. So Jing is a free only program now.

I don’t find the screencast (record your screen) part of Jing as useful as I did a few years ago. Jing is limited to 5 minutes of record time, it adds a watermark to the lower left part of the capture, and the output save format is .swf (Shockwave Flash) only.

Five minutes is doable, and the watermark is not a big deal. Watermarks are fairly common in free video screen capture software.

The quality is great and certainly better than may others out there.

The biggest drawback is that you can only save the final output as an .swf file, which means you won’t be able to upload it to YouTube or many other video sharing sites as .swf’s are usually not supported or allowed.

If the Jing video screencast feature included the ability to save to a more common industry standard output it would be a lot more useful and popular for that matter.

I am not writing this to tell you about Jing’s screencast recording feature and abilities, but I thought I would mention it since it does include it.

 

Capture Amazing Screenshots in Record Time with Jing

Jing’s image screen capture ability and feature is where it really excels. You can take a screenshot image, add arrows, text, frames, and highlights with various colors in less than 2 minutes once you get the hang of it. It is a simple and easy to use program that shouldn’t take very long to figure out.

There is no way that I can take a screenshot, add arrows and text that actually looks decent with another image editing program as quick as I can with Jing. It would take me 10 to 30 minutes with an alternative photo/image editor to make something comparable that I was content with.

Here are a couple of example screenshots I took of this website using Jing:

This first one is just a simple screenshot before adding anything.

Jing Without Editing

 

The second one I added arrows, text, and a highlight.

Jing After Editing

 

The third one is arrows pointing to the Jing editor features with a text box.

Jing Editor

 

All three of these images combined took less than 5 minutes to make.

So if you write tutorials, how to’s, or post screenshots and you need to point out specific areas of interest then be sure to check out Jing. There are a lot of additional possibilities that you could use it for.

The Jing editor does not include a lot of advanced features like you would find in some photo imaging programs. However, it includes enough to make a nice spruced up screenshot in a matter of minutes.

I don’t know about you, but my time is valuable. I could spend hours editing screenshots in Photoshop or with an online editor for that matter, but when I need something nice in short amount of time I reach for Jing.

 

Jing Screenshot and Screencast Software by TechSmith

Jing Information and Details:
http://www.techsmith.com/jing.html

Jing Features:
http://www.techsmith.com/jing-features.html

Download Jing for Free:
http://www.techsmith.com/download/jing/default.asp

About: Jeremy LeSarge - AKA: Ray (209 Posts)

I am the site owner and administrator of DialMe.com. I provide help and tips for Boonex Dolphin on the main part of this website where you will also find an assortment of other resources. Here, on the blog I write about a variety of topics surrounding WordPress, technology, social media/networking, SEO, and webmaster resources.




24 Comments

  1. Atif Imran

    Reply

    As a how to blogger , I know making screenshots is a hard working task . After reading this post , I got a great solution .

    • Reply

      Taking screenshots with all the highlights, details, arrows, and such are extremely time-consuming. I couldn’t even count the hours I spent with them over the years. If I can get them done faster with a decent looking result I am all for it. Jing is a very good free program.

  2. Leo

    Reply

    Jing looks like a great tool with lots of options. But Windows 7 also comes with a great screenshot tool called the Snipping Tool. While it doesn’t have all the features of Jing, it does allow quick captures and allows you to define the area of capture.

    • Reply

      There are a few little tools in Windows 7 that aren’t mentioned very often. Some of them are decent and good concepts. It’s too bad they don’t improve them because some of them could be more popular and can be very helpful.

    • Reply

      Jing is a decent free little program that is pretty easy to figure out and use. It can definitely save time, and the quality is great. It is made by the same company that makes Camtasia. I don’t use it daily, but when I need some screenshots with arrows to point out something of interest it comes in very handy.

    • Reply

      Jing is great interesting program, and you can’t beat the free price tag. There are a lot of possibilities that you might use it for.

  3. Reply

    This one is totally Cool one
    I used Paint to Copy Screenshots and have to crop them everytime in New Paint document which is very time consuming. A great tip

  4. Rajkumar Jonnala

    Reply

    There is an alternative tool online which does the job much more easier that labnol screenshot capture.

    • Reply

      There are probably a lot of alternative ways and tools to take a screenshot out there. What I like and look for is if there is a fast and easy way to add arrow pointers, highlights, text, and such without having to use a photo editing program that is complex and time-consuming. One of the things I like about Jing is I can add simple extras in a few seconds and they look decent.

  5. Praveen Soni

    Reply

    Hello DIALME,
    This is an awesome tutorial. This helped me. This tutorial is also very useful newbie bloggers. I would like to share something with you i.e. I am using the awesome screen shot for capturing screen shot. This is also an awesome program.
    thanks for sharing 🙂

    • Reply

      It’s an great program that is still being updated so that’s a plus too. You can’t beat the free price tag either.

  6. Reply

    I am actually still using the Print Screen Sys Rq and Ctrl V for screen shots. You are very right that it takes time to edit. I need something better and you’ve just given me the solution. Thank you for sharing this one. I’m definitely going to try using Jing. 🙂

    • Reply

      Jing is a really great quality free program. I really like how simple it is to use. When I can do what I need to do with it in a few minutes compared to using a complicated image editor even better. Hopefully they continue developing it for years to come yet.

  7. Reply

    Facilitative tutorial .
    I always find taking screenshots time consuming . I was looking for something better to confront this issue. Jing looks quiet easy to use and promising . I feel convinced to give it a try.

  8. Reply

    You have shared wonderful tips on your blog once again, thank you very much. I’m actually a noob when it comes to making the perfect screen shots so I find your post very useful. Keep it up!

  9. Anil Bhogia

    Reply

    I was just thinking about searching for something like this because I do often include a screen shot. Thanks for the tool which goes beyond that.
    so i think that 2 second or 3 second maximum only stop the website home page.

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