Screenshots are something most of us create on a regular basis but probably don’t give much thought to. They’re handy to preserve a visual for reference or evidence, and they’re a quick way to share something funny or interesting. But if you’re underwhelmed by your device’s native screenshot program, you might want to upgrade to one of these great alternatives.
Though the basic screen capture tool on your computer (like Microsoft’s Snipping Tool) is good enough to get the job done, you don’t have to settle for it if you want something with more features. The best screenshot apps also offer plenty of options for markups, editing, and sharing your screenshots. Some can offer full-page capture for lengthy or side-scrolling websites, and even screen recording, say, for an instructional video.
Best Overall Screenshot Software: SnagIt
SnagIt ($49.99) is impressively lightweight yet powerful screen capture and recording software. And it’s one of few screenshot software programs that’s available for both Windows and Mac, and that has a well-designed free companion app for iOS and Android. SnagIt (and its handy toolbar) makes it easy to capture a visual or process, edit images, annotate, and export.
The software has an all-in-one capture tool, which lets you capture your entire desktop, a specific region or window, or an entire scrolling screen. It also offers panoramic scrolling capture for vertical, horizontal, and infinite scroll web pages. SnagIt can record your screen, iOS screen, and webcam, and even capture audio, which is perfect for those wanting to create an instructional how-to or demonstrate a process in a video.
With SnagIt, you can grab and edit text, or add annotations and graphic stamps of your own. It also has tools to cut out part of a screenshot and automatically restitch the rest together and take care of the background. Plus, it has tools for creating videos from images and creating GIFs. Once you’ve finished, SnagIt gives you the option to export your creation directly to destinations like YouTube, Slack, and more. There’s a 15-day trial available, as well.
Tons of Image Editing Tools: PicPick
Taking and sharing a screenshot as-is can work for most situations, but if you need a robust set of tools for editing your images before sharing them, definitely go with PicPick ($29.99). The free limited version of the software is great for personal/home use, but the paid version works for both personal and commercial use, and includes nice extras like automatic updates, lifetime upgrades, technical support, and no ads. On the downside, it’s only available for Windows (sorry Mac and mobile users).
PicPick can capture an entire screen, an active window, a scrolling page, and any specified region of your desktop. It also gives you the option to delay a capture, include your mouse in a capture, or create a freehand capture that you define. You also have control over advanced settings for customizing hotkeys, file quality, image quality, and so on.
The software’s included tools for editing and enhancing your image are impressive. You can highlight and annotate freely, insert text, crop, rotate, resize, blur and sharpen, adjust color balance and brightness, and even add shapes, watermarks, frames, and drop shadows. And there are plenty of exporting options, like email, Dropbox, Google Drive, Microsoft Office, Facebook, Skype, or even to your printer or FTP server.
Best Basic Screenshot Software: Greenshot
Greenshot is a free open-source screenshot tool for Windows and Mac. While it lacks many of the fancy premium tools some of the paid options have, its basic functionality is user-friendly and does what you need it to in a pinch. It can create screenshots of an entire screen or window, a selected region, or a complete scrolling web page.
The lightweight software lets you highlight text passages, add annotations and graphics, crop and resize, and even blur out sensitive or irrelevant parts of the shot. When you’re done making adjustments to your image, you can then save it, print it, attach it to an email, or send it to Microsoft’s Office Suite or a photo hosting site like Flickr.
Most Robust Options: ShareX
If you’re creating screenshots and captures on a regular basis, whether it’s for work or personal reasons, it’s good to have lots of tools and editing options at hand. ShareX‘s (Free) arsenal of professional-grade editing and sharing tools is impressive, but its myriad options end up making the program feel cluttered. There is a slight learning curve as well, but the program is worthwhile if you need something heavy duty.
The open-source program offers 15 capture methods, from Active Monitor and Window Menu to Scrolling Capture and Auto Capture. For specific region capture, you can choose which shape to capture, from rectangle, ellipse, and freehand. There are also a variety of annotation tools to choose from, like arrow, smart eraser, blur, magnify, highlight, pixelate, and more.
ShareX supports a variety of capture tasks, including show quick task menu, scan QR code, show file in explorer, upload image to host, copy file path to clipboard, add image effects or a watermark, and more. It can even create animated GIFs. There are also tons of supported upload methods and tasks to work with if you’re looking to import and edit files not captured with the software.
Once your image is edited and ready to go, ShareX can export it to over 70 destinations, including Twitter, Imgur, Google Drive, JIRA, Gfycat, puush, YouTube, Reddit, Pushbullet, Pinterest, bit.ly, VideoBin, Amazon S3, GitHub Gist, Flickr, Pastebin, and more.
Workspace and Library Support: Screenpresso
Screenpresso (Free, with paid version) offers well-rounded image and video capturing for Windows, and it’s also available as a Chrome extension. The free version of the software offers image capture and HD video capture with branding and limited image editing tools. Upgrading to the $29.99 Pro version unlocks all of the program’s excellent features.
Screenpresso Pro gets you HD video capture including audio, Android capture, optical character recognition text capture from images, a full-featured image editor (including reworking, effects, and watermarking), a document generator, video clipping and merge, plenty of sharing features, and multiple workspaces.
The program can capture your full screen, part of a screen, a specific window, freehand region selection, and scrolling windows. You can even opt to include the mouse or delay capture. The software has a three-step workflow and, most impressively, a widget-like Workspace panel. This gives you quick direct access to previously captured screenshots, from which you can drag and drop files. It also boasts shortcuts for organizing, copying, and printing captures, and a toolbar for capturing, editing, and publishing images and clips.