Portable apps for tech writers II: Screenshots

Suppose you’re wise to portable apps and how to tweak text with them, with or without the apps mentioned in my previous post Portable apps for tech writers. But how about screenshots? Anything portable there? – Oh, good! I thought you’d never ask… 🙂

My top 3 portable screenshot apps

Top prize: PicPick Tools is my #1 screenshot app. It’s got everything I need: Quick and easy screenshots of desktop, window or screen area, quick change of output setting, auto-save to my project directory, a screen ruler and magnifier and a simple image editor. Most of the time, I take straight screenshots without call-outs, so I want an app that lets me do that quickly and keeps out of my way. PicPick does this best of all the screenshot apps I tried; it runs in my task bar. The problem with this is that, according to the product web site, the “portable version of PicPick [is] only for private, personal and not commercial use”.

Runner-up: FSCapture is very similar to PicPick. The problem with this is that it’s no longer a free app. The link takes you to the last free version 5.3 of February 2007 which works fine. However, it excludes some of the features baked into the latest version 6.5 and PicPick Tools, such as the screen ruler and sending captured images directly to Word, PowerPoint and an FTP server.

Honorable mention: The unpronouncable PrtScr affords the stylish whimsy of an animated preview. You need to see it to believe it – check out the video below. It’s great for quick and dirty screenshots with markups, but its emphasis on free-hand drawing and cropping makes it less suitable for pedantic operations. The problem with this (and you knew there had to be one) is that you pretty much have to create your own portable version by installing it, copying the program files to your portable directory or stick and uninstalling it.

[Update: I just remembered that freewaregenius has written up PicPick and PrtScr so you can get exhaustive second opinions on them.]

What do you think, is it worth to pay for screenshot toolsfor the extra features when freeware basically gets the job done?

Here’s PrtScr’s cool demo rock video:

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4 Responses

  1. Some nice apps here.

    Have you tried Jing?

    Techsmith the snagit people released it last year. It takes screen recordings as well, up to 5 min. There’s a free & pro version.

  2. Ivan, thanks for pointing out Jing. I’ve heard of it and know people who’ve used it… – but so far I haven’t had the chance to do screencasts.

  3. […] writers III: Dictionaries Posted on February 22, 2010 by Kai I don’t just write and take screenshots with portable apps, I even use them to look up words, despite Wikipedia and countless online […]

  4. […] 2010 by Kai By now you maybe know that I’m fond of portable apps. That I use them to write, take screenshots and look up stuff in dictionaries with them. But wait: There’s more! No matter how well I […]

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