Screenshots With Highlighted Areas

  • joebert
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Normally when I need to take a screenshot and highlight something in it I press "print screen" (prnt scrn) on my keyboard, open the image in my editor, and highlight the areas of interest using whichever effect I have on my mind at the moment. There has to be an easier way though.

Are there any applications available with a sort of pre-screenshot annotation mode ?

I'm thinking of a small toolbox window, similar to the way some color pickers (for instance Colorpix) have their own small window. The window would have one main button that when clicked would "freeze" the screen while excluding the screenshot programs window. The screenshot toolbox window could still be moved around the screen, but the rest of the screen would be an un-interactive image of itself.

While the screen is frozen like this, simple drawing tools such as an oval or rectangle shape could be used to mark off sections to highlight. Once I was done highlighting areas the screen would go back to normal and a preview of my screenshot would open in a small window where I could preview different effects, such as blurring the areas outside of the highlighted areas, semi-transparent colored layers blacking out the non-highlighted areas, and maybe some others.

Once I was happy with that, I could save the screenshot as a PNG, JPG, GIF, etc.

Maybe as an optional security feature, it would include text recognition software and point out anything that looks like say, a credit card number, a sensitive URL, or other privacy concerns before actually saving the image and giving me the option to completely black those out. I can't be the only person who has realized only after posting a screenshot somewhere that it includes something it shouldn't.
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Post 3+ Months Ago

  • Bigwebmaster
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Have you ever tried the snipping tool in windows? It is pretty cool for doing screenshots. It grays out your current screen and lets you select the area you want to take a screenshot of. Once you are done selecting the area a box comes up for you to use a highlighter, eraser, or pen tool. Here is a screenshot of the Windows 7 snipping tool in action:
Attachments:
windows-snipping-tool.jpg

Windows 7 Snipping Tool

  • joebert
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Post 3+ Months Ago

That is a very cool tool that I didn't know about until you mentioned it. I see it's available on Windows Vista (Home Premium and up) as well, not just Windows 7.

Since the main reason I have Windows is to play games and watch movies, I have Vista Basic. Vista Basic doesn't include the snipping tool from what I understand. :(

I'm curious whether your screenshot was done with print screen while you were using the application, or perhaps it was a function of the snipping tool.
  • Bigwebmaster
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Post 3+ Months Ago

To do that screenshot above I wasn't able to use the snipping tool because I wanted to capture the red lines from the snipping tool in action and to show how it grays out everything you haven't selected.
  • SpooF
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I recently found the snip tool too, very handy. I looked around for a free knock off but couldnt come up with anything.
  • joebert
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I came across a couple of nefarious looking solutions at Yahoo Answers, but it looks like I'm just going to have to continue pasting into paint and using simple red ovals when I'm using Windows. I literally use Windows just for games and movies. I've got a couple things such as puTTY installed so I can perform quick tasks without rebooting, but that's it. I'm not to keen on the idea of upgrading Windows for a few bells and whistles, I'd probably go for buying that individual snipper application from Microsoft, though I can't seem to find such an option. :)

As far as when I'm on Ubuntu though, I might have to revisit the color picker I wrote for myself a couple of years ago and see if I can put together something for screen capture.
  • sase_95
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Can you just "print screen" and edit it on PS?
I do that all the time!
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Post 3+ Months Ago

sase_95 wrote:
Can you just "print screen" and edit it on PS?
I do that all the time!


Joebert is trying to make the job easier and quicker rather than having to go into Photoshop and do what he mentioned he has been doing in his original post.
  • Zwirko
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Google Chrome appears to have something like this as an extension. I've not used it myself though. The blurb goes like this:


Quote:
Capture the whole page or any portion, annotate it with rectangles, circles, arrows, lines and text, blur sensitive info, one-click upload to share. Support PNG/JPG and shortcuts.


Awesome Screenshot and Annotate

I might install it (but I don't use Chrome all that much).
  • SpooF
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Thought I'd bring this back up. With the new web store for google chrome there are a lot of cool web apps that I've been find out about along with some cool extensions.

Screen Capture (by Google)
Aviary Screen Capture

And to go with either Avairy web apps

I don't use the Aviary screen capture, thought I'm sure its good. The one by google has simple and great features that do most of anything I need to (lines, text, highlight outline/fill, box fill, blur)

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