Screen Capture Tools

Question: Is there a free or inexpensive screen capture tool that give high resolution?

Suggestions Other Than Tools:   To get a higher resolution, you might need to change the screen settings on the computer you’re using, since screen capture tools capture at the resolution of the system.

Tools and Comments:  

  • IrfanView ( is freeware/donationware. For such a small utility, it packs a lot of really useful features such as format conversions, batch processing, organizational tools, basic image editing, and more.
  • PrintKey-Pro offers a 30-day free trial, and only costs $19.95. I’ve used the older version, PrintKey 2000, for several years and it works great.
  • WisdomSoft ScreenHunter 4.0 Free does everything I need. There are also Plus and Pro versions of the tool for 19.95 and 29.95, respectively. See
  • SnagIT is easy, versatile, and inexpensive ($29.95). Updating is easy. They always exhibit at the STC international conference. Their people are helpful and I’ve often gotten some free training by just standing around and asking questions. Recommended by several people.
  • CaptureIt!, FullShot, and HiJack work well and are not very expensive.
  • Paint Shop Pro works well and my screen shots always look fine. Admittedly, I don’t do anything special with the resolution until I place them into my FrameMaker files. There I use the DPI setting to size them the way I need them. They come out great when viewing online or printing from PDF. However, this is a full graphics program and is not inexpensive!
  • Paint is free and already on your computer if you have Microsoft Office. To take a screen shot, use “Alt” plus the “PrtScn/SysReq” button on the upper right portion of your keyboard. (Of if you want an image of the entire screen, use “Ctrl” plus “PrtScn/SysReq”.) Paste the image into Paint using “Ctrl-V.” Click Yes if prompted to enlarge the image. Save the screenshot as a BMP (default), GIF, or JPEG.Drawbacks of Paint, from another user: The advantage with using a screen capture utility is… well, heck, too numerous to mention. You can capture drop down menus, include the cursor, automatically create tear-off’s, batch convert to other formats, capture a region, capture a long scrolling page… Believe me, I use Paint on occasion, too. But when taking screen shots for my manuals, again, it’s well worth the few dollars spent to buy a tool intended for that purpose. You are also slightly limited in the output formats you get with Paint; only the newer versions save as PNGs. That format offers great quality, and small file size.