Screen Capture Tools

Market overview of recommendable tools for creating screen captures (screenshots, screen dumps). Screen captures are required within all forms of software documentation, such as user manuals, online help files, interactive demos and tutorials, but also for web sites and brochures.

Legal Notice:
The linked web sites and their publishers are not associated with or endorsed by indoition Technical Communication Services Marc Achtelig, and do not reflect the opinion of indoition Technical Communication Services Marc Achtelig. Copyright of materials by their respective copyright holders.


Tip: Also see the checklist in Choosing a Screen Capture Tool.



Easy to use, nothing missing. Added texts can be updated and translated at any time. Several useful additional functions, such as basic video capture and text capture. Optional integration with Microsoft Word.

Price: approx. $50


Adds some additional buttons to each window at runtime. Instead of remembering a keyboard shortcut you can then click one of these buttons, for example, “W” for “Window” or “R” for “Region.” FullShot then creates the desired screenshot (and removes the additional buttons from these screenshots). Screenshots can easily be updated. In particular, added texts, such as callouts, are retained and can be edited. Highly efficient functions for capturing menus and command bars. Wide range of effects.

Price: approx. $80 (“Professional”)

MadCap Capture

Focuses especially on the requirements of technical documentation and single source publishing. Supports text variables. Users of the authoring system Flare (developed by the same company) can save images automatically in two versions: one version for online help, and one version for printed user manuals. The online version, for example, can be in color, the print version in gray. Also the resolution of both versions can be different. Images remain fully editable, irrespective of their format. Elements can be saved to palettes and reused. The design of the elements added to your screenshots, such as callouts, can be standardized conveniently.

Price: approx. $39


Especially powerful if you want to print screen captures directly on paper, but also has many advanced options to save as files.

Price: approx. $16; free for noncommercial use

Ashampoo Snap

Price: approx. €20


Price: approx. $40


Basic screen capture tool, combined with image editor, color picker, color palette, pixel ruler, protractor, crosshair, and whiteboard.

Price: approx. $22; free for personal use

Screenshot Captor

Price: donation


Price: approx. $30

SPX Instant Screen Capture

Price: approx. $29


Creates screen captures and movies from video games.

Price: approx. €30


Comes with many editing features.

Price: free (freeware)


Primarily built for easy sharing of screenshots, but can also be used for storing your screenshots locally. Comes with various editing features.

Price: free (open source)

TNT Screen Capture

Especially helpful if you’ve made individual color settings in Windows. You can reset your custom colors to the Windows default values on command, shoot your image, and finally restore the individual settings automatically. In addition, the tool can automatically save a copy of each screen capture as a thumbnail and has an option to render screen captures as 3-dimensional presentation images.

Price: free (freeware)


Simple screen capture tool that can automatically handle rounded corners and semi-transparent window backgrounds.

Price: free (freeware)


The popular image editor also comes with a built-in function to capture the entire screen, or individual windows or areas. You can then edit screenshots directly within GIMP before saving.

Price: free (open source)


Saves screenshots to files.

Price: free (open source)


Provides a basic set of capturing and editing functions.

Price: basic version free (freeware); “Pro” version approx. €29


Basic, straight-forward screen capture tool.

Price: free (freeware)


Specialized on creating screenshots from movies.

Price: free (freeware)


Specialized on creating screenshots of web pages. Automatically creates a hidden window of Internet Explorer, loads the desired web page, and then saves the entire content of the web page into an image file. Works via GUI or from the command line.

Price: free (freeware)


Captures web pages and also includes some editing functions. Available as a plug-in for all major browsers.

Price: free (freeware)


Automatically takes a screenshot whenever something changes on screen. Can be used, for example, for documenting test cases or for recording presentations by subject matter experts.

Price: free (open source)


The market leader for Windows is also available for the Mac.

Price: approx. $50


Full-featured screen capture tool.

Price: approx. $20


Price: free (freeware)


Price: free (freeware)


Price: free (however, note the terms of service)


Price: free (freeware)


Wirelessly mirrors an iPad or iPhone to a PC or Mac so that you can take screen captures.

Price: approx. $13


Feature-rich screenshot program for Linux.

Price: free (open source)


The screen capture tool of KDE.

Price: free (open source)


The popular image editor also comes with a built-in function to capture the entire screen, or individual windows or areas. You can then edit screenshots directly within GIMP before saving.

Price: free (open source)

If you only need to take a limited number of screen captures, there’s also the option to capture them manually. On Windows: Using the Print Screen key, you can copy the currently displayed screen contents to the clipboard. Using the key-combination Alt+Print Screen, you can copy the contents of the active window. Then, you can directly paste the clipboard contents into any document or graphics editor.

Windows Vista and Windows 7 make the procedure even simpler. The build-in Snipping Tool (usually located within the Accessories group) lets you instantly save basic screen captures as a file. However, if you want to apply any special effects or if you want to add callouts, you’ll have to use some general-purpose graphics software to do so manually.


On the Mac, OS X also provides a number of build-in options to capture both entire screens and specific regions. Command key+Shift+3 saves the whole screen, Command key+Shift+4 saves a selected region, and Command key+Shift+4, and then immediately pressing the spacebar saves a selected item to the desktop. Note: If you also hold down the Ctrl key, this saves to the clipboard instead of saving to the desktop.

OS X also comes with a basic Grab utility located in Applications > Utilities.


Resizes any window to a predefined size. Can be helpful when creating screen captures of windows that must have given dimensions.

Price: free (freeware)

Did you benefit from this guide? Did it save you some time compared to search via Google or other search engines? Please help me to keep the guide free and up to date also in the future. Buy a copy of the PDF version (approx. 120 pages).

Thank you.

This page was last updated 06/2015


Imprint | Privacy | Terms of Use | Copyright | Linking to These Pages | Acknowledgements