Screen Capture Programs and Your Clipboard

Ever wanted to capture or snap screen images with something a little easier to use than the built in program of Windows clipboard. Look no further than these programs that offer basic to advanced features at no cost or trial versions that you can use to see if your interested in purchasing the full versions.

Screen capture programs all work the same, basically. The program takes the image that is currently on the screen of the computer and stores that image in a location of your computers hard drive. In Windows there is a built in capture or copy program for you to use but it is very basic, and I mean very basic. It is a part of Windows that incorporates the copy feature of many right click parts of programs.

The clipboard program is usually found in your Windows directory, like this, C:Windows/System32/clipbrd.exe. This program can capture the image or text of what is on the current window or open program and hold it in a spot on your hard drive. Where this saves the copy can sometime be a mystery but you can find it, or even specify where it saves this captured image or text. When you hit the prt scr or print screen key it will save the image on your hard drive. You can then access this image or text by opening the clipboard by finding the executable program or .exe like this. Go to explorer or double click My Computer then go to windows then system 32 and find clipbrd or clipbrd.exe. Double click this and the program will open with the image you captured. You can then save or edit this image with some basic tools on the clipboard program.

The clipboard program has some very basic features and is not a very good program other than a very basic screen capture or copy tool. This is also the part of your computer that copies text or documents, files and programs when you use the copy, paste or cut feature of your computer. You can save images or text and specify where you save it, my documents or you can create a folder for ease of finding them later.

One major problem with the clipboard program is that it only makes one copy of an image and holds that copy. Not creating a permanent copy of it at any time unless you actually go into the program and save it. So if you want to capture pictures of say a video game your playing called screen shots you would have to pause the game and go into the clipboard and save the image every time you pressed the print screen key on your keyboard. For many this does not make sense and would be a great waste of time. I for instance review video games that I play on my PC for a web site. I play the game and have a program running in the back ground that saves an image when I hit a certain key or the print screen key. It numbers the picture and saves it in a folder I specify for me to view, edit and send them in with my review. I can save as many images as I want and it runs in the background of my computer at the same time as the game is running. When I hit the key to save an image it pauses or hesitates slightly when it takes the picture and can even have a sound like a cameras shutter while taking the screen shot, the old kind of cameras, not digital.

When you copy, paste or cut text, files or programs in just about every program on your computer your already using the clipboard. This is the program that holds that file, image or text for your to copy it to another program or location while your working. This is just a simple tool that allows you to view that image or text and save or alter it a little bit. As far as text and files or programs it does not allow you to view them like an image but it still saves them and has filled the clipboard when you click on the copy feature. For instance when you hit the copy feature for a file you want to copy from one directory to another and you had an image in there previously it will replace that image with the file. But you will not see anything on the clip board viewer when you open it with a file or text saved in it.

It will have a blank white screen with the information that was copied on it instead of an image. The text will be there or if your copying a link or file it will have the path of the file there. But you won’t be able to do much with this information other than paste it into another location or program. This can be helpful for finding things on your computer but the program is mainly used for you to copy things, files and images.

There are programs that use the clipboard as it’s key part of image and screen capture and has features like saving numerous images by numbering them and saving to a file you specify. Some have simple features like this and others have added features like specifying hot keys or what key on your keyboard you use to save the screen shot or sounds when you save the screens hot to notify you that a screen shot was taken. Here are some free and trial programs that you can try for image captures and other screen shot programs.

Provtech has a basic image capture and save program that allows you to specify the location of your image saves and auto names them so that you can save numerous images with exiting your current program. You can find more for Screen Print & Capture 32 version 3.5 here: http://www.provtech.co.uk/main/default.asp .

Wisdom Software has a free screen capture program that is very easy to use. It will capture the current screen or desktop and allow you to hide the cursor if you want. ScreenHunter 4 is a no frills image capture program for free available here: http://www.wisdom-soft.com/products/screenhunter_free.htm .

EZMagnifier is a screen magnifier and image capture program that allows you to easily magnify portions of you current screen and save the image for later use or editing. It is a simple and free program that has it’s unique uses and it’s best benefit is it’s cost, free. EZMagnifier is available here from Ancient Soft: http://www.ancientsoft.com/ezmagnifier.htm .

Hypersnap DX is the program I use for screen captures while reviewing PC games. It has a lot of features and is a great screen capture program that auto names screen shots as you take them, saving them in the file you specify. It has image altering features and assignable hot keys as well as audio capture. You can use your voice recognition software to capture screens while still in games or other programs by simply saying snap screen or capture desktop.

It works very well with the voice recognition software I was using, music and TV would sometimes bring up the help screen as well as the games audio while playing the games. Some words sound very close to the help command, you just have to say help to activate the help feature and bring up the help screen over what your doing and this can be annoying. But the program works very well with it’s other features and is a very good program to auto save and do some editing to images. It has all kinds of customizable features and can save not only the current desktop but other windows, the current active window with or without the tool or taskbars and many other types of captures.

Hypersnap DX is not a free program, it costs $35 but is well worth it for the user who needs a good screen capture program with all kinds of features. You can find more about this program and download a free trial here: http://www.hyperionics.com/index.asp?AfID=CDN .

There are other programs that are good for screen captures and you can find out more about them here at Download.com: http://www.download.com/3120-20_4-0.html?tag=srch&nid=1&qt=screen+capture&tg=dl-20 .

Many programs available will have free trial versions that have certain features locked out or not available till you purchase them, but you can find out if you would like to use the program and purchase it. A good screen capture program can be fun and handy to use but some people need a good program for capturing images or photo editing. You can easily see if you like the program by using the free trial before purchasing or using one of the free programs for fun with your clipboard or screen capture tools.

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