Live Capture grabs the grub from your PC's screen
Most PC users need to capture an image of their screen from time to time, and Windows’ ability to grab the full screen and active window will usually be enough. Opting for a specialist screen grabber can give you considerably more options, though, and the open source Live Capture is a particularly good example.
The program allows you to draw a rectangular (or freehand) area you’d like to capture, for instance. It can grab the contents of a fixed area of the screen. There’s an option to grab a program menu, and the Window Control Capture tool makes it easy to grab specific elements of a window: a toolbar, say, or the folder tree in Explorer.
More advanced options include the Web Capture tool, which grabs an image of a web page. The Auto Scroll option aims to scroll a program window, ensuring all of its content can be captured (although this was the one feature which didn’t always work for us). And the Timing Capture tool grabs an image at the time you specify, and can then take further captures at a defined interval, optionally turning them into an animated GIF.
Live Capture’s configurability is a major plus point. Each capture type has its own customisable hotkey, for instance. Images may be saved as PNG, GIF, JPG or BMP files, either with an automatically generated name or one you provide. And once the image has been captured, then you can have the program open it in an application, print it out, upload it to the web (perhaps your own FTP server), and more.
And the program includes several useful bonus tools: a screen magnifier, ruler, colour picker, palette viewer and more.
Live Capture still isn’t quite as good as the best of the commercial competition. Editing and annotation options are limited, for instance, and you don’t get canned options to upload your grabs to Facebook, Flickr and so on.
The program’s interface can be a little quirky, too, which means it may take you longer than usual to figure out how everything works.
Once you have mastered the basics, though, Live Capture proves a very capable screen grab tool, highly configurable and packed with essential features. Two thumbs up from us.