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CTRL + SHIFT + 4. Those are the only 3 keys you’ll ever need to press when you want to take a screenshot – and I’m not talking about a primitive screenshot either. You can select which region of the screen to capture or you can capture entire windows with a single keystroke. Taking screenshots doesn’t have to be a hassle if you use one of these tools.

For those of you who don’t think you need this kind of tool, I’d implore you to reconsider. Easy-access screenshots are one of those things that seem like it wouldn’t be useful, yet once you’ve used one you won’t ever look back. It’s too convenient and you’ll save a lot of time.

Puush

screenshot-tool-puush

I’ve tried a lot of screenshot utilities over the years, but Puush remains my favorite due to its low resource usage (~600KB RAM) and fast performance. Like most screenshot tools, it sits in the background of your computer and only responds when you press a relevant keyboard shortcut. It’s simple yet full-featured, which is a wonderful combination.

What makes Puush useful?

  • Capture, Upload, and Share with one keystroke.
  • Captures entire screen, certain regions, or entire windows.
  • Images are stored on Puush servers and image links are automatically copied to the clipboard when a screenshot is taken.

You’ll need a free Puush account before you can use it but it’s a hassle-free signup. Free accounts can storage unlimited images, capped at 20MB per image, and images will expire after 1 month of not being accessed. Pro accounts ($15/year) have an image size cap of 250MB and won’t expire until 6 months of not being accessed.

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Bottom Line: Puush is fantastic if you want to take a quick capture of your screen and share it with someone right away. Check out our Puush review Puush: Take Screenshots and Share Them Instantly Puush: Take Screenshots and Share Them Instantly Image hosting and image sharing sites are all the rage these days, especially with the widespread explosion in popularity of Internet image macros and memes. Images are pleasing to the eye and people are more... Read More for a deeper look.

ShareX

screenshot-tool-sharex

ShareX is similar to Puush above in terms of how it operates and what it can do, but there are a few subtle but substantial differences. Like Puush, ShareX can snap screenshots with a single keystroke. It can upload images to an image host and make it easy to share with friends. The interface is a bit harder to learn than Puush’s simplicity, but there are a few more features here that you might like.

What makes ShareX useful?

  • No account creation necessary.
  • Captures entire screen, certain regions, or entire windows.
  • Dashboard center that lets you handle all ShareX activities in a single window.
  • Automated Capture option that lets you take screenshots on a time interval.
  • Choose which image host where you want your images uploaded.

Bottom Line: ShareX is the preferred tool if you like to use different image hosts instead of relying on one single host like Puush. ShareX is also good if you’ll frequently be using its more advanced features. Check out our ShareX review ShareX: Screenshot Capture, Upload, And Share All Wrapped Into One ShareX: Screenshot Capture, Upload, And Share All Wrapped Into One What if you could take a screenshot at any time, in any shape, in any format, all with no more than a simple click of the mouse or tap of the keyboard? What if you... Read More for a deeper look.

Greenshot

screenshot-tool-greenshot

Greenshot isn’t so much a “screenshot in one keystroke” type of tool that both Puush and ShareX strive to be. Instead, it pushes the whole concept to the next level by implementing lots of advanced features at the cost of simplicity and quickness. That’s not a bad thing by any means – it just serves a different purpose and it does it well.

What makes Greenshot useful?

  • Lots of screen capture modes – more than Puush and ShareX.
  • Choose which format you want for your screenshots.
  • Screenshots can be uploaded to an image host, saved to your computer, or exported for use elsewhere.
  • Built-in image editor to edit screenshots you’ve taken.
  • Open source under the GPL license.

Bottom Line: I want to say that Greenshot is the best choice for users who aren’t computer wizards. It has an intuitive interface, lots of features, extendable through plugins, and a built-in image editor for quick touch-ups – nearly an all-in-one package. Check out our Greenshot review Capture & Share Screenshots In Seconds With Greenshot Capture & Share Screenshots In Seconds With Greenshot Do you still load Paint or Photoshop to edit and save a screenshot? No wonder you don't like it! With Greenshot, taking, editing, and sharing screenshots becomes a breeze. Read More for a deeper look.

Ashampoo Snap

screenshot-tool-ashampoo-snap-7

Ashampoo Snap is the only screenshot tool in this list that isn’t available for free. It costs $20 USD for a license, though it does have the option of a free trial for users who want to try it out. Learn more about the latest version in our Ashampoo Snap 7 review Ashampoo Snap 7 Review: Easy Screenshot And Video Capture Ashampoo Snap 7 Review: Easy Screenshot And Video Capture Looking for an easy & comprehensive desktop capture solution? Snap 7 offers advanced screenshot options, including multi-shots and video capture. But is it worth 20 Bucks? Read our review and test it yourself with the... Read More .

What makes Ashampoo Snap useful?

  • Plenty of capture modes, including video screen capture.
  • Built-in full-featured editor to edit images and videos right after capturing. Actions include cropping, zooming, adding effects, blurring, adding text, adding arrows, etc.
  • Upload to Ashampoo Webspace to store and share your screenshots.

Bottom Line: The strength of Ashampoo Snap is in its post-capture screenshot editing. It’s a robust program that can be your one-stop-shop for anything related to snapping screenshots. If you need a powerful screenshot tool and you’re going to use it a lot, you’d be justified in dropping $20 USD for this one.

What is your priority when taking screenshots and which tool serves your needs best?

  1. Victor
    March 1, 2016 at 2:00 am

    Solid list. I also need to add PicPick (http://ngwin.com/picpick) to the list, though it's only free for personal use and you need to decline the Bing toolbar installation. That said it has a lot of great tools related to screenshots.

    That said, I personally have settled on Greenshot as my screenshot program of choice just because it's so lightweight and simple.

  2. manwithaplan
    December 20, 2015 at 9:38 am

    I use my DSLR to capture my screen, and it works perfectly. I have it set-up on a tripod behind my chair, so that when I need to use it I simply position it, adjust the exposure and focus, take the picture and then remove the SD for transfer to my computer.

    • bob
      April 12, 2016 at 2:40 am

      So easy!

  3. John Tighe
    June 5, 2015 at 10:25 am

    eik, next time please spare everyone with your value-less comment. have a great day.

  4. Lisa
    April 6, 2015 at 6:49 pm

    I wil Mr.Shot from verifive.com It totally rocks!

  5. Monique S
    June 11, 2014 at 9:20 am

    Well, I have never heard of the screenshot tools you have mentioned above. And I am currently using Free Screenshot Capture. It allow me to capture any screen, annotate screenshots and upload images for sharing. Maybe you'll also like it! http://screenshot.net/

  6. Jorge B
    February 13, 2014 at 6:29 am

    I'm not using neither of those tools. I use Lightscreen. Lightweight, open source, and it performs marvelously

  7. eikelein
    January 27, 2014 at 11:35 pm

    Why is Gadwin Print Screen missing? ANY part of the screen can be grabbed. it is lightweight, allows different picture file formats, keeps the images locally on the computer and is free.
    What more can you want?

  8. Aleksandar K
    January 25, 2014 at 9:22 am

    One more vote for Lightshot ;) I guess you can't really know all the apps that are good for making screenshots, but I think you should check this one.

  9. Doyle
    January 15, 2014 at 9:14 pm

    Why has nobody mentioned Skitch. It has been my favorite for sometime now. In addition to the screen clip, it lets you easily annotate the image. I like it better before they were bought by Evernote, but still my fav. for the Mac. Prior to that I was a fan of Hypersnap for Windows.

    • Jeffrey L
      January 21, 2014 at 10:29 am

      Skitch is pretty awesome. It definitely does the job, but there are parts that I find annoying, for example the default annotation is a pink arrow and the text font can't be changed.
      But I do love how you can drag the image into an email or a folder. I also like the copy URL feature which you can share right away, although I don't like how it forces you to save it to your Evernote account, cluttering Evernote with screenshots.

  10. George Klein
    January 15, 2014 at 8:58 pm

    The Ctrl+shift+4 command is a hassle. Why? Very simple: it automatically gives a name and stores the file in the Documents folder.
    If you want to change any of the two above things you will have to do it manually after saving the file, a real hassle.
    I just don't know why the best screen saving application named Grab has been omitted from this article. This free application is included in Mac OSX is the best. It allows you to do anything Ctrl+shift+4 would do, and lets you to choose the file name, file type (PDF, JPEG, TIFF etc) and the location to save it on the hard drive before saving it.
    I have been using it for years with great success and I wholeheartedly recommend it to any MAC user.

  11. Jatin
    January 15, 2014 at 11:36 am

    Lightshot is the best for me!

  12. Dave M.
    January 15, 2014 at 11:31 am

    I'm surprised not one comment mentions the screen capture program I've been using since the late 90's: Hypersnap (formally Hypersnap-DX).

    The developer does charge for it, but only for new full versions, so you're always good w/ general upgrades. I haven't tried any of the ones mentioned (interested in Faststone Capture only because I use Faststone Image Viewer), but now I'm wondering: Am I using the wrong screen-capture program?

  13. Logan J
    January 15, 2014 at 12:58 am

    LightShot is the Best!

  14. corell
    January 14, 2014 at 10:06 pm

    LightShot for life! http://app.prntscr.com/

  15. Victor O
    January 14, 2014 at 9:57 pm

    I personally go with monosnap on my own computer because it's super-simple, stores my screenshots in the cloud for future use, and even has a magnifier for precision screenshots. It also has an editor with different tools like arrows to quickly highlight certain areas.

    Apart from that, I'd use the default windows snipping tool. In fact, it's probably the only one which I know can do a free-form snip :)

    • Rick
      January 15, 2014 at 5:10 am

      FastStone also does freehand, sort of. You can draw free-from around anything you like. The screenshot will still be square or rectangular, but the actual image will only include what was inside your drawn shape.

  16. Lino Oliveira
    January 14, 2014 at 8:13 pm

    Screenpresso has lot of features (including screen casts) and a great image editor .

    • Sam K
      January 14, 2014 at 8:32 pm

      I agree, Screenpresso was worth mentioning.

  17. Tom
    January 14, 2014 at 7:58 pm

    ScreenshotCaptor (donationcoder.com) - probably the most capable free/donationware out there. Very easy to use for the basics -- which include repeat last capture size+position -- very nice ;-)
    (I would like the advanced stuff to be more intuitive, but that has been improving as well of late.)

    • Axel C
      January 15, 2014 at 8:25 am

      And it has an integration with shareX.
      So you take a screenshot with ScreenShotCaptor, modify it as you like ( a lot of options)
      Then you send t to sharex with a push of a button and hopla, your screenshot is uploaded to your preferred provider.

  18. Curtis
    January 14, 2014 at 6:54 pm

    Dropbox already saves your images and there is no time limit on how long they are retained.

    It pretty much does what Puush does, as far as I can tell.

    https://www.dropbox.com/help/1964/en

  19. Bob
    January 14, 2014 at 6:05 pm

    I've been very happy with ShareX and all it has to offer. I think that image editing, beyond what can be automated, is overkill for a screen shot program.

    • Joel L
      January 14, 2014 at 9:15 pm

      I agree. I'd rather use Photoshop to edit a screenshot! But I guess the convenience factor is important for some.

    • qahlel
      January 15, 2014 at 8:31 pm

      you can edit your screenshots with sharex. what do u mean?

    • Jurek
      November 30, 2016 at 9:30 pm

      ShareX is the best. It has more options than any other free screenshot software. Once you configure it you will love it

  20. Dany Bouffard
    January 14, 2014 at 6:00 pm

    I use duckcapture, its also a great one.

    • Joel L
      January 14, 2014 at 9:14 pm

      Haven't heard of that one but after a quick glance it looks simple and to-the-point. I'll have to check it out. Thanks!

    • Dany Bouffard
      January 14, 2014 at 9:25 pm

      Forgot to tell 1 of the feature I like about duckcapture is you can take screenshots of entire webpages even if you ned to scroll to take many pages long.

  21. Jamie Smith
    January 14, 2014 at 5:58 pm

    You missed the best one, which is Faststone Capture.

    • Joel L
      January 14, 2014 at 9:13 pm

      I am not a fan of Faststone's "30-day free trial" shareware model for what it offers. I do admit that it has a strong feature set, but for the same price, I feel like Ashampoo Snap might be the better deal. Thanks for the suggestion!

  22. William B
    January 14, 2014 at 5:41 pm

    Been using Greenshot for a long time. It is very good and I love the editing features!

  23. Rick
    January 14, 2014 at 5:20 pm

    FastStone Capture is another awesome app that works great, and has far more features than I ever use, yet it is only using 492 KB in the background at the moment. The most current version ( http://www.faststone.org/FSCaptureDetail.htm ) with a lifetime license for updates, etc. is $20, but they still have a freeware download of an older version that still works great, albeit with a few less features. I used that one for a LONG time before finally getting a license and the latest version. I only did that because of two things. 1. The scrolling window screenshot didn't work properly with Chrome or Firefox, only Internet Explorer. 2. Among other features, the newer versions also include a screen recorder that is pretty nifty. Even includes audio.

  24. Thys van der Merwe
    January 14, 2014 at 4:36 pm

    I respect that you may think these are the best, but I think tech bloggers all over the web should stop the "best" headlines and go for something like "Recommended".

    I have used Gadwin for a very long time and I still think it's a pretty good, low memory tool, even letting me do things like automatic watermarking. http://www.gadwin.com/printscreen/

    I have also used Greenshot and I believe it to be a very good tool.

    Even the built-in Windows 7 / 8 Snip tool coupled with something like Paint.Net should be sufficient for most users.

    When having to write documents like functional and technical requirements specifications or process manuals, you need a bit more than Snip and for that Gadwin and Greenshot was by far sufficient, whereas other consultants working with me swear by SnagIt (http://www.techsmith.com/snagit.html).

    • Karl J. Gephart
      January 15, 2014 at 1:19 am

      Snagit rocks! Can't believe it didn't make this list. Simple to use (TechSmith has free videos), very accommodating, and even has video capture.

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