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swiss knifeSo how about a tool that is “an exquisite, powerful and multi-functional desktop utility. (It is an) All-In-One, Multi language, Simple and Standalone (no install).”

Sounds interesting?  Well that is what was quoted on the developer’s site and instantly caught my attention. After trying it (and ignoring minor quirks in UI and spellings) I must say I have not been disappointed.

I am talking about capture.NET. The tool is aptly called the Swiss army knife of PC tools because it just does so many things. I must confess that after looking at the site and its presentation I was a little wary of malware. However I submitted the file to VirusTotal and the results were 0 positive on 38 engines, so I went ahead and double-clicked to launch.

The tool has a Professional Version and a Free Version. The Professional version requires you to pay $15 for a license. However the Free Version is quite a handful in itself.  The features I am discussing are all available in the free version.  If you need something extra than you may like to have a look at the Professional offering.

main window

Let’s just have a look at some of the features that capture.NET has to offer:

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Screen Captures

screenshot

Capture.NET allows you to take screenshots. Just like some of the commercial applications you can take screenshots by isolating windows, regions or take full screen grabs. The tool offers you a zoomed in view of the screen to help you precisely grab just the area you like.

Basic Image Editing

image editor

The captured image is then presented to you within an image editor, where you can do some basic editing. The image editing features include the ability to:

  • Crop
  • Rotate
  • Add edge effects like shadows, torn edges, soft edges
  • Convert pictures to Ascii (Cool!)
  • The basic cut, copy paste, save etc

Post it Notes

notes

Capture.NET provides you the capability to post notes on your screen. Just hit Ctrl + Shift + N and type in your note. You have now got an instant sticky note. You can also manage your sticky notes from the context menu accessed via the tray icon.

A Privacy Eraser

privacy eraser

A mini tool that allows you to clean temporary files, the recycle bin, clipboard, cookies, MRU lists, Windows Events Logs and perform some minor tweaks like clearing the pagefile on shutdown.

A Color Picker

color

A great tool for web designers and programmers.  The color picker allows you to pick any color off the screen. It also provides you with sliders to generate color schemes or if you are really stuck, hit the random button to get a random color suggestion.

A File Format Convertor

file format converter

This allows you to inter-convert between the various image formats. Just browse to images you wish to convert on your hard disk, select all images that you want to convert and choose the appropriate command. File Format Converter also allows you to convert chm files to html files.

A Tweaker

tweaker

Tweaker allows you to perform some basic registry tricks on your system. It provides you with detailed information about your system and ready access to the device manger and the Windows System Information utility. Tweaker also has options to restore the settings for a hijacked Internet Explorer.

A Backup Expert

backup expert

Backup Expert allows you to backup your mail (Outlook) as well as Internet Explorer favorites and feeds. Though honestly I missed Firefox support here.

Alarm Clock, World Time, Timer and Time Synchronization

timer

world time

Apart from the basic alarm clock functionality, the tool also offers count-down/count-up timer and time synchronization with a NTP server. You can also view the different time zones and time differences readily accessible through keyboard shortcuts.

Some Other Utilities

There are plenty of other features offered by capture.NET which I would have to leave for you to explore yourself. Some of them are great for programmers like the customizable Ruler or the Window Spy which gives you important information about windows, buttons, and other UI elements. Indispensable if you are into writing Autohot key scripts, Windows Programming or something similar. Others like the font viewer, calendar and lunar phases are more for your general use.

Definitely give it a try and let us know which ones you liked or if you use any other tools for accomplishing similar tasks.

  1. Cardin
    December 31, 2008 at 1:10 am

    Useful capture application, but it comes with so much unnecessary features. Try ScreenHunter 5.0 instead. It's free, and it captures just fine.

  2. Jim in Arizona
    December 30, 2008 at 3:53 pm

    Is the author of this software reputable? Where are they from? How can we be sure there isn't some kind of malicious code embedded in this program? Hopefully, someone will take a close look and find anything if anything exists and tell the world.

  3. JasonG
    December 30, 2008 at 2:15 pm

    Forgot to subscribe, sorry

  4. JasonG
    December 30, 2008 at 2:14 pm

    How is the program's resource usage (RAM and CPU)? Can't believe there are still software reviews that don't comment on this by default.

    Even just basic "seat-of-the-pants" type comments would be better than nothing. Something like, "after launching and using this app for a couple hours, task manager showed this using 50MB."

  5. jh
    December 29, 2008 at 10:00 am

    Yeti, the .NET framework should be part of your OS. If you dont keep your machine updated, you have no business using .NET programs.

  6. fish
    December 26, 2008 at 10:01 am

    Capture .NET Free 6.6.3282 has released.
    Fixed UAC and Visual Style enabled under Vista/Win2008

  7. David
    December 24, 2008 at 5:35 am

    I have "Web of Trust" on Firefox and it threw the site up as "dangerous".

    • Varun Kashyap
      December 24, 2008 at 8:27 am

      I had scanned the download, although I don't have WOT. Here is link to mirror in case you are interested-->

      .free-downloads.net/downloads/Capture__NET_Free/

      • Bob Campbell
        December 29, 2008 at 1:57 pm

        I was able to download easily from this site. It's a zip file and extracting it will give you Capture.exe, no desktop icons. So you have to create one. Also there is no HELP file so you have to figure it all out by yourself. You can either click on the icons on the left half of the display screen or minimize the app and right-click on the icon in the toolbar and it will list the internal apps. There is also a 'SETUP' facility in the 'options' menu selection that allows you to customize the various apps.

    • fish
      December 26, 2008 at 10:03 am
  8. adoh
    December 24, 2008 at 5:06 am

    I downloaded the free version, but it's all in Chinese! How do I change it to English?

  9. Yeti
    December 23, 2008 at 2:00 pm

    Sounded great on the tin but didnt work for me, threw up some .net error messages meaning i would have to install more .net service packs to get a "stand alone" app to run... not very stand alone.

    Might try it when i install a later version of .net but chances i will remember are slim

    • Varun Kashyap
      December 24, 2008 at 8:24 am

      Yep it requires .NET platform

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