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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 could instantly upload your taken screenshots to an image host, so you can share them immediately with friends? And what if you could also share image files from your computer? If any of that sounds intriguing to you, then I have the perfect program for you: ShareX.
A few months ago, I wrote about a popular screenshot program called Puush. Up until now, I’ve been using Puush for a little over a year and I’ve never ceased to find reasons to use it. However, one of our readers, David R, suggested that I take a look at ShareX instead, claiming that it was a better alternative, so I went ahead and gave it a try. Was it better? Which of the two am I using now? Keep reading to find out!
Note: If all you’re looking for is a quick image hosting site, I recommend Imgur and find out how to speed up uploads to Imgur. If you don’t like that, then you can try Minus, a simple file sharing solution, or Deffe, a fast image hosting service.
What Is ShareX?
As its name implies, ShareX has one main focus: allowing you to quickly share images and screenshots with others by providing you the tools to take immediate screenshots and to upload your images to an image host with ease. This program resides on your computer as a background process and can be operated with a few easy hotkeys if you need speed OR you can use its dashboard to handle all of the images you take.
Some of the great features you’ll find in ShareX:
- Multiple Capture Modes. Not only can you do a fullscreen capture, but you can also capture the currently selected window, one specific monitor in a multi-monitor setup, free-drawn capture shapes (rectangles, triangles, ellipses, polygons, etc.), and more.
- Automated Capture. If you want to take screenshots on a regular interval, you can! The automated capture isn’t as flexible as a manual capture since you’re limited to either a rectangular region or a full screen. This is a great option if you need, say, a time lapse of an activity.
- Screen Recorder. If you need a screen-recorded video, ShareX works in a pinch. You can select a region of the screen and have it record, outputting as a video file OR an animated GIF. It’s not as robust as a true screencasting solution, but the option is always there.
- Multiple Upload Methods. You can immediately upload the screenshot(s) that you just took, you can upload directly from a file, upload from your clipboard, drag-and-drop, or upload directly from a file’s right-click menu in Windows Explorer. You can even upload non-image files like text files.
- Multiple Upload Services. Unlike Puush, where your images are uploaded to Puush’s servers, with ShareX you aren’t stuck having to use one specific image host. You can upload to Imageshack, Photobucket, Imgur, Flickr, Tinypic, Picasa, Twitpic, and more.
How To Use ShareX
The first way to make use of ShareX is straight from its dashboard. Along the left side, you’ll see buttons and menus for the core features of the program, as well as a few utility options below those. Let’s go through them one at a time:
- Clipboard Upload. This option takes whatever contents are in your clipboard (when you cut or copy something, it gets stored on your clipboard) and uploads them. ShareX can differentiate between different media, so if you have an image copied, it’ll upload an image, and if you have text copied, it’ll upload text.
- File Upload. Here you can select a file from your computer and upload it directly. Pretty self-explanatory.
- Capture. This is where the magic happens. You can select from a bunch of different capture options, like fullscreen, or a particular monitor, or a particular window, the shape of selection you want to draw, or you can capture the same exact region as your last capture.
- After Capture. This menu is comprised of a bunch of toggles that determine what happens directly after you make a screenshot capture. You can automatically add a watermark, a border, a shadow, or annotations. You can also set what happens to the capture itself, such as saving it immediately to a file or uploading it right away.
- After Upload. Similar to After Capture except these are toggleable actions that occur after a file or capture has been uploaded. Do you want the URL copied to your clipboard? Do you want to use a URL shortener? You can set that here.
- Destinations. Destinations are the different web services to which your files are uploaded. You can set a different destination based on the file type, such as setting Imgur for images while setting Pastebin for text and Dropbox for miscellaneous files.
Opening up the dashboard every time you need a screenshot can be an inconvenience, but that’s where hotkeys come in. Not surprisingly, ShareX lets you set a different hotkey combination for each of the different capture methods. Each of the hotkeys can even be customized, where you can set specific After Capture, After Upload, and Destinations for that hotkey.
This is great because you can have multiple “Capture Monitor,” for example, and set each hotkey to upload to a different site. The possibilities for personalization are almost endless.
How does ShareX hold up against my long-time favorite Puush? Very well, actually. In terms of sheer customization and features, I would say that ShareX wins with a noticeable lead. Are these features enough for me to switch from Puush to ShareX? No, I don’t think so, but only because I don’t need the wonderful features that are offered by ShareX.
So I guess what it comes down to is whether you want a capture-and-upload program that’s lightweight and simple OR a capture-and-upload program that’s more like a Swiss Army Knife. For the former, choose Puush. For the latter, choose ShareX.
Which tool/s do you use to manage your screenshots and what feature/s do you most appreciate?