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They say a picture is worth a thousand words, and if you’ve been stuck in long work-oriented email chains, you probably know why. Do you sometimes wish you could just point at something on the screen to let someone know what you’re writing about? Just like communication via teleconferencing, visual communication can be a helpful tool in the office environment if it’s reliable and easy to use. Today we’ll take a look at Crown’s top software for Windows screenshots and screen captures.

1) Greenshot

Greenshot is a free and open-source tool for taking screenshots and annotating them. This lightweight application can help you quickly capture regions, individual windows, or everything on your screen. When you open it, you can drag the (green) rectangle to capture a region of the screen. Greenshot also includes an image editor that lets you draw shapes and add text, which can help you communicate effectively and quickly. There are even filter tools to help you blur and pixelize parts of the image that you don’t want the recipient to focus on—or better, to eliminate any private information that may have been on your screen at the time.

2) TechSmith Capture (formerly Jing)

This application lets you take screenshots and screen recordings, with an emphasis backing the files up to their Screencast service, or sharing recordings to their education-oriented cloud suite. Screencast includes a free cloud backup—which is quite limited, but did I mention, free storage—of up to 2gb free, meaning that the software and the storage are both free. Screencast also has more advanced editing tools (as well as bigger storage and bandwidth) for the cost of a subscription.

3) Snagit

Snagit is TechSmith’s more advanced (paid) product is Snagit, which calls itself “the best screen capture software.” We’ve mentioned it here before, but it’s worth revisiting because it has a ton of features to help you work with both images and video. You can: include an audio recording in your video from a microphone or with the audio from your computer; make any short video into a .gif file to make it more portable; replace text in your screenshot seamlessly; and move specific objects in your screen capture. Maybe the most impressive workflow in Snagit is creating videos from images—the use-case for this one is taking a few screenshots, and then talking over them as a slideshow, which would be very helpful for creating a “how-to” for someone.

4) Windows’ Snipping Tool

If you don’t quite need all of that functionality, the fastest—and easiest to set up, since you already have it installed in Windows—is the Snipping Tool (which is sometimes called Snip and Sketch). The Snipping Tool helps you take screenshots in the same way that Greenshot does (rectangle, window, or fullscreen, plus freeform shapes), but also includes an annotation and editing suite. Conveniently, you can launch the Snipping Tool by pushing Win+Shift+S and have the screenshot copied directly to the clipboard (to be Ctrl+Ved into any application) or click on the notification center to open the editor. Here, you’ll find standard editing tools for marking and writing, as well as cropping tools.

5) PowerToys Text Extractor

If you’ve installed PowerToys to get a little extended functionality out of Windows 10 or 11, there’s a very powerful tool for Optical Character Recognition (OCR) included. Text Extractor is a separate screenshot tool that lets you copy text from anything on your screen onto the clipboard. What’s on your screen doesn’t have to be a text file for this—it could be an image instead. This is super helpful for getting text out of screenshots. For instance, if someone sends you a screenshot, you can use Text Extractor to copy the text that’s in the screenshot.

-Written by Derek Jeppsen on Behalf of Sean Goss and Crown Computers Team