Whenever I’m putting together proposals or reports together for SEO clients, I inevitably need to take several screenshots of data or elements of a webpage on my screen to include.
One of the crudest methods to taking a screenshot is to use the ‘print screen’ button on your keyboard and pasting into the default Paint program on your computer. Sure, it’ll get the basic job done, but there are better solutions out there.
A longtime favorite is Snagit by TechSmith. This is a paid tool, so while it’ll set you back $50 bucks, it has a lot of features and flexibility. You can grab your entire desktop, a region, a window, or a scrolling window, all with a single click. You can combine and markup images and get them presentation ready before saving and inserting into your report.
I often resort to using free tools and there are a couple I’ve been using a lot lately. Also by TechSmith, Jing is a free product that allows you to take a variety of screenshots as well as video screencasts, which is a whole other feature set that can come in handy. I use this primarily when taking screenshots from Excel docs and other programs outside my web browser.
The last tool I use on a regular basis is the Aviary plugin for Firefox. This tool only works within your browser, so if you need to catch something else on your screen, you’ll have to use Jing. Once the plugin is installed, you can easily grab a specific region, visible portion of page, or entire page with one click. You can then save to your desktop as a .png or simply copy to clipboard to paste directly into your document.