Here at OnSoftware we use SnagIt and there's one point on which we all agree - it's the best screenshot software around. It doesn't come for free, though, and until recently, there weren't a whole lot of alternatives. Luckily for you, however, things have changed, and some really good free screenshot apps have come out. Here are the best:
Screenshot Captor is a flexible app with excellent filters, tools and effects. If you want to make your shots more instructive - say by adding notes or arrows - this little program will let you do it. It also supports multiple monitors and comes with a thumbnail generator, making it one versatile tool. It's so versatile, in fact, that you might find it overwhelming. Our advice? Put your prejudices to one side and stick with it - it's well worth it!
If straight-up shots are what you need, check out Duck Capture. Ok, so there are no fancy editing tools included in this one, but for Region, Window and Full Screen shots, it works perfectly. Its particular strength is its ability to take scrolling window shots, a feature that other tools advertise, but don't always deliver on. Add that to very low system resource consumption, and you've got a winner.
PicPick is the tool for you if you need editing power, but not so many screenshot options. This no-install app doesn't have as many capture modes as the competition, but the editor is great - full of options and really slick. PicPick's perfect for editing shots, including brightness, grayscale, blur, pixelate and other special effects. Using it is just like working with a more expensive program, but this one doesn't come with the scary pricetag.
If you take screenshots mainly to share with other people, then take a look at ZScreen. This tool has all the capture options you would expect, and a whole load of sharing options that you might not. If you need to share your screenshot by email, on Twitter, upload it to an online storage service or just send it to an editor, ZScreen will let you do it - and automate the action so it becomes the default.
IM ToolPack, combines the best of ZScreen and PicPick. It's a slick little tool that takes a variety of screenshots and lets you edit them in a very user-friendly and accessible editor. When you are finished, you can share them with friends and contacts. As the name suggests, IM ToolPack focuses on sharing images via messenger apps, but also lets you use email or online services, such as Facebook and Twitter.