Greenshot is a free screen capture utility that was clearly designed for productivity since it comes with plenty of options to customize it. Multiple capture modes, a built-in image editor, various destinations for the output image, customizable hotkeys, plugins and the list goes on. Surprisingly, Greenshot is really easy to use, even if it packs a big pile of settings.
Installation & Requirements
Greenshot has a standard setup, except for the component selection window. Here you can either choose from the predefined install modes: default, full and compact, or go with custom installation and manually select the components you need. Greenshot offers various plugins for some of the most popular applications and services like Microsoft Office, Dropbox, Flickr and Picasa as well as the possibility of installing additional languages. The final step of the installation lets you set Greenshot to autostart at system boot.
Greenshot supports all Windows versions from XP up and relies on Microsoft .NET Framework 2.0 to run.
By default, Greenshot runs in the system tray, like a screenshot tool should. The program doesn’t have an actual interface. The tray icon has a context menu from where you can use the available capture modes (region, last region, window, full screen and Internet Explorer – also accessible using hotkeys), capture a window from the list of all currently open windows, capture an Internet Explorer tab from the list of all currently opened tabs, open an image from clipboard or from file, open last capture location, configure external commands, access Quick Preferences (available in a dedicated submenu), open the Preferences window and exit the program. If you’ve installed any plugins, you’ll have them listed too in the tray icon’s menu.
The Preferences window is where you can find all of Greenshots settings. There are lots of settings, but the good part is they’re organized in tabs for easier navigation. In the Preferences sheet you can change the hotkeys for the capture modes, delay the capture by x milliseconds, choose the default output folder/naming pattern/image format, select image quality, configure the destination menu, print options and plugins.
One of the settings I found most useful is the customizable destination menu. It automatically appears right after you grab a screenshot and offers several output options such as save as, save directly with the defined output settings, open in image editor, copy to clipboard, send to printer/e-mail/Microsoft Office application (Word, Excel, Outlook, PowerPoint)/Paint/Imgur or upload to Imgur. Of course, having installed other plugins would allow you to send captures to the related third-party applications.
This default destinations menu can be configured to show all options or just the ones you need. There is also an expert settings tab, with some less-common options for demanding users.
You can also edit a screenshot in the built-in image editor (available as an option in the destinations menu), which includes plenty of editing tools such as cropping, resizing, adding shapes, text, highlighting or obfuscating parts of the screenshot and many others.
Greenshot is definitely not complicated to use, but it does have lots of options and features which is probably why its developers provide extensive online documentation.
– Quick, adware-free installation.
– The setup provides a variety of plugins for exporting screenshots to third-party applications.
– Includes various capture modes with customizable hotkeys.
– Configurable destinations menu (that opens up after grabing a screenshot).
– Built-in image editor equipped with a solid collection of editing tools.
– Comprehensive online help documentation in English and other languages.
– It would be nice if we were able to open an empty Greenshot Image Editor, not just with an already present image.
– Scrolling window capture mode is not available.
There’s no denying that looking at the wealth of features included in the program, Greenshot is a complex screenshot tool. Anyone that has to grab a lot of screenshots will certainly find a way to become more productive using Greenshot’s custom settings.