There are many different ways of taking screenshots in Window, but today I’m going to review the app that I use whenever I take screenshots for any articles I write. Jing is free and can be downloaded from Techsmith, here. There is also a Mac version, but this review will focus on the PC version of the application.
Once installed, Jing sits as a small icon on the edge of your screen. You can interact with it by holding the mouse cursor over the icon which gives you 3 different options – the target crosshair being capture image, the middle icon showing you your capture history, and the third icon of cogs loading the preference screen.
Capturing an image with Jing
This really couldn’t be more straightforward. You can use the icon and click the target crosshair as above, or you can use a keyboard shortcut. Either way, you will have a targeting crosshair where you can drag to select the area of the screen you wish to capture. You can also mouseover a window and Jing will automatically select that window area. If you hold down shift while clicking and dragging an area, Jing will fix the proportions of the capture size to that of your screen. Once you’ve selected the area you want, you simply click the “capture image” icon.
If you want to change the keyboard shortcut for capturing an image, click on Preferences, then the cog wheels, then under “Capture Hotkey” click in the white area. You can then press whatever keyboard combination you want. I use CTRL-Q.
Once the image is captured
Capturing an image is only the first step with Jing, because it offers a number of fancy editing tools once the image itself is captured. Jing loads up a little box with your image capture, as per the screenshot below. Within this you are able to manipulate the image, adding annotations and so on. You can see examples of the text box, arrow tool, box tool and highlight tool. You can also select different colours to use with these tools, and the text size can be changed as well. There is also an undo and redo functionality, which can be used by clicking the tiny little left and right arrows just below the colour setting in the left hand menu.
Once you have finished annotating your image (or not as the case may be). You then have four options as far as what to do with the image. You can share the image automatically via Jing’s website, save it to a PNG file, copy it to the clipboard, or drop the image capture. The Jing website actually has a pretty good free area to store your image captures, and when you select this option an URL is automatically copied to the clipbaord that you can share with others. There is a 1GB limit on your portfolio, however. The other options are self-explanatory.
It is also interesting to know that you can add extra options to this window, by clicking on the spanner on the far right. Through this you can add Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, and FTP options. Pretty neat hey?
Other features of Jing
Did I mention that Jing also captures video? When you select an area on the screen, instead of clicking capture image you can click capture video. However, you are limited in the free version of Jing to 5 minute videos. Still, it’s a cool feature, but not one I’ve used much.
Jing is a great, lightweight image capturing application. If you have any questions or thoughts, please post below!