How to take great screenshots in Windows

Why MWSnap doesn’t show up on every “top Windows freeware” list, I’ll never know. Version 3 has been around since 2002 (!?). Admittedly, it hasn’t been updated since 2002 either – it still works perfectly well in XP (I haven’t tested it in Vista yet). With the resulting screenshots you have a choice between BMP, JPG, TIFF, PNG and GIF formats, with selected color depth and quality settings – among dozens of other features. This “part tutorial, part overview” will get you started using MWSnap in no time.

  1. When you start MWSnap for the first time, you’ll be prompted to specify which language you want to use. Make your selection and then click Ok.

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  3. The main MWSnap window will appear. Hover your mouse over the items in the Toolbar to become familiar with some of the options and settings. For the sake of this tutorial I’ll show you how to take a screenshot of a “window” – which can be any open program or item that takes up space on your screen (the Task Bar, System Tray etc). Select Window/menu as the Snap type, and then click Snap window/menu.

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  5. Move your cursor over all of the open ‘windows’ on your screen. Notice that when you pick a certain program or item, it will be highlighted in red. The highlighted section indicates what you’ll be taking a screenshot of, if you click your left mouse button. Once you’ve found something you want to take a screenshot of – click your left mouse button.
  6. The screenshot you just took will appear in MWSpan’s “preview” window. From here you can save the file, add a frame to it, add a cursor to somewhere on the screen, flip/rotate etc.

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  8. From the MWSnap menu, select Tools and then Hotkeys. Here you can customize exactly how you want your screenshot (MWSnap) hotkeys to be. Once you learn them, you’ll have MWSnap minimized to the System Tray and taking screenshots will become second nature to you.

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  10. Select Edit and then Add cursor. Note the whole slew of cursors you can add to your screenshots. All you have to do is select one, and then click inside the ‘preview’ window where you want the cursor to appear.

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  12. To check out some of the MWSnap settings, select Tools and then Settings. The General tab allows you to set things like autostarting with Windows, display settings for the MWSnap icon in your system tray, and various warnings.

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  14. Select the Auto-saving tab. Here you can specific what format you want the screenshot to be automatically saved as (hint: change from the default of bmp), the default auto-save folder (hint: change from your C:\Program Files\MWSnap to something more easily accessible).

    You can also change the default file name for each auto-saved screenshot, add numeric suffix’s (so that each file has a unique name) etc.


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  16. Select the Fixed sizes tab. This is a new one to me, I’ve never had a need to create a series of screenshots based on a fixed size, but I can think of a few pretty good uses already. Anyway – here you can customize or create new “fixed size” regions to use in MWSnap.

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  18. Play around with it a bit to discover even more features and settings. Goodbye Snagit.
{ 7 comments… add one }
  • Leandro Ardissone September 26, 2007, 7:33 pm

    Did you tried Screenshot Captor?
    It’s simply amazing. And also free.
    I’ve switched from MWSnap to SC and I’m happy now :)

  • Ross McKillop September 26, 2007, 7:40 pm

    Leandro –

    No I haven’t tried Screenshot Captor, but it looks like I should! Thanks for the tip :)

  • Shankar Ganesh September 26, 2007, 9:20 pm

    Seems to be a great app.

    Currently, I’m satisfied with FastStone Image Capture, I think I’ll try this one.

    Thanks for the heads up!

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