Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Greenshot - A Free Screenshot Tool Optimized for Productivity

I have used many screenshot tools and methods over the years.  These have ranged from the simple pressing of the PrtScn button and pasting it into Paint or Word, to adding flair with Microsoft Office's Drawing tools, then switching to Techsmith's SnagIt and then back to Windows 7's Snipping Tool.  I don't know how long Greenshot has been around, but as of today, I have found my new screenshot tool, and it is free.

I first read about Greenshot when doing a search for how to quickly add arrows and notes to a screenshot that could then be added to a Google Doc. My search took me to this blog entry from, so my thanks go out to the teachers in Ontario, Canada who edit this blog.

I really hate the "Drawing" method (Insert--Drawing) that Google Docs uses to insert any type of annotation, including arrows and circles, which I use often when creating tutorials.  I don't mind using the drawing features of Microsoft Word, but when I copy and paste the resulting screenshots into Google Docs, the circles and arrows always get shifted, and then I have to nudge and re-arrange them to look good, which is just more work.  So, I needed a tool that would allow me to add annotations, circles and arrows, and then let me copy and paste these screenshots into an e-mail or into a tutorial in Google Docs, so that I could store them online.

Greenshot allows you to do some things that the Windows Snipping Tool does not.  For one, it has an image editor built right in.  From this editor, I can add text, shapes, arrows, etc., and then I can overlay these effects to make a much more professional-looking tutorial that teaching staff can learn from.  Greenshot runs from the Notification Area of the Taskbar. Just right-click on Greenshot's icon to see all of the functions it has.  It's almost overwhelming.  The tool is then invoked by pressing the PrtScn button or Alt+PrtScn keyboard combination.

Note: After creating the screenshot by dragging the cross-hairs across the image you want to grab, click "Open in Image Editor" from the list of choices that pop up immediately.

This tool meets my needs much better than the Snipping Tool (which only allows for hand-drawn shapes) or Google Docs (which relies on the Insert--Drawing functionality).  In Google's defense, Google Slides does allow for the adding of shapes into a slide.  I'm not sure why Google Docs doesn't.  

In this image taken from the blog post above, you can see the other great features found in this screenshot/editing tool.  It truly is an amazing find for absolutely no money.  And since the review I am referring to was written back in 2013, this application has remained free all this time, so I don't see it becoming a pay-only tool anywhere in the near future.  

As always, give it a try and let me know what you think.  I plan on using it a lot.


  1. A screenshot is a photograph or photo taken of someone's computer screen. It's been said that people are visual learners, based on the quote 'a portrait is worth a thousand words'. Screenshot software is generally utilized actually by bloggers, webmasters or just the people with visual minds.

  2. When this happens, you need to turn to the support system for your software publisher. This is usually based on some kind of ticket system. HP Laptop