The folks over at Lightshot had asked me to review their free screen print software and see if I liked enough to review for my readers. I have to tell you that I had been using the default Windows 7 Snipping Tool as my primary image capture software so was interested in seeing if something would make me consider the installation and switch and I was pleasantly surprised.
Lightshot Does More for Print Screen
First off, Lightshot comes as stand alone freeware print screen download for Windows or Mac OS X, I recommend you download it as a standalone software if you want to take print screens of more than just your browser window. If you only want to do print screens of the browser, then you can optionally add Lightshot as an extension for Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox and Internet Explorer though.
This review is about the freeware Lightshot application and the Windows version specifically, which is a better screen print application than the native screen printing capabilities of Windows 7 and better than the Windows Snipping Tool as well.
When Lightshot is installed and running it basically takes over your Print Screen key.
When you press the Print Screen key you will have a selector box you can grab to capture the area of the screen that you want. You will always see the exact pixel size of the area grabbed in the top left.
On the bottom right and bottom right side you will see an array of icons which allow you to do something with the image you have captured.
This option will import your captured image to prntscr.com where you can edit the image with a set of standard drawing/editing tools. This is more than sufficient to modify your image how you need it though falls short compared to Paint.net if you need to do a lot of image editing.
This will upload the file for you so it is hosted on scrnprt.com, the moment you upload it you are presented with your uploaded image link like http://prntscr.com/hi1hi that you can start sharing online if you want.
Needs no explanation, this is to print your captured image.
This copies the image to the clip board so you can manually paste it into an image editor or into a document/email.
This will save the captured image locally on your disk.
The above are pretty standard features Windows Snipping Tool is lacking in editing as well as no capability to upload and host the image online for easy sharing. The other features of Lightshot below are in the bottom right of the captured image and are really what make the plugin stand out!
These extra features include:
Search for Similar Images on Google
Leveraging the Google search by image feature, you can literally search Google for a matching image to your captured image. This allows you to search a picture of a snake to find out what kind it is, I tested this and searched for Minecraft image of crafting and found matching results.
Search for Similar Images on TinEye
This allows you to do a reverse image search of the captured image on TinEye but I found this didn’t nearly as accurate results as Google Image Search when searching for the same Minecraft crafting image. In my mind Google search by image is the hands down winner if you are looking to match an image online.
Share by Email
This will upload the image to prntscr.com and open an email window with a link to the image you want to share. So this is like upload and send email to share it in the same click.
Share to Facebook
Again, this uploads the image to prntscr.com and shares the link to it instantly on Facebook allowing you to put messages around it. When I take screen shots with Windows Snipping Tool that I want to share on Facebook it annoys me that I have to save, then upload them, this makes it instantly shared in 1 click.
Share to Twitter
Same behavior as the Share to Facebook feature of Lightshot except it shares it to your Twitter followers instead.
Overall I was super impressed with the free Lightshot Screen Print software and found I will be using it instead of Windows Snipping Tool. Unlike Windows Snipping Tool even if you have a full screen application open, like Guild Wars 2 in this case the Lightshot print screen application will still allow you to capture it.
I was super impressed, though this does override the game’s default configuration of saving print screens to disk so if you do use a program or game that sends print screen to disk and you want them to continue to save images you will have to exit the Lightshot application before playing your game to restore original print screen behavior.
Download Lightshot now and see how awesome this tool is, yes you can find browser extensions that can do many of the same features but the freeware tool goes above and beyond anything else I have tested so far.