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Screenshot capture on Windows: Microsoft wins.

I’ve been trying to find a good, convenient analog for GNOME 3’s screen capture utility on Windows 8.1, and it turns out the best of them seems to have been delivered with Windows itself.

I’m really bad about screen captures. I don’t normally think in ways that are easily expressed with visuals; I prefer fractured narratives. It’s easier for me to try to describe something than it is for me to see a screenshot as useful information.

However, screenshots are good: they eat up a lot of visual space (adding length, and therefore gravitas, to content), they attract readers, and they give readers useful reference points.

On Linux, the GNOME 3 screenshot application is fast, convenient, tiny. It’s not perfect, but it’s straightforward.

Windows didn’t really seem to have that. (There’s a spoiler here, if you can’t read the title of the blog post.)

I looked at a bunch of them, and installed a few: Skitch, and PicPick. Of those, PicPick was better, although it couldn’t capture the default (and convenient) hotkeys; I think DropBox was interfering, but I’m not sure.

It didn’t really matter; in the end, Windows did come with a screen shot application. The Snipping Tool that comes as part of Windows 8.1 did everything I needed, efficiently and well, without any third party software, and it’s easily accessed from anywhere.

Microsoft wins this round.

The only thing I’d like to see is a context-menu window capture option, honestly – that’d be the better mousetrap for me.

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