I’ve blogged about screen capture applications before ( my recommendations for 2009 , and this was the topic of my very first blog post in 2005). Today I’m making available a small side project I’ve been working on: “Isotope Screen Capture” – a very small, opinionated tool for windows which captures the entire desktops.

 

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WHERE TO GET IT?

Binaries are here on my SkyDrive

http://cid-1ff099edb1c7ebfa.office.live.com/self.aspx/Public/Tools/Isotope-Screen-Capture

 

Source Code is at the CodePlex project

http://isotopescreencapture.codeplex.com/

 

WHAT MAKES IT DIFFERENT?

  • the vision for this app is simplicity
    • make it simple to take screenshots
    • make it simple find the screenshots you’ve taken
    • don’t ask the user any questions
  • It’s free and the source code is available
  • It’s heavily optimized (opinionated) for a specific screenshot scenario that involves taking large numbers of screenshots – as if one were trying to document a click-by-click walkthrough (as I do with many of my blog posts)
  • That optimization means that features available in other apps for the end-user to customize how the app works deliberately don’t exist in this tool – the lack of choice makes this a much simpler and more reliable tool

WHAT OPINIONS DOES IT EXPRESS?

  • Screen capture must be a lossless recording – for this reason the files are always saved in PNG format and there are no options that alter the output in any way (scaling, sharpening, etc)
  • Ever taken a screenshot but lost it? This tool doesn’t ask whether you want to save the screenshot or not. It will always be saved.
  • The users “My Pictures” folder is the right place to store images – letting the user pick a location will eventually result in images that are lost
  • There’s exactly one hotkey the app will use: PRINTSCREEN.
  • The mouse is on the screen – it’s going to get captured. if you don’t want it to be seen, move the mouse toward the edge of the screen.
  • filenames must be meaningful – they will reveal exactly when the screenshot was taken and the dimensions of the image. For example “screenshot(2009-06-21_12-53-41)_(2560x1600).png”.

FUTURE WORK

  • I haven’t tried this out in a multi-monitor scenario. But it should will always capture primary screen.
  • Move to a WPF-based interface.

PARTING THOUGHTS

  • Please try it out. I welcome your feedback.
  • Move to a WPF-based interface.