Sometimes when working online you need to grab an image of something on your screen. It could be anything from a logo, to a screenshot or a short demo video for a team member. The problem is that grabbing that on-screen content isn’t always easy.
Let’s face it, taking a screen shot, copying it into an image editor, cropping and resizing the image, saving it, attaching it to an email… is just way too much work!
So, what’s the solution?
Jing Screen Capture Software
Jing Project (or just “Jing”) is an incredibly lightweight screen capture software tool designed to simplify the process of saving and sharing the things that happen on your computer screen. The basic version is available for free at JingProject.com.
Once installed, Jing takes the form of a small yellow sun. When not in use, that sun sits at the edge of your screen so it’s out of the way (I tend to forget it’s there until I need it for something). Whenever you need to capture something, simply move your mouse over the little yellow sun and three “rays” will appear with “Capture,” “History,” and “More” buttons that look like the picture to the right.
Clicking capture will allow you to select the area of your screen you want by clicking and dragging. Then it’s a simple matter of selecting whether you want an image or a video.
Image Screen Capture
Once you select an area to capture by clicking and dragging across your screen – with Jing conveniently measuring the size of the area you’ve selected – you can take a snapshot of your screen with a single click. Jing then provides a preview of the image that you can save, delete or edit.
If you need to add to the image you’ve captured, Jing provides tools to easily add arrows, boxes, highlighting and captions. Once your image is good to go, all you have to do is save and share it.
In terms of sharing, you can easily add buttons to post your image to your twitter, facebook, or flickr account – as well as options to copy the image to your clipboard so you can paste it wherever you want (even if you haven’t saved it!) or upload it to your web server via FTP.
Basically, Jing makes it easy to quickly take any portion of your computer screen and move it to wherever you might need it.
Video Screen Capture
If an image is worth a thousand words, video has to be pretty valuable too… which is why Jing makes it just as easy to record video of the action on your screen as it is to capture an image.
After selecting the capture area, simply click the video button and start recording! Jing will capture anything on your screen for up to five minutes at a time (you can, of course make multiple recordings if you need to). The recording can be paused while you move between windows or prepare your presentation, and then saved in .swf format when it’s complete.
To easily share the video with others, there is a single click button to upload the video to ScreenCast.com – on of Jing’s sister products from TechSmith. Videos can also be edited in Camtasia (also from TechSmith) with a single click.
Jing Pro edition unlocks additional features to allow for even more sharing options, and the option to record videos as .mp4 files, rather than .swf – making them more accessible to other viewing and editing programs, but for most users the basic free version is enough to save a TON of time.