Reader Gene Gould wrote to say:
Way back in the dark ages, say between 1994 and 1998 I used to do quite a bit of writing for the Capital PC User Group, see www.cpcug.org , which at that time had around 5,000 paid member and published a month magazine called the Monitor. It won many awards in large user group publications. I wrote a regular monthly column, special how-to articles and software reviews. Writing those kinds of things for that kind of a publication almost required the use of screen images to illustrate what you were talking about. The use of the Print Screen function along with the use of the Clip Board was not a satisfactory solution.
So I did a survey of around ten different screen capture utilities. Most were shareware, a few freeware. All dutifully downloaded and tested and tried. When the dust settled the hands down best was, and I believe very likely still is, a piece of shareware called Lankford Screen Copy Utility, better known as (LSCU.) After I read your bit on screen prints I checked on the web to see if it still exists and it appears to be alive and well. If you just need one or two screen shots, then the clipboard is okay, but in the case of illustrating articles I customarily captured as many as ten or twelve screen images, adding them into the article as I went. Deleting unnecessary ones and coming up with a well illustrated article in fairly short order. The interesting thing about this utility, and as far as I know once you buy the shareware, it is yours for life with upgrades, is that you can tell it which format in which you wish to save the screen. It also provides options such as entire screen, open window and features like that. In your web site and the kind of work you do, it would appear to me that an occasional illustration would be a decided bonus. When you finish the article you just go through and delete the shots or if you wish file them in a folder.
I suggest you take a look at it. I would be interested in hearing your opinion. As a bit of side humor, we had an old guy, even a bit older than I am who was a true DOS Dinosaur. He had a great deal of trouble understanding or accepting Windows and continually looked for ways to write DOS commands that you could do in Windows with the click of a mouse. It got to be sort of a running joke. He would write a column on the subject of making mailing lists or some such thing using DOS commands. Next issue I would have an article explaining the how to do it in Windows 3.1, to begin with and then Windows 95, and then Windows 98. I decided to quit that writing business and teach computers to seniors when our new Loudoun County, VA Senior Center opened in May of 1999. I even retired from that a couple of years ago and now only teach photo editing and restoration.
I have recommended your newsletter and website to a number of not so techy friends.
Thanks, Gene. There are several good screen print utilities out there, and I’m glad to learn about another one.
I do most of my screen prints — usually prints of the “active window” — using the Alt-PrntScrn key combination. Since I’m usually trying to create an image for a web page or newsletter, my next step is to paste it into my favorite graphics program.
Almost all graphics editor programs (I use PhotoImpact 10) allow you to create a new image at the same time you paste into the program. In PhotoImpact, this function is on the Edit menu and is called “Paste as New Image.”
Whatever the term is, this two-step process is tremendously useful. First, Alt-PrintScreen to capture the current “window.” Then, Edit / Paste as New Image to create an entirely new image. Of course, you can edit, crop, resize and annotate the image after you get it into your graphics editor.