One thing of which the internet has no shortage is free software. Of course, most of it is junk, or loaded with spyware. However, not long ago I found a free program that I use almost daily. It is called Gadwin Printscreen.
What it does is very simple: it takes a picture of something you see on your screen. It can be the entire screen, or just a window, or just a section of a window that you select. From there, you can put that picture into a document or an email very easily – it is just a copy + paste.
Here’s an example of how it could be put to good use:
There’s an error message that keeps popping up on your screen:
You: I keep getting this error message on my screen.
Tech Support guy: What does it say?
You: Oh, I don’t know…something about my keyboard or something.
Without knowing what the error message says, we really have no way of diagnosing what the problem is. Wouldn’t it be great if the Tech guy could actually see the error message himself? (Tech Guy says “Yes! Please!). With Gadwin Printscreen installed, it’s easy:
1. Next time the error message comes up, hit F5 on your keyboard.
2. Drag your cursor from the top left corner of the error message to the bottom right corner, making a “box” around it.
3. Right-click outside the box you just made.
4. Open an email to Tech Guy, and in the body of the email, right click and choose Paste.
Now Tech Support guy will be able to actually see the error message and begin to figure out what the problem is.
Here is how you get Gadwin installed and configured:
1. Go to this link and download the free version (the free one is called Gadwin Printscreen – if you download Gadwin Printscreen Professional, they will ask you for $25). The program will download, then double click the icon to install it – the installation is standard. When finished, you will end up with a new icon on your desktop to run the program. Click that icon to run it.
2. You will now see a window like this:
3. In the Preferences section, choose F5 for the hot key. Leave all other buttons unchecked, except for “Run at Windows startup” (I leave that checked, because I use it so much I always want it to be running; it does not use much memory at all).
4. Under Source, choose “Rectangular area” and leave “Capture Mouse Cursor” unchecked.
5. Under Destination, check Copy Captured area to Clipboard.
6. Under Image, choose “JPEG Bitmap (*.jpg)” as the type of image. Leave everything else unchecked.
7. About just tells you about the program and the company; nothing to configure there.
Now you have an easy way to send an image to someone by email as I described above. Of course, instead of an email, you could open a Word document and Paste the image into that as well. Once you see how handy it is, you will probably use it more than you expected to!