[Review] ScreenDash

{rw_text}Giveaway of the day for November 2, 2009 is:

ScreenDASH

Version reviewed:

v3.0.3541

System Requirements:

Windows Vista SP1 or Windows 7; 2000, 2003 Server, XP Home or Professional Edition (SP2 or SP3)

Software description as per GOTD:

With the click of a button, you have the power to capture images from your computer screen – including web-pages, PDFs and anything else you can see on the screen. Get creative and enhance the images with ScreenDASH’s easy-to-use drawing tools, powerful photo adjustment tools and hysterical built-in clip-art.Save time and increase your productivity using its convenient annotation tools to provide effective feedback to your colleagues and clients. When your masterpiece is done, ScreenDASH’s convenient sharing functions allow instant posting to the web, email, Facebook, Flickr, Twitter and other online communities.

Download ScreenDASH! today to share your ideas at the speed of the digital age!

If you are 64bit system user follow the link here.

Ashraf’s note:

Because ScreenDash crashes for me while using Windows 7, I used Windows XP to test it out. However, since I am virtualizing Windows XP, the graphics on ScreenDash are a little bit messed up (you will notice it on my screenshots below). This is not ScreenDash’s fault but rather my fault.

————————-{/rw_text} –>

{rw_good}

  • Straightforward and fairly easy to use.
  • Has fairly extensive screenshot editing features, including  but not limited to adding effects, objects/clipart, and annotating.
  • Can easily share screenshots via ScreenDash.com, Flickr.com, PhotoBucket.com, Facebook.com, Twitter.com, MySpace.com, or by E-mail.
  • Screenshot editor and sharing of screenshots are not limited to just screenshots taken with ScreenDash; both the editor and the uploader can be used for other images you may have on your computer.
  • Can capture images from a webcam (if user has a webcam).

{/rw_good} –>

{rw_bad}

  • Only has a rectangle region selection tool; no free hand, window/object, or scrolling window selection tools.
  • Huge download size (~45 MB) for a screenshot software.
  • Does not work on Windows 7; it just crashes.
  • Has trouble uploading images onto Flickr.com and PhotoBucket.com.

{/rw_bad} –>

{rw_score}
{for=”Ease of Use” value=”7″}Pretty much point and click for the features it has. However, it only has a rectangle region selection tool so anyone that wants to capture a specific window or the whole screen will find it annoying to use because they will have to manually select the region.
{/for}
{for=”Performance” value=”8″}While it takes screenshots well and does edits well, it is not a light program in general. The download size is pretty big for a screenshot program and it is not too light on RAM while running.
{/for}
{for=”Usefulness” value=”7″}Because of the way it is put together, and the features it has, anyone looking for a “productivity” screenshot software will not find much use of ScreenDash. However, it still can appeal to a significant amount of people because of how it integrates editing and sharing features into the program.
{/for}
{for=”Arbitrary Equalizer” value=”7″}This category reflects an arbitrary number that does not specifically stand for anything. Rather this number is used to reflect my overall rating/verdict of the program in which I considered all the features and free alternatives.
{/for}
{/rw_score} –>

{rw_verdict}[tup]
{/rw_verdict} –>

ScreenDash is a software which takes basic screenshot taking features, and builds upon by adding fairly extensive screenshot/image editing and sharing abilities.

ScreenDash should actually sound familiar to veteran GOTDers because it has been given out on GOTD before; on March 17, 2009 as v2.1.0.0 to be accurate. However, don’t be surprised if you did not recognize ScreenDash because the developer of ScreenDash has given ScreenDash a huge makeover. I give full credit where it is due and I must say the developer turned ScreenDash from an ugly duckling…

2009-03-17_000453

…to a beautiful package of 0s and 1s:

2009-11-02_002232

After seeing the above two screenshots if you say “ScreenDash who?” I don’t blame you; I myself did not recognize the program at first.

For the most part, this new ScreenDash keeps the features of the old ScreenDash and builds upon them. ScreenDash can:

  • Capture screenshots using a rectangle region selection tool
  • Capture images using your webcam (if you have one).
  • Edit captures screenshots (or images from your computer – you can load images from your computer into ScreenDash). Edits you can make are:
    • Draw with a pen.
    • Add rectangle shapes.
    • Add circle shapes.
    • Add lines.
    • Add text.
    • Insert a .PNG, .JPG, .TIF, .BMP, or .GIF image (on top of the image you are editing).
    • Take a screenshot of the screenshot.
    • Change background colors with paintbucket.
    • Use a spray can.
    • Use an eraser.
    • Add dozens (hundreds?) of clipart ranging from animals to birthday cakes to funny faces to stamps and everything in between.
    • Invert, make grayscale, threshold.
    • Change the hue, saturation, brightness, contrast, blur, and sharpness.
      • For many of these edits, such as change blur, you can add thee effect/change to only parts of the screenshot/image by selecting it with the rectangle or circle selection tools.
    • Crop the image.
    • Annotate the image by adding arrows and text bubbles in addition to adding the text mentioned above.
  • Share your screenshots/images easily via ScreenDash.com, Flickr.com, PhotoBucket.com, Facebook.com, MySpace.com, Twitter.com or E-mail it.

Since the developer created informative videos showing how to use ScreenDash, instead of providing my usual walk through on ScreenDash, please refer to these videos (note they are all 6 minutes or longer):

2009-11-02_004622

To view the video click above. If you have JavaScript disabled you will not be able to view the video by clicking above so instead click here.

2009-11-02_011248

To view the video click above. If you have JavaScript disabled you will not be able to view the video by clicking above so instead click here.

2009-11-02_011257

To view the video click above. If you have JavaScript disabled you will not be able to view the video by clicking above so instead click here.

The videos seems to be of a bit older version of ScreenDash because the ScreenDash used in the video lacks a couple of features present in the ScreenDash version being given away today:

  • The “Annotate” tab under the “Modify”, which has the ability to add text, arrows, and annotation bubbles:

2009-11-02_005044

  • The ability to share screenshots/images via Twitter.com.

All in all, I must say I am very impressed by the makeover the developer gave ScreenDash. It definitely earns it self a thumbs up now. However, there are still a few problems with ScreenDash which I think the developer needs to address:

  • First and fore most, I really feel ScreenDash needs more ways to capture screenshots. Currently it only has the rectangle region select. For ScreenDash to be considered for an serious, productivity related use, and not just being a “fun” tool, ScreenDash needs to have the ability to easily captire windows/objects and full screen easily, and capture scrolling windows. Having a free hand selection tool would be a nice plus.
  • I tested out the screenshot/image sharing features. For some reason the Flickr.com and Photobucket.com onesto login but it never gives me a chance to login. won’t work. When trying to upload to Flickr.com, ScreenDash just keeps loading and loading but never loads Flickr.com. Photobucket.com gives me an error telling me This may just be my computer and not a wide spread glitch.
    • Update: Photobucket.com uploads are working now (it takes me to a login page) but Flickr.com are not. I am not sure what is up and why Photobucket.com was not working earlier.
  • Although the developer claims ScreenDash works on Windows 7, I have been unable to get it to work on Windows 7. When I try to run it nothing happens; then a few second later Windows tells me ScreenDash has stopped working and needs to be closed.

This review was conducted on a laptop running Windows 7 Professional and Windows XP Professional 32-bit. The specs of the laptop are as follows: 3GB of RAM, a Radeon HD 2600 512MB graphics card, and an Intel T8300 2.4GHz Core 2 Duo processor.

{rw_freea}

FastStone Capture

FastStone Capture, in my opinion, is the best free screen capture/screenshot tool out there. In fact FS C is the screen capture/screenshot tool that I use to take screenshots of programs for use on this blog. Yes it is the program I use to make those awesome arrows, write text, and outline areas with boxes.

FS C is feature filled, has a very small footprint computer resource wise, and is extremely easy to use. With FS C you can take a screenshot of the current active window, capture a window (does not have to be the active window – you get to chose), capture a specific region (via rectangle or free form tool), capture the full screen and capture a scrolling window (like in a web browser if you have to scroll up/down or left/right on a webpage, FS C will capture the whole webpage).

Additionally, after you capture an image you have quite a few features (but not as many ‘effects’ as Screen Dash has) to edit your screenshots with; I am notorious for using the text, arrow and rectangle editing tools.

Lastly as mentioned above, FS C uses a lot less computer resources than ScreenDash

Take note: FastStone Capture is now a shareware software. However if you follow the link I provide above, you can download v5.3 which is the latest freeware version (I use v5.3)

SnagIt

SnagIt is a popular name when it comes to screenshot software; it is well known for its great amount of features and user friendliness. What makes SnagIt so appealing to users is the fact that not only can it capture screenshots (free hand, region, windows, scrolling windows, etc.) but it can capture videos, edit images (add arrows, text, watermarks, annotate, etc.), batch convert images, and still has more features not yet mentioned.Currently the latest version of SnagIt is v9.1 (it is shareware). However, for those that can’t afford or don’t want to purchase v9.1, you can get v7.2.5 for free – just follow the above link.

Snipping Tool

Snipping Tool is an excellent tool that comes pre-installed on Vista Home Premium and above (you CANNOT download snipping tool). To access snipping tool, open start menu and type “snipping tool” into the search. Snipping tool basically does everything you might need for screenshot taking purposes:

  • Free-form snip: Draw an irregular line, such as a circle or a triangle, around an object.
  • Rectangular snip: Draw a precise line by dragging the cursor around an object to form a rectangle.
  • Window snip: Select a window, such as a browser window or dialog box, that you want to capture.
  • Full-screen snip: Capture the entire screen when you select this type of snip.

What happens is that when you open this program, a little window pops up and everything on your screen is frozen as it is. A light white layer comes over your screen to let you know snipping tool is active. By default, it is set to a rectangular snip and you can click and drag to take a screenshot of whatever you please. Or you can change the settings, by clicking the little arrow that is by the “New” button, to a different snip and then take a screenshot.

Once you take a snip, that certain area will appear in the snipping tool window. In that window you can use the ‘pen’ feature to write something on the screenshot, or you can use the highlighter feature to highlight something. There is also an eraser which you can erase any pen or highlighter marks you made. Once satisfied with the snip, you can save it to you desktop, copy it, or email it. There is almost no learning curve to this program.

I used to say that if you have Snipping Tool you need nothing else, but then I started using FS C and noticed the many features Snipping Tool is missing.

PicPick

PicPick is an excellent tool. PicPick is very similar to FastStone capture. The ‘main’ difference between FS C and PicPick is that FS C has a floating window while PicPick works out of your system tray. Other then that, the differences between PicPick and FastStone Capture are really only in the ‘bells and whistles’ category.

Jing

With Jing not only can you take screenshots, but you can also capture video. Before I describe what this program does, let me tell you that the first time you open Jing you must enter an Email, Username, and Password to create an account with them. Otherwise you cannot use Jing. So if you are not willing to do that, just skip this program.

Back on topic, once you sign up with an account, Jing launches. It places a little circle at the top of your screen (you can drag this circle and dock it anywhere on the top/bottom/left/right). When you place your mouse over this circle, you can chose the options of “History” (screen capture history), “Options” or “Capture”. Once you click on capture, cross hairs appear on the screen and you click the area that you want to ‘capture’. Jing automatically detects active windows and their parts, so you can easily do one click capture of designated windows. Once you have captured an area, a small box comes up asking you if you want the designated area to be captured as an image or video (you also have the option of redo and cancel). At the same time, before you choose image or video, you can re-size the capture area in case you did not fully capture what you desired. Once you click image, for a screenshot, the area you captured shows in a window. In that window, you can add arrows to the picture, text, a frame, or even highlight an area. At the same time, at the bottom of the window there are options to send the screenshot directly to Screencast.com, Flickr.com, an FTP server, or just save it to your desktop.

You just have to try this program to truly understand it. The learning curve is fairly small. However note that is it the most heavy on computer resources out of all the programs mentioned here.

Screenshot Captor

Screenshot Captor is a very powerful screen capturing tool. However it is very complicated (in my opinion) so I won’t elaborate much on it (actually not really at all).

When information comes across your screen that you do not want to forget, a screen capture is in order. While using inaccurate and confusing hot keys was once the preferred method, ScreenHunter Free offers an alternative that promises to simplify the process.
-Download.com

Gadwin PrintScreen

Excellent screen capture apps aren’t hard to come by, but excellent free ones are. With sophisticated features at no cost, it’s hard to reach higher than Gadwin PrintScreen. An attractive, easily navigated interface opens up a customization wonderland for users to decide default settings for shortcut key associations, capture preferences, and output.

-Download.com

Photobie

By providing normal editing techniques and adding some unique twists, the free Photobie takes aim at its higher-priced competition. Although novices will be overwhelmed by the numerous options, the program proved to be a very good image editor.

The most unique additions are embedded in a gray bar at the very top of the program. Here you can create a 3D cube, make a screen capture, and actually produce GIF animation with your picture and changes.

-Download.com

MWSnap

This outstanding freeware application makes capturing and editing screenshot images a breeze. MWSnap may come with an uninspired-looking interface, but it gets the job done without hassle. Its useful and very user-friendly features require no special expertise.

-Download.com

Jet Screenshot

Jet Screenshot is a freeware utility enabling you to share screenshot via the internet in seconds. It allows you to take a screen snap, edit it and send it to the Web, so that you can immediately provide anyone with a link to the image. Such an approach allows you to speed up sharing of ideas, facilitating further discussion. It’s ideal for remote work of programmers, designers, QA testers, bloggers, technical assistance specialists, sales managers, etc…

-Developer

{/rw_freea} –>

{rw_verdict2}While ScreenDash has very little more than basic screenshot taking features, what makes ScreenDash a worthy download are the extensive screenshot/image editings and sharing capabilities; and for that reason I give ScreenDash a thumbs up. However as I said, for ScreenDash to be taken seriously and be used on a regular basis, I feel ScreenDash needs more than just the rectangle region select tool. As it stands, I only recommend ScreenDash to those people who want to use it “for fun”. For productivity and daily usage, you are better off with FastStone Capture, SnagIt, or PickPic. Jing and JetScreenshot are also nice tools which incorporate many of the screenshot/image sharing features of ScreenDash. I personally use FastStone Capture.
{/rw_verdict2} –>

Share this post

Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

26 comments

  1. Nic

    I’m interested in a program to capture web pages or parts of them, including scrolling windows, that can paste or export the captured information into word or Excell, in order to be able to do some text editing or playing with tables. Can any of the programs discussed here do that?

  2. Rob

    I need a bit of help. (I am using XP Pro)
    I have two PC’s, and use one of them to trial things.
    If it does not ‘stuff up’, I then install the program on my main PC. When I tried the PicPick Whiteboard Hot Key of Ctrl Dhift P, on my trial PC, it worked perfectly.
    However on my main PC, it opens up the Windows Picture and Fax Viewer. (Alt Ctrl P also opens up that flippin program).
    I would like to delete any Hot Keys that trigger Windows Picture and Fax Viewer.
    I am pretty sure I never set those in the past.
    I have looked for the usual suspects, but cannot find any Start Menu nor Desktop shortcuts pointing to that program.
    I would appreciate any assistance.

  3. Rob

    @Damian:
    I gave your BugShooting a try.
    It is not too bad. I will have that running as well, as PicPick. (Have you tried PicPick ?)

    For those using PicPick, or for those that can be tempted, I found something interesting about it.
    I had to view PicPick’s Hot Keys, so that I Could change some of BugShooting’s, so they would not clash.
    Whilst viewing PicPick’s keys, I noticed that Ctrl Shift P, fired off it’s Whiteboard.
    What that does, is show a small Toolbar which allows you to write or draw arrows, etc onto your screen. After you have finished annotating, you can then save the image. Pretty cool.
    No doubt someone will try to shatter my illusion that I am drawing on my screen, by suggesting that it has cleverly replaced the screen with a copy, for me to write/draw on.
    However if it looks like a Duck, and flies like a Duck, I am happy to keep thinking that I am writng/drawing on the screen.

  4. Rob

    @A. S.:
    Have you tried saving as .MHT
    It is by far the best way of saving web pages.
    When you later wish to view it, it renders in your browser like the original page did. And the links still work.
    A .MHT file is a single self contained file.
    I have tried saving as an image, and it is a horrible way to view the page later.
    It is now possible to save as .MHT in practically every browser (some need an extension like unMHT for FireFox)

  5. A. S.

    I use both free versions of FastStone Capture 5.3 and SnagIt, although FastStone no longer, for me, anyway, captures Hotmail or Gmail screens, so I resort to SnagIt when I want that facility.

    Another useful utility is SiteShoter 1.38 from Nirsoft.net. It loads the web-page or down-loads another copy of the web-page (not sure which) in to the program, converting it to an image type of your choice. I haven’t yet used it, but it might be useful if the site somehow blocks traditional screen-capture progs.

    So-called ‘off-line browsers’ is another alternative, enabling you to save an entire web-site or any part thereof, though I haven’t deduced how to get these to work. Any help would be appreciated.

  6. Samuel

    @Rob:
    it would seem that my memory is going. I opened up my XP Pro VM, reinstalled paint (i keep the machine very bare to save space) and found that you are correct. Being as I havn’t used XP in so long I figured maybe I was getting confused with Vista, did the same on the Vista VM, same results. So I apologize for my mistake.

  7. Rob

    @Samuel:
    I am using XP Pro.
    I just opened Paint and chose File Menu / Save As
    It has defaulted to BMP, and If I do not navigate elsewhere it will save into –
    C:\Documents and Settings\Rob\My Documents\My Pictures\
    Are you saying that does not happen to you EVERY time ?

  8. Rob

    @Samuel:
    I used that combination for decades.
    And EVERY flippin time I asked Paint to save the image, I would –
    – have to change from BMP to JPG
    and
    – tell it where I prefer to save things to.
    Paint would NEVER remember those settings.

    It would keep reverting to some location deep down in ‘Documents and Settings’
    (‘Documents and Settings’ is like a mineshaft dug by a rabid wombat)

  9. Giovanni (King of Freebies...LOL!)

    Hi Ashraf!!

    Yes I agree with you…nice application but 45 MB is too much for a screencapture tool, especially for unlucky PC users like me that don’t have am internet broad connection at home.

    However I was just wondering why you prefer FastStone Capture (FREE EDITION) if you can grab for free SnagIt, an awesome tool that, unlike FastStone Capture (FREE EDITION), not only can capture screenshots (free hand, region, windows, scrolling windows, etc.) but also VIDEOS, as well as edit images (add arrows, text, watermarks, annotate, etc.) and batch convert images.

    By the way…do FastStone Capture SHAREWARE version and SCREENDASH have the same features as SnagIt v7.2.5 as far as the VIDEOS capture screen capability is concerned??

    Anyway another good freeware alternative to FastStone Capture and ScreenDash is also Ashampoo Magical Snap 2 (not sure if this is the same version mentioned above by AVIATOR365).

    http://www.ashampoo.com/frontend/registration/php/trial_step1.php?session_langid=20&edition_id=3312

    To take a screenshot of an entire web page or even of a whole websites I suggest you try this great free tool called WEBSHOT:

    http://www.softpedia.com/get/Multimedia/Graphic/Graphic-Capture/WebShot.shtml

    In fact what makes this a standout in the free screenshot capturing SW category is that not only you can take screenshots of entire websites but you can even grab thumbnails of web pages.

    How cool is that??

  10. MikeR

    Many thanks (as usual) for the great work, Ashraf: much appreciated.

    I use Screenhunter: it’s very small, light, fast and does the basics perfectly well. But I’ve been thinking about adding a more feature-filled screen capture app to this computer, so your recommendation of the FastStone app is uncannily timely.

    Steelers6:

    As Ashraf has pointed out, you’re looking at the paid-for version, not the freeware.

    The link Ashraf referred to is the product name at the head of his section of Freeware Alternatives.

    Click on that, and it links through to his full March, 2009 article elsewhere on dot.tech. At the bottom of that article are two download links to choose from depending on the installation you’re looking for. The link takes you through to the hosting site.

    Just a note about the download process there: it took me three attempts today to accomplish this today, I don’t know why. The first two attempts resulted in an “empty” zip file arriving; the third, however, went just fine.

    What may be important to stress here is the vast difference — and it is vast — between today’s GOTD screen capture app download and FastStone v5.3.

    My download time, on a very slow line, was under 10 seconds. When unzipped, the file size is just 1,392KB / 1.35MB.

    By comparison, today’s GOTD file size is a staggering 40 times bigger.

    It may well have some desirable features but I haven’t delved into it: a nigh-on 46.0MB size for a screen capture app is way, way, way too high for me.

    Thanks again, Ashraf, for the heads-up!

  11. Dr Nitin

    Dear Ashraf,
    I am using CaptureWiz Pro a paid s/w.
    It is very good to capture screenshots as well as videos.
    I can say that It has all the necessary feature. One should check it out.
    Dr Nitin

  12. Ozzie

    @ Grant: Hey, thanks for the tip about Talon! I just checked it out and it looks great. Not fussed about having to register (used Trashmail for that), but the tool itself will be very useful for in-browser work. Gracias.

  13. Rob

    Ashraf,
    Does your FastStoneCapture give you the ability to capture and carry on doing what you were doing.
    I mean that you don’t have to stop and save it, but can continue on with other things, taking more captures as you go.
    AKA can it accumulate them in multiple Tabs.
    If it doesn’t, you should give PicPick another chance to sway you over ‘to the light’

    Rob
    PS does today’s offering have multiple Tabs feature ?

  14. Steelers6

    I’m a bit confused about Faststone Screen Capture. It says it is a shareware program and asks for $19.95 for the full version. I’ll give it a try but don’t have the $$ to pay for it.

    Just an FYI incase someone else comes across this or knows differently.

    Vidimo Se!