We often come across many situations in which we need to take an image of a certain area of the desktop screen. All operating systems provide some means to do it. For example, in the Windows OS, to take the screenshot of the current application window we use Alt-PrintScrn. But the built-in screen-capture tools offered by popular systems are quite limited in features. For instance, if you wish to capture a specific area of the screen, you may find the built-in screenshot tools rather insufficient (of course, the keystroke <Windows><shift><s> will allow you to capture a part of the screen, but its features are limited). Here we present a few tools that can facilitate the screen capturing task.
If you are a Chrome user and wish to have a more versatile screen capture tool, instal the add-on ‘Awesome Screenshot’ available here (https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/awesome-screenshot-screen/nlipoenfbbikpbjkfpfillcgkoblgpmj ).Once the extension is integrated with your browser, you will find its icon on the toolbar. Now, whenever you need to take a screenshot of a whole page or specific part of a page, simply click on the ‘Awesome Screenshot’ button and immediately a menu window will pop up (screenshot below).
Select the options that suit your requirement. For instance, if you wish to take an image of a part of the web page, select the option ‘Capture selected area”. After capturing the specified portion of the screen, the extension will take you to an application in which you can edit/annotate the captured image. And when you are finished with everything, you can save it as an image file. If you have a Google account, you can save these images straight on to your Google Drive.
If you are looking for a better screen capture tool that works with all applications, take a shot at the free open source software, Greenshot (http://getgreenshot.org/). The program lets you capture a full screen or an open window or a region of your screen. Once the program is loaded, it lies idle in the background and whenever you need to take a screenshot invoke it by pressing the ‘Print Scrn’ button.
When you are done with the screen capturing task, Greenshot will display a window (screenshot above) with a bunch of options; you can copy the image to the clipboard, save it as an image file or can have it open in MS Paint or upload to Imagur, an online image hosting platform.
In the latest version of the Windows, Microsoft has introduced a software called Snipping Tool for capturing screenshots. If you want to capture a particular area of the screen this tool could come in handy. To access the tool, simply enter the string ‘sniping tool’ in the search box and start the program by clicking on it.
Select the kind of screenshot you need via the ‘Mode’ option (‘Free-form Snip’, ‘Rectangular Snip’ etc.) and press the ‘New’ button when you are ready to take a new snapshot.
As soon you press the mouse button, the tool will take a snapshot and will open a new window from where you can save or edit your screenshot. To annotate on or around the captured image, you can use the Pen, Highlighter and Eraser tools in the markup Window.
You may find the mode ‘Free-form Snip’ rather useful as it allows you to create random shapes on the screen and capture very specific sections of it with ease. The option lets you draw a freehand outline around the area you wish to capture with your mouse or tablet pen and capture this specific content.
After clicking the ‘New ‘ button in the snipping tool, when you try to open the Start menu (or any application menu) from the keyboard, then snipping tool will get disabled. This means you cannot capture menubars like the ‘Start’ button. To overcome this issue Microsoft has added an option called ‘Delay’, which will hold the tool for a while before it starts capturing the screen. Click on the ‘Delay’ drop-down menu and choose for how many seconds you want the tool to hold the capturing process. During the delay period, you can invoke the ‘Start’ button and easily capture the menu bars.
Google Trends for the Year 2007
Google Trends (https://trends.google.com/trends/) is a way for people to get a sense of: what is trending, what people are interested in, what people are searching for, what they are tweeting about, what they are talking about etc.
By clicking on each of the listed trends you can learn more about it. When you click on a trend, it will show different stories related to that item. It also shows a kind history over time of the interest in that topic, person or thing.
It also shows related queries that are trending, related topics that are trending and so on. In addition, it shows interest maps that help you see what areas of the world (or country) are more interested in this topic and which ones are less interested.
Another interesting part of the application is the ‘explore topic’ feature that lets you examine the popularity of topics of your choice. Here, if required, the application lets you compare the interest level of one product or person or service with another one.
Obviously, for anyone doing serious research on a product or idea, this is a very useful application. Now, if you wish to know, the main topics/persons/concepts/issues of the year 2017, take a look at the Google Trends Year in Search 2017 (https://trends.google.com/trends/yis/2017/GLOBAL/). Some of the top global searches include ‘Hurricane Irma’, ‘iPhone 8’, “Indian National Cricket Team’ and ‘Utterpradesh Election’.
According to Google (https://trends.google.com/trends/yis/2017/GLOBAL/) the most significant trend in the top 2017 searches is questions of ‘how to’ (like ‘how to make solar glasses’). Google CEO Sundar Pichai also pointed out this aspect in one of his tweets (https://twitter.com/sundarpichai/status/940855975283740672).
As revealed by Google Trends (https://trends.google.com/trends/yis/2017/IN/), the questions Indians asked during this year include ‘How to link aadhar card with PAN’, ‘How to buy bitcoin in India’, ‘what is GST ‘ and so on.
A topic that gained the attention of this author was the search query on screenshot/screen record- ‘How to take a screenshot’ and ‘how to screen record’. This was a pleasant surprise for this author as he was planning to introduce a few screenshot tools in this week’s column.