Get the print screen software that computer wizards use.
When it comes to capturing screenshots, there are so many options out there that you will easily feel overwhelmed trying to select the one that's right for you. How do you choose?
I've used a lot of them over the years and if you ask me, there's nothing better than TechSmith's Snagit. At the time of this writing they have released version 10 of Snagit and it comes with all the features that you could possibly want. (Please refer to my article about the built-in print screen software functionality in Windows if you want to know more about the built-in features.)
Admittedly you probably won't need ALL the features that this magnificent piece of software puts at your disposal, but at least you can be sure that whatever it is that you are trying to accomplish with screenshots will be a breeze if you have Snagit in your toolbox.
Other screen capture solutions (including the built-in ones that come with your installation of Windows 7) often have their limitations or will even cause frustration because they don't deliver the results exactly like you had in mind.
Let's face it: we are living in modern times, no-one should have to make any compromises when it comes down to something as simple as making a clear, easy-to-understand illustration of something that lives on their computer monitor. If you are spending time trying to figure out how to make that screenshot look exactly the way you want it, you are basically using the wrong print screen software.
Tools like Gadwin, Any-Capture, Print Screen Deluxe are some of the alternatives and if you do some searching you will find free versions with limited functionality among some of the screen capture software solutions in the market. If you don't rely heavily on print screen software and only need a few quick screenshots occasionally, then you probably don't need the Swiss Army Knife tool with all the whistles and bells. In that case, however, there's a good chance that the standard Windows 7 print screen tool (Snipping Tool) will work just as well for you.
If you have tried the standard Windows 7 Snipping Tool and it didn't perform as you expected, you might be tempted to try one of the free print screen software tools that you can download from the internet. Some of those are indeed available as a free download, which is of course an excellent strategy to get spread around many users quickly. The makers of the free print screen software tools are of course counting on you to grow more demanding in your screenshot tasks as you become accustomed with their software, so you'll purchase the more feature-rich version of the software sooner or later.
What I like about Snagit (and I'm not saying that they're the only one doing this) is that you download their free print screen software trial version with all the features of the commercial, paid version. The trial version is limited in time (you get 30 days to evaluate the software), but you can play with all the features to make sure that it does what you need.
Whether you need to make screen captures of scrolling windows, capture only the important part of a window and cut the rest out, or make edits and add a little text, all these mundane tasks and more can easily be accomplished without making things complicated.
I was contacted by someone who was amazed how easy it was to combine and overlay multiple images and mark them up with eye-catching graphics. This person was looking for print screen software that would allow her to produce professional-looking presentations, manuals and training guides, and she felt absolutely super about herself because her audience was genuinely impressed with the quality of her work. She was also talking in superlatives about the helpful tutorial videos that propelled her to impressive skill levels in creating her own tutorials and guides, which also generated a lot of respect for her work from her audience.
I would indeed suggest that you set apart just a little bit of time to familiarize yourself with the help video tutorials that will quickly help you discover little-known features such as the possibility to capture images from websites up to a certain level of link-depth, the ability to created animated illustrations that can be automatically saved as flash (swf) files and much, much more.
Some people will always debate that commercial software is way too expensive and that you should look for free alternatives whenever possible because software companies are greedy corporations who are after your money. If you are serious about showing someone else what's on the computer screen though, you can save yourself a lot of frustration and time with a decent piece of print screen software.
Life's too short and there are better, more effective ways to make this a better world :-)