It's clear that the worlds of marketing and communications are relying more than ever on visuals to enhance the customer experience. When you've got a device in hand and are quickly scrolling through screens, it's typically an image that will arrest your attention more than any kind of text.
Longtime communicator Shel Holtz has gone so far as to dedicate an entire Flipboard magazine to Social Visual Communications. It's worth following Shel's articles, as he tends to stay on top of trends and he's already amassing a superb set of resources for the communicators who wish to expand their skills in visual media.
Learning how to capture and share images - even if it's as simple as sharing images from the web - is something of an art as well as a science. And one would think that image sharing of a screenshot from your desktop, laptop or other device would be simple, it might not always be the case. For example, what if you need a shot of the entire length of a home page that goes well beyond the fold? Or what if you need different sizes.
Here are a few tools that will keep you from having to open the full suite of PhotoShop or The Gimp.
For the PCThe built-in Snipping Tool by Microsoft is probably one of the easiest to use applications and it does exactly what it says. It will allow you to do a rectangular or free-form snip, of the entire screen or just the visible window, then giving you various options to annotate, highlight, erase, copy, save or email the image.
For the MacIt's just as easy for Mac users, by pressing Command+Shift+3 to capture the entire desktop, Command+Ctrl+Shift+3 to copy the entire desktop and Command+Shift+4 to capture a portion of the desktop. Alternatively, the Grab utility (under Applications > Utilities) will allow you to capture a screenshot that includes a cursor or a menu in your image.
Browser ApplicationsSometimes, when you're on a webpage, you just want to get a shot of what's there without leaving your browser. I've found the Webpage Screenshot application to be one of the easiest and best to use. Visible or all-page screenshot options are available, as is the ability to edit. It is available as both a Chrome extension and Firefox add-on.
WebsiteIf you'd like a web-based destination, ShrinktheWeb offers easy and automated website screenshots. Just drop in the URL of the site you'd like to have a visible screenshot of and submit. With the free version, you have to wait about 15 seconds for the images to generate, giving you six different default sizes: 75x56, 90x68, 100x75, 120x90, 200x150, 320x200. With the Pro version, you get custom size thumbnails, URL to PDF conversion, actual thumbnail sizes, a private label service and more.
I'm sure there are other options for doing what I've described above. What are your favorite ways to do screenshots?
Photo Credit: dearsomeone (Flickr)
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