PicPick: an easy to use screen capture utility

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PicPick is a free screen capture utility which offers an integrated image editor and various tiny tools such as a color picker, pixel ruler, protractor, crosshair, whiteboard etc.

There are many free screen capturing programs out there; most of these offer the basic functionality and usually do not warrant mentioning in this blog.

Not so with PicPick: at least FIVE different aspects of this program make it quite interesting and noteworthy, as follows:

  • Versatile screen capture options
  • Auto-scroll capture (for, say, websites or documents that scroll beyond the visible section of the screen).
  • Built-in integrated image editor
  • A slew of interesting, mini-tools: color picker, pixel ruler, protractor, crosshair, and whiteboard.
  • A portable version is available.

Here’s a quick overview of each one of the points above.

  1. Versatile screen capture options: we’re all acquainted with full screen, active window, user-selected area captures, and even freehand captures, where you “draw” the capture area irregularly on the screen. PicPick also offers a “window control” capture, where you can automatically “hone in” on different areas within a window. Two less common capture modes are fixed region captures (where you specify height and width and move the frame around before capturing), and “repeat last capture” which will guarantee that your capture is precisely identical to the last one in terms of size and placement on screen – both of which can be extremely useful.
  2. Auto scroll capture: this one is useful when trying to capture a website in a browser or a document in any kind of window that extends beyond the visible part of the screen. Use the “capture window control” and point to the part of the window that contains the scrollbar.
  3. Integrated image editor: these days an integrated editor and/or annotation tool is almost compulsory, as most screen capture programs seem to have it. PROS: quickly perform operations such as resize or crop, nice set of effects that can be applied to selection (e.g. pixellate only a section of the image to hide personal info). CONS: once you add elements there is no way to change them unless you undo and start over. For example if you add a text label and decide that you want to enlarge it and add an outline color, you cannot change the properties of the one you already have but rather have to remove it and start over. (Need a better editor/annotation software? Try PhotoScape).
  4. Mini-tools: an interesting and useful selection. Color picker and palette tools (self explanatory), magnifier, pixel ruler (superimposes a semi-transparent ruler on your screen), protractor (for measuring angles), crosshair (for quick screen coordinates), and whiteboard (write/draw on-screen, for presentation or screenshot annotation purposes).
  5. Portable version: is available for downloading; unzip and run.

Other notes: supports user-defined keyboard shortcuts, dual monitors, including or excluding cursor in the captured image, and a number of image format outputs (JPG, BMP, GIF and PNG).

The verdict: this program manages to bring together a very nice set of screen capture functions and mini-tools, and provides a very nice user experience (all of this whilst consuming under 6 megs in memory). Very nice indeed.

Version Tested: 1.8.0.9

Compatibility: Windows All.

Go to the program page to download the latest version (approx 1.21 megs).