Sometimes, while reviewing a software product, I need to get images of the capabilities of the software or hardware. To do this, I tried a few screen capture programs, but ended up consistently using one - HyperSnap DX. I started off with their free Basic trial version, which was fairly easy to use, but would "mark" the image captured with a license reminder (see graphic). Truthfully, you could work around that by doing a full page screen capture while minimizing the size of what you want to capture, then go to your graphics program and crop the reminder out.
But, if you really need to get a full screen size capture (a web page, spreadsheet or something else for a multimedia presentation), you should spring for either the Basic or Pro version. You also don't get the annoying reminders to register and pay for the product.
HyperSnap DX Pro (V3.41.00) is the one I opted for, which has a more comprehensive online HELP function, plus these new and/or improved features over the Basic version:
Something else I liked over the Basic trial version is that HyperSnap DX Pro allows you to use typical Windows hotkeys, such as Ctrl+O for opening a file, Ctrl+S for save, and so on. The Basic trial version has its own commands, which drove me nuts. You needed to hit the INSERT key to open a file, for one thing.
Also, the Basic trial version only allowed you to save the captured image in BMP, GIF or JPEG formats. The Pro version also lets you save in TIFF, LEAD (cmp), CALS, CCITT Fax (fax), Encapsulated Postscript (eps), GEM Image (img), IBM IOCA (raw), Macintosh Picture (pic, pict), MacPaint (mac), Microsoft Paint (msp), OS/2 Bitmap (bmp), SUN Raster (ras), Targa (tga), WinFax (wfx), Windows Metafile (wfm), WordPerfect (wpg), Portable Graphics PNG, and Adobe PSD. Some of these formats also offer sub-formats and variations when saving the file.
When trying out my first screen capture with the Pro version, I noticed a little window pop up on the bottom right of the screen when I went into CROP mode. This was a Hint box - very handy if you're new to using the program. I found that if I moved the "+" CROP cursor to the other side of the screen, the Hint box popped up in the top left corner. There was some residual imaging problems when doing this, but it was a minor thing. You can turn off the Hint box, which I did, because it did drive me bonkers after a while.
The RESIZE function is wonderful; before, I had to save the screen capture, open it in my graphics program, crop and resize it and would end up losing the sharpness and visual quality of the original capture. Resizing it in HyperSnap DX Pro keeps the image quality without losing any of the details. Perfect! I captured the main page of my web site and reduced it so that the image was saved at 38.4k, which I then compressed down to 23.1k without losing anything. Now it would fit on a web page or in a DTP document without taking up a lot of space.
One of the more unusual improvements is the capability of capturing an image off of a game in progress, whether played on your hard drive/CD-ROM or online. I know a few friends who play Quake who will definitely like this feature- they love to gloat when they win a game. This feature also increases HyperSnap DX Pro's buying audience, which was a smart move.
Probably the most ironic thing about this program is that I couldn't capture screen images of the program in action. And the web site doesn't offer any screen shots, but you'll have to take my word that this program works and works well.
The improvements are a boon to the product and the price is right, too; it's very inexpensive at $25 per Single User license or $7.50 for an upgrade from V2.0; if you need this for a company with many employees using it, a site license is $750 or $300 as an upgrade from V2.0
This is a very easy program to use and includes a step-by-step tutorial for the uninitiated, which is very well done. I highly recommend this program for anyone who needs to capture images from the web, DTP programs, while playing games or if you're like me, reviewing products.
Intel and compatible processors (Windows 95, 98, 2000 or NT 4 and above; there is a separate download for Alpha processors Windows NT only)
Modem to connect to the web site to download the program
1.4 MB hard disk drive space
(HyperSnap-DX ver. 3.08 is still available on the site, as it is necessary to run on NT 3.51. HyperSnap-DX ver. 3.10 and above uses the new explorer style, File/Open and File/Save As dialogs, which are not supported under NT 3.51)
Price is $25 for a single user license (may also be purchased/registered using CompuServe SWREG forum GO SWREG, search for HyperSnap-DX there. The price for single user license over CompuServe is $27 due to the 15% charge they impose)
3146 Chestnut Street
Murrysville, PA 15668, USA
J.A. Hitchcock is a regular contributor to Compute Me and is currently writing a book detailing online harassment. Visit her web site at jahitchcock.com.