What is FastStone Capture?
Many people want to use a third-party screen-capturing tool but without burdening the space and processor of their devices. Also, many non-commercial users like students love using a screen-capturing tool along with a comprehensive editor for their academic projects but fail to do so because many of these third-party software packages are not free to use.
FastStone Capture is the perfect answer to the needs of all such users. It is a third-party screen-capturing shareware with lightweight code and easy-to-use interface. Moreover, it also features a screen recorder and an editor that lets you perform a host of tasks on the taken screenshot.
FastStone Capture is one of the four image-related tools developed by FastStone Soft, a software company striving to make mostly free, light, and easy-to-use applications. The first version of FastStone Capture was first launched in 2006, and 14 years later, we got Version 9.3 that came in November last year.
FastStone appears as an elementary screen-capturing tool due to its interface. However, it is almost a complete package. It offers screen-capturing as well as screen-recording and offers a wide range of editing options for the captured screenshot. You can use it on every Windows version from XP onwards.
How to Install FastStone Capture?
You can install FastStone Capture from the FastStone Soft’s website. Go to this link, and you will see a window featuring this download menu.
You can see that FastStone is offering a list of download options in line with the convenience of users, including a free tutorial. For a regular download, click on the exe file, and a setup file of around 3 MB will be downloaded on your device. However, if you are using a device where guest users can’t download and install programs, you can use the zip download. Download the zip file, unzip the folder, and get the installer file. FastStone is also available as a portable version where you can keep its zip file in a USB stick and use it on multiple devices without installing it like a regular Windows program.
This is an exe installer file of the latest version of FastStone Capture. Click on it and allow the program to run on your device.
Choose the destination folder where you want to install the program and click the Install button. The program will occupy only 11.5 MB on your device. By default, FastStone Capture is installed in the Program Files folder in the system drive.
Within a fraction of second, the program will be installed on your device. Tick the check on Run FastStone Capture 9.3 if you want to use the tool right away and click on Finish.
As soon as the installation completes, FastStone Capture overrides the function of the Print Screen key. So, when you open FastStone Capture and press Print Screen, it will take the screenshot and open it in the program’s editor instead of copying it on the clipboard.
You can run the program in the background and use it whenever you want while carrying out other tasks. All you need is to click on its symbol in the taskbar or press the Print Screen key.
FastStone is a shareware, so you get to use a 30-day trial version. Whenever you open the program, it asks if you will continue with the trial version or want to buy and enter the registration serial/license code.
Uses of FastStone Capture
You can use FastStone Capture to:
- Take screenshots and edit them for presentations and official communication
- Record screen to show processes and make interactive guides
- To use a screen with precision via features like pixel ruler, magnifier and crosshair
How to Use FastStone Capture? (Quick Tutorial)
When you open FastStone Capture on your device, a floating widget appears on the screen. It has the most basics of UI and looks like a design feature from legacy Windows versions. However, the editing features it offers are not basic at all. This sleek taskbar has all the features of any robust third-party screen capturing tool.
Let’s break down this floating widget into its features.
From here, you can open any image in the FastStone Editor even if it is not taken by its screen-capturing tool.
Capture Active Window
To take the screenshot of the window you are currently working on, click on this icon or use the shortcut Alt+Print Screen.
Capture Window or Object
When you choose this option from the FastStone’s floating taskbar, the selection cursor automatically detects the window or objects (start bar, any menu, etc.) and allows you to take the screenshot of only that particular selected object on the screen.
Capture Rectangular Region
This is the simple screen-capturing option that works like the Snipping Tool.
Capture Freehand Region
FastStone is one of those few third-party screen-capturing tools that let users take snapshots of freehand snippets on the screen. You can also use the shortcut Ctrl+Shift+Print Screen to use this function.
Capture Full Screen
Take the snapshot of the entire screen. Press the Print Screen key to use this function.
Capture Scrolling Window
You can also capture the windows that span more than one screen and scroll. The hotkey combination of Ctrl+Alt+Print Screen can also be used for capturing the snap of an entire scrolling window.
Capture Fixed Region
If you have to capture a region with precision instead of guessing, you can use this option. It allows you to determine the length of the captured region in pixels.
From here, you can record the screen. You can choose if you want to record a full window, just a region of it or the full screen, including the taskbar. You can also record microphone, speaker, or microphone+ speaker audio with the visuals.
Delay Before Capture
You can use a delay from 1 to 10 seconds in the captured screenshots.
This option lets you set the program/destination where you want to send the captured screenshot. By default, a captured screenshot opens in FastStone Editor. However, you can also change it to MS Office programs (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, etc.), email, printer, and FTP servers.
The settings drop-down menu also has some valuable features to use. You can set an auto-capture from here. Moreover, it has a screen color picker, magnifier, ruler, focus, and crosshair that will help you in doing your editing and designing work with precision.
We have taken the screenshot of the FastStone home page and opened it in its editor. The layout of the editor is also pretty simple. There is only one taskbar on the entire Editor window. Let’s have a look at the important editing features given there.
From this master taskbar, you get to use all the editing features that FastStone offers with its tool.
Draw is the most useful editing option on this taskbar. When you click on it, the program opens the taken screenshot in a separate window where you can edit and annotate the screenshot using this toolbar.
As you can see, from adding text to speech bubbles and drawing shapes and lines to highlighting and coloring, you can perform a host of editing tasks on a captured screenshot from there.
From the main editing bar, you can also add Captions to the image.
The other two noteworthy features on the master taskbar are Spotlight and Blur. Spotlight lets you highlight any part of the screenshot stylishly by dimming the rest of the content on the image. From Blur, you can censor any content on the image through the smooth and pixelated blurring of different levels of opacity.
From the Editor, you can also open the edited file directly in MS Office or send it to email or FTP server.
FastStone Capture Comparisons
From Snagit to Screen Capture Pro and PicPick, many third-party screen-capturing tools come with free trial versions. To find out where FastStone Capture stands among other similar applications, we will compare it with Screen Capture Pro while using the yardstick of Windows’ built-in Snip & Sketch tool.
FastStone Capture vs. Screen Capture Pro vs. Snip & Sketch
|FastStone Capture||Screen Capture Pro||Snip & Sketch|
|Takes both screenshots and screen-recording in a free trial version||Only captures still shots in the trial version||Windows built-in tool|
|You can edit and annotate the captured shots in detail.||Editing and annotation are possible.||You can edit and annotate the captured shots with very few options.|
|Offers precise snipping function with pixel-level control||Also offer precision selection and snipping||Offers standard snipping|
|Features color picker, screen ruler, magnifier and auto-capture||Only offers screen color picking||–|
|Offers time-delay capturing||–||Offers time-delay capturing|
|Lets you censor the content on the screen||–|
|Lightweight, and easy-to-use||Easy to use||Easy to use and agile|
|Can also capture snippets in the free-hand form||Features free-form snippet selection||Can also capture snippets in the free-hand form|
In a head-to-head comparison, FastStone Capture is slightly ahead of Screen Capture Pro because it also offers screen recording in its trial version. Also, it features more precision and measuring features than Screen Capture Pro.
While offering all this value in its free trial version and the reasonably-priced lifetime license, you need to be aware of one its downside, i.e., the limited technical support. You can only get in touch with FastStone customer support via email.
Pricing of FastStone Capture
FastStone is not an all-out commercial software house. Out of four of its applications, it offers two of them (Image Viewer and Photo Resizer) free for personal and educational use. Since FastStone Capture has many commercial applications, its lifetime use comes with a paid license.
A single lifetime license of FastStone Capture comes at a one-time fee of $19.95. Organizations can also avail volume discounts on bulk buying. FastStone also offers a $49.95 Family License that allows you to use the tool on five devices for the lifetime. These one-time purchases also include all the future upgrades of the program. This means you don’t have to pay anything extra for the latest FastStone Capture if you own its lifetime license.
Download FastStone Capture Free Trial: https://www.faststone.org/FSCaptureDownload.htm
If you are looking for a lightweight third-party screen-capturing tool that comes with a good editing suite and also offers screen recording, FastStone Capture is an option worth considering. With a one-time fee of $19.95 for the lifetime license, the paid version of FastStone Capture is not a bad bargain either.
|Ease of Use||★★★★★|