Lightshot Review (2021): Free Tool to Take Screenshots in Windows and Chrome

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What is Lightshot?

Lightshot is a screen-capturing tool for Windows and macOS. Unlike many other third-party screen-capturing tools, this one is available as an extension for Google Chrome, Firefox, Opera, and Internet Explorer. Lightshot was created by a group of developers called Skillbrains and has been around for several years.

Is Lightshot safe? A couple of years ago, the online community and forums were bustling with the questions regarding the integrity of Lightshot. Many users were apprehensive of using Lightshot due to rumors of it being a trojan horse virus and malware. However, this was not the case at all. Testing experts have cleared Lightshot as a software application free from spyware, malware, worms, trojans, and any other malfunctioned code.

The developer launched the latest version of Lightshot in June 2019.  You can install Lightshot version 5.5.0.4 from here. This third-party screen-capturing application is free to use. Its availability across multiple operating systems and web browsers makes it stand apart, among other free screen-capturing tools.

How to Install Lightshot

Lightshot is one of the lightest third-party screen-capturing tools for Windows. Its setup file is around 2.5 MB, and the entire program doesn’t occupy more than 5.5 MB of hard disk storage. The download and installation process is also pretty simple. Go to the Skillbrains website, where you will find the separate download tabs for Windows and Mac.

Go to the blue download tab on the topmost bar, and you will see the window below.

Click on Install under Lightshot for Windows, and the setup exe file will be downloaded on your device.

Click on this executable file and follow the steps that you have to follow with the installation of any regular Windows application and software.

Click Run.

Select the language you want to run the setup in.

Accept the Skillbrains copyright agreement, and click Next.

The program will be installed within a split-second.

Click Finish and open the program from the Start Menu or the bottom right taskbar.

Installing Lightshot for Chrome

If you want to use Lightshot directly on your browser, you can add its extension to the browser. Here, we are going to discuss how you can add it to Google Chrome.

Click on Install under Google Chrome, and you will be directed to Lightshot’s page on the Chrome Web Store.

Click on the Add to Chrome, and this third-party screen-capturing application will become a hands-on tool on your browser.

Like the Windows application, the Chrome plugin of Lightshot is not memory intensive (668 KB) and doesn’t slow down your browsing. The extension is also free to use with its latest version 6.3.0 that was updated on January 27, 2020.

It is important to mention here that the installation and activation of both Windows applications and browser extension don’t require any license or serial key. It is free and ready to use upon installation.

Uses of Lightshot

Lightshot is a great substitute for the built-in screen-capturing Windows tools. They offer more features than the Snipping Tool but without overwhelming the space and processing speed of your device. You can use Lightshot for:

  • Taking snippets of different tasks and actions being displayed on the screen
  • Labeling and annotating the captured screenshots for elaborating them further
  • Sharing the captured screenshots directly across various social media platforms
  • Searching for similar images and screenshots on Google

How to Use Lightshot? (Quick Tutorial)

If you have used any third-party, screen-capturing tool before, you won’t find using Lightshot any different. Like many screenshot apps, it takes over the function of the Print Screen key upon installation. When you press the Print Screen key on a device on which Lightshot is installed, it opens the application instead of capturing the full screen and copying it on the clipboard.

When you press the Print Screen or click on the Lightshot icon in the taskbar, the screen goes dim, and the cursor turns into a selection pointer.

Press and hold the left click on the mouse and select the area you want to take the screenshot of. If you notice, Lightshot’s primary screen-capturing function works similarly to that of the snipping tool. Instead of full-screen capture, their default action is taking the screenshot of a region.

Once you select the region and release the left click of the mouse, the selected region turns bright while the remaining part of the screen remains dim, and two taskbars appear on the bottom left and right side of the selected window. Let’s take a quick rundown of these floating widgets.

The Vertical Taskbar

This taskbar is the editing tool of Lightshot with some basic editing features. It is better to call it an annotator. You can perform the following tasks from this annotation sidebar of Lightshot.

The first option on the taskbar is the free-hand drawing marker. You can use it to highlight, label, and encircle the content of the taken screenshot.

The second option on the taskbar lets you draw a straight line on the captured shot. Again, it can be used to underline the content on the captured image.

You can also draw an arrow on the taken screenshot from the vertical taskbar.

You can also draw a rectangle on the captured image to encircle and highlight anything.

You can also insert a textbox on the captured screenshot. It is the simplest of the textbox that comes with a single font style and size. It is added to Lightshot for adding comments or labels the content on the taken screenshot. You can, however, change the color of the text.

The vertical taskbar or the annotator of Lightshot also allows you to use a typical text highlighter on the screenshot.

From the last option on the vertical taskbar, you can change and customize the color you want to use for the annotations (we customized and used a shade of blue).  The bar also allows you to undo a task performed. You can also use the hotkey (Ctrl+Z) to perform this task.

The Horizontal Taskbar

This taskbar mainly serves the purpose of sharing and saving the captured screenshots. Starting from the left, you have the option to upload your screenshots on the Lightshot’s repository on its website. You can also use the shortcut Ctrl+D to carry out this task.

The next one is the share symbol that lets you share the captured screenshot directly to Twitter, Facebook, VK, and Pinterest. The next option in this taskbar is unique and not available in any free screen-capturing tool. From this Google symbol, you can search for the images similar to your captured screenshot through the Google Image search.

The next in line are print, copy, and save functions, and these work the way they do in any other Windows application. You can also use Ctrl+P, Ctrl+C, and Ctrl+S to execute these functions, respectively. From the last option on the menu, you can close the application. You can also use Ctrl+X to close Lightshot.

Lightshot Alternatives

Several third-party screenshot applications can be used in place of Lightshot. In paid screen-capturing tools, we have Snagit and PicPick. Among free versions, ShareX and Greenshot are some of the Lightshot alternatives.

Lightshot vs. ShareX vs. Snipping Tool

Lightshot ShareX Snipping Tool
Takes screenshots of regions Captures all sort of screenshots, including scrolling ones Only capture still shots
You can annotate the captured shots and share them across various social media platforms You can edit and annotate the screenshots and can also share and upload them online Can highlight and use a free-hand marking on the still images and can only share captured through an email
A free tool with copyrights in the name of Skillbrains Free and open-source Windows built-in tool
Available for Windows as well as macOS Only works on Windows
Also comes as a web browser extension Only available as an installed application
Easy to install, easy to use Required 2000.Net framework for a successful installation Agile and easy to use

If you want a screen-capturing tool that offers you more annotation features than the Snipping Tool while working as smoothly as a built-in Windows application, Lightshot is a better option than ShareX. However, if you want to take scrolling screenshots and also want screen-recording, you should opt for ShareX.

You can read our ShareX Review here.

There are also some constraints involved with the use of Lightshot that you need to be aware of.

  • It doesn’t have a built-in editor for captured images. You can only use its vertical taskbar for some basic annotation and labeling.
  • The sharing options are limited. You can only share the taken screenshot on four social media sites. You can’t upload the file directly to cloud platforms and FTS servers.

Pricing of Lightshot

Lightshot is a free software application. All its versions for every platform are free to download, install, and use. However, unlike many free software applications, it doesn’t come with the GNU General Public License. Lightshot is not an open-source screen-capturing tool. It has been registered as the intellectual property of Skillbrains. In short, no one is allowed to edit, modify, and publish the source code of Lightshot.

Lightshot is also different from other free screen-capturing tools because it doesn’t ask users for donations and contributions. For now, the only income model of Skillbrains and Lightshot is the paid advertisement on their website.

Download Lightshot for Free: https://app.prntscr.com/en/download.html

Lightshot Browser Extension

As mentioned earlier, Lightshot also offers its tool in the form of a web browser extension. You can add it to your Chrome browser from here. Using the Lightshot browser extension is the same as its installed application. The only difference is that when you add its extension to your browser, it appears in the extension menu to the right side of the browser’s search bar instead of the bottom right taskbar of Windows.

When you click on it, it starts working the same way its Windows application works (discussed in the earlier section).

Summary

If you want to use a screen-capturing tool that offers more functions than built-in Windows screenshot tools but also doesn’t have the complexity and sophistication of regular third-party applications, then Lightshot is a custom-made option for you. It is free to use and free of pop-up ads and allows you to capture screenshots of a region, annotate them, and share them across different social media platforms.

Price ★★★★★
Ease of Use ★★★★★
Features ★★★★
Overall ★★★★
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