What is ShareX?
ShareX is yet another screen-capturing tool for Windows users that offer more features than Microsoft’s in-house screen-capturing tools. ShareX is also a worthy replacement for Windows’s built-in screen-capturing tools because it is open-source and free.
ShareX is the brainchild of two developers, Michael Delpach and Jaex, who launched the first version of the tool with the .NET framework in 2007. ShareX offers a versatile set of screen-capturing options with many sharing and uploading options. One of the most distinct things about ShareX is its legacy-style interface. For a Windows 10 user who has become accustomed to UWP API, the UI of ShareX is a throwback to the past.
ShareX still gets regular updates from the developers. Its latest stable release 13.1.0 was dropped just recently in March 2020. This screen-capturing program is compatible with Windows 7, 8.1, and 10, and you can download it to any of your Windows devices for free.
How to Install ShareX
The installation of ShareX is as uncomplicated as its interface. You don’t need to sign up with an email or fill out any form to download its setup. Just go to its home page, and download the file from there. You don’t even have to scroll down the page or look up in the menu to find the download tab. It is given right there in the center. Just click the tab, and a 7 MB executable file will be downloaded on your Windows PC.
Click on the setup file to initiate the installation process. Clicking on it will pop up the below window.
Click on Run.
Check off “I accept the agreement,” and click Next. This window outlines the details of the GPU license agreement.
Select the path where you want to install the program.
Select additional tasks that you want to run in the ShareX installation.
Click on Install.
When you click on Install, the setup will automatically start downloading the .NET Framework that is needed to execute the ShareX application on Windows. Keep in mind that this will take several minutes, and you need to ensure your device is connected with a working internet connection.
Once the .Net Framework is downloaded, the installation resumes and completes within a minute. After this, you are welcomed by the below window.
If you don’t want to launch the program right away, uncheck the box and click Finish.
ShareX is not a heavy application that occupies a lot of space. To download its executable installer file and install the application itself, all you need is 30 MB of free space on your disk. Since ShareX is entirely free software, you don’t need any license key to activate it. ShareX developers have also released portable versions of the software. You can find them here.
Uses of ShareX
As a free, open-source screen-capturing application, ShareX offers a lot of value with its features. Let’s look at the various ways in which you can use it.
- Screen-Capturing: From full-screen to active window and regional capturing on the screen, you can use the basic tool of screen-capture in many ways. Also, you can take the complete snapshot of the scrolling pages.
- Screen-Recording: ShareX is one of the few free screenshot software that also offers screen-recording.
- Text Recognition: ShareX can come in handy for picking text from the captured image and for converting it into an editable form.
- Image Editing: You can also use ShareX for the basic editing of the captured screenshots.
How to Use ShareX (Quick Tutorial)
Using ShareX is simple due to its UI. Instead of dividing its features and tasks into various grids and panels, the developers have bundled the entire application in its left sidebar.
Let’s look at the main features given in this “master” sidebar.
Unlike many other screen-capturing tools, ShareX has put all its screen-capturing and video-recording options in the Capture drop-down menu. The noteworthy options in this menu are the various region screen-capturing options. For instance, you can take screenshots of the selected region with a light and transparent background.
Moreover, you can record the screen as both a standard mp4 video file and as a GIF file. From the same menu, you can take scrolling captures. The text grab feature is also given there. You can also take screenshots with a delay via the last option on the menu Auto Capture.
In short, the majority of ShareX features are present in the Capture menu.
ShareX is quite good with its sharing features. You can use it to upload files as well as entire folders across different platforms. For instance, you can upload your files directly to destinations like Flickr, Imgur, ImageShack, Google Photos, and other similar image sharing platforms.
You can also upload entire files (comprising of several screenshots) to Google Drive, Dropbox, OneDrive, any local file sharing server, etc.
The Tool is an interesting and valuable option on the master sidebar of ShareX. It doesn’t just offer actions that are related to screen-capturing. You can use it for some other useful task performances as well. We will discuss them in a moment.
The menu starts with Color picker and Screen color picker. Besides selecting the colors from the given palette, you can also pick any color from the screen via picker and use it in the ShareX editor. The tool also lets you open the image editor and effects. Image editing might be the weakest link in this free-source, screen-capturing application. Its editing features are more or less similar to the MS Office Picture Manager.
If you want to take the screenshot of the QR code on the screen, you can select the QR code from Tools. This will detect and capture the QR pattern only. If you want to measure the size and dimensions of the objects and icons on the screen, you can use the Ruler.
The developers have also added a DNS changer for all those users who are living in regions and countries where you have to change your DNS for accessing websites like Imgur.
Streamline Your Work
The second section on the sidebar is provided for streamlining the task you are performing on ShareX.
After Capture Tasks: From using image effects to grab texts and saving files on different locations, you can quickly perform a host of tasks on the captured screenshot from this option.
After Upload Tasks: This option lets you manage the URL of the web destination on which you have uploaded the file. You can shorten, share the URLs, and manage the QR codes from there.
Destinations: This option allows you to configure the image, file, and text destinations. So, whenever you want to upload a new file, the application doesn’t ask you to select the destination and uploads it to the preset one automatically.
Share X Alternatives
Of course, you can find a host of ShareX alternatives on the web. From Snagit to PicPick and Greenshot to LightShot, you can use many third-party screen-capturing tools on Windows. Since Greenshot stands closer to ShareX because it is also an open-source and free application, let’s do a comparative review of both.
|Free and open-source||Free and open-source|
|Captures entire scrolling webpages||Takes scrolling captures but only on the Internet Explorer|
|Records screen in mp4 and GIF formats||Doesn’t offer screen-recording|
|Shares and uploads files and folders||Shares and uploads file only|
|Designed for Windows and also available in portable versions||Designed for Windows and only available in the installed program version|
|The editor is quite basic||The editor is quite basic|
From the above chart, it is quite clear that ShareX excels better than Greenshot when it comes to free, open-source third-party screen-capturing tools for Windows. Surveys on online communities also suggest that ShareX is a better option between the two.
You can read our Greenshot Review here.
However, there are some downsides you must be aware of if you want to use ShareX as your default screen-capturing tool.
- Its basic, legacy-style interface may not sit well with the rest of your Windows 10 UX.
- Its scrolling capture option has some unidentified issues. So, you may not get the desired results every time while taking screenshots of entire webpages.
Pricing of ShareX
ShareX is open-source software published under GNU General Public License. This means anyone can use, share, and modify it without paying any fee or needing any license key. However, you can donate to the developers to support them in their continuous efforts of updating and upgrading the application.
Besides regular fiat currency, ShareX also accepts donations in various cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin and Ethereum. The smallest amount you can contribute is $5. To encourage more donations and show its gratitude for donors, ShareX has also developed a dashboard that shows the name of the donors and the amount they have donated.
It is important to mention here that ShareX offers premium services with its free screen-capturing application. This means it doesn’t feature any ads. Also, no feature or task on the application is restricted. Every user who is downloading ShareX from here gets to use all its features.
Download Sharex for Free: https://getsharex.com/
It won’t be wrong to say that ShareX is probably the best free, open-source screen-capturing tool for Windows available right now. It offers a host of screen-capturing options, including screen recording and text grabbing that you will mostly find in the paid software tools only.
ShareX developers could improve the UI of the application to make it an attractive option for Windows 10 users. Similarly, the faulty scrolling capture feature also needs to be fixed.
All things considered, ShareX is the best free alternative of the Windows Snipping and Snip-and-Sketch tools.
|Ease of Use||★★★★★|