Free Lightweight & Portable Screen Capture Utility – FastStone Capture

Screenshots help us in many ways whatever we may need it for. I use it when I am troubleshooting with some support helpdesk, when building websites, for blogging, etc.

Windows has the basic Print Screen option that you could load up in Paint and just crop the area you want. I did that for a long time.

Then, I started using an excellent Firefox extensionScreengrab. It worked great for screen captures within my browser. But, I couldn’t take screenshots of my desktop or other applications or even other browsers.

That’s when I stumbled on this awesome little screen capture utility, FastStone Capture. In fact, I have been using this for over a year and I just realized that I haven’t reviewed this gem of an utility that has been my friend for a while. So here are some of the things it can do.

  • Capture anything in your computer and let you save in multiple formats such as jpg, gif, png, bmp, tga, tiff, pdf, etc.
  • It has a floating capture panel that is very unobtrusive FastStone Capture
  • You can capture windows, active window, objects, full screen, any rectangle region, free-hand selected regions, scrolling windows and web pages.
  • Options to send the captured image to the built-in editor or clipboard or to a file or to printer or to email.
  • The built-in editor is great for resizing, adding watermark/shadow edge or adding a caption. Add effects such as grey scale, sepia & negative.
  • You can add annotations to the captured image or draw arrows and shapes to illustrate your point.
  • You have the option of showing the mouse pointer or turn it off
  • Also has a screen color picker tool
  • Sports a screen magnifier
  • Runs using a mere 1.6M of memory – ultra lightweight in my book
  • It is also available as a portable application so you throw this in your flash drive and take it with you. (top portable applications)
  • You could set a filename template for your screenshots and even automatically save images to an output folder.
  • Works even on Linux with wine (the portable 5.3 version works fully on my openSUSE 11.0 machine)

FastStone Capture fires up when I start my computer and I use it all the time for these various tasks. In fact, in spite if being a screen capture utility, I tend to use it a lot for quickly resizing images, adding edges, etc a lot. Plus, the color picker also works great when I am looking up colors from places other than my web browser. Inside Firefox, nothing can beat Colorzilla for me.

What does FastStone Capture cost?

FastStone Capture’s current version is available at $19.95 for a lifetime license at the moment. It used to be free until version 5.3 and switched to a paid application.

The features I mentioned above are all available in the free version and the newer paid versions have even more powerful features.

FastStone Capture Paid

FastStone Capture Free (portable 1MB)

You won’t go wrong with this utility no matter which version you choose. I have found version 5.3 more than adequate for my needs but wouldn’t mind shelling the $19.95 for lifetime license should I need the additional features.

I have recently come across another excellent screen capture utility that I will be reviewing shortly. So stay tuned.

What is your favorite screen-capture utility? And what is your common gripe about it?

Explore Tags: , , , , ,

17 Responses to “Free Lightweight & Portable Screen Capture Utility – FastStone Capture”

  1. olly @ computer parts August 21, 2008 at 11:03 am #

    It sounds like a great application – I guess the only place I can think of using it would be when making a step by step tutorial on how to do something on the computer.

    I can’t think of any other places I would use such a thing

  2. Louise@Easiest Finger Appetizers August 22, 2008 at 12:27 am #

    Thanks for the tip. I have been using Screengrab, too, but didn’t like the fact it couldn’t help me with Windows programs.

    Louises last blog post..Paula Dean’s Cajun Seafood Balls Appetizer Recipe

  3. Capture HTML August 22, 2008 at 2:17 am #

    Yes, It’s correct what you have written in the blog,Donwload Inzomia image viewer from, its free. Open the web page in the viewer’s browser windows and click “as image”. You will save the complete web page even the part of the page that needs scrolling.

  4. Syahid A. August 22, 2008 at 6:50 am #

    Looks pretty decent! Maybe I should give it a run too!

  5. Terry @ iPod Repair August 23, 2008 at 11:24 am #

    SOunds like a good platform. I’m gonna take a look at it.

  6. Andrew@Fredericksburg Lawyers August 23, 2008 at 7:40 pm #

    This looks like a great program. I’ve been using SnagIt, but this one looks like a great competitor.

  7. Jon@Beauty Salon Marketing August 24, 2008 at 7:11 am #

    Synchronicity! I’ve been looking for a screen-grabber to make pictures to liven up my blog posts

    Thanks for the recommendation, I’ll check it out

    Cheers, Jon

    Jons last blog post..Salons on TV – “Tabatha’s Salon Takeover” launches in USA

  8. K August 28, 2008 at 11:51 am #

    Jon, I have a knack to read my readers’ minds. Just kidding. Glad it was helpful and timely. 🙂

  9. Kermit@Minneapolis Real Estate August 28, 2008 at 11:55 am #

    Do you know if this will work on Mac OSX? I just switched to Mac, and have not figured out how to do screenshots yet.

    Thank You.

    Kermits last blog post..Five Bedroom Woodbury MN Home For Sale

  10. K August 29, 2008 at 8:57 am #

    Kermit, I am not a Mac user and I am sure there are other nice utilities for Mac. could be a great place to find such stuff for Mac.

  11. Jon@Beauty Salon Marketing September 5, 2008 at 11:17 am #

    Thanks again K. I downloaded it and have been using it often. It’s brilliant for capturing bits of screenshots to add to a blog post (and instantly adding a nice dropshadow). I still open them in Photoshop and Save for Web, to optimise them, but it’s made the whole process much quicker.

    Cheers, Jon

    Jons last blog post..Starting a Salon – What to name your salon?

  12. K September 5, 2008 at 12:08 pm #

    Jon, I do the same and it is something I can’t live without. Is there a lot of size diff between FSCpature’s output and the output from ‘Save for web’ option in Photoshop?

  13. kast@Free Compatibility Reports December 27, 2008 at 8:04 am #

    Any screen shots of this thing in action?

  14. Ellie - Swiss Replica Watch February 23, 2009 at 4:56 pm #

    as for me I’m still using screengrab in spite of a great deal of the disadvantages. Thank you for some additional information on this point.


  1. Bookmarks about Browsers - January 16, 2009

    […] – bookmarked by 2 members originally found by Fhil on 2008-12-17 Free Lightweight & Portable Screen Capture Utility – FastStone Capture […]

  2. PicPick – Portable Free Screen Capture Utility | ShanKrila - January 5, 2010

    […] have reviewed FastStone Capture here before and you can check it out there. It is not just a full featured screenshot capture tool […]

  3. Forget Screenshots. Quote Smarter with Kwout! | ShanKrila - May 6, 2010

    […] use my favorite screenshot capture tool FastStone Capture a lot for my blogging as I go about gathering screenshots to illustrate a point or […]