Any blogger that provides images not simply downloaded from a website for their readers to view knows how important a quality screen capturing tool is. Whether it be to promote a product, display step-by-step images in a tutorial, or just to capture a specific portion of a beautiful photograph, screenshot images can be difficult to grab without the proper tools.
I have been using a variety of free online tools for my writing for some time now. And while they seem to do the trick, I am always happy to look into newer, more advanced options. After all, images on your website are important. It only makes sense that I would want to capture and upload those images in the best way possible.
Today I am going to share with an intuitive new desktop tool for screen capturing called StepShot. Used to screenshot single or multiple images at once, StepShot brings the power needed to speed things up when it comes to capturing images and sharing them on your website. It is especially useful for creating lengthy guides or manuals that require many images used as explanations.
This simple tool works straight out of the box and requires no configuration once downloaded. And the experts behind it claim it can cut your screen capturing process down by up to 80%. And who doesn’t like saving time?
With the help of a free sample so I could give it a test run, I tried StepShot to see for myself just how easy and convenient this new tool really is.
Let’s take a look.
StepShot’s Main Features
StepShot was designed to cut your image capturing time in half while advancing the fun things you can do to each image in the process. Here is a look at some of the best features this tool has to offer:
- Each mouse click produces a screenshot for easy step-by-step image grabbing.
- Annotate images with shapes and text to enhance the visual appeal.
- Smart capturing allows for multiple image captures that will merge into a perfect sequence.
- Easily combine screenshots to create large guides or manuals for your readers.
- Export each document to MS Word, PDF, HTML, DITA and XML.
- Publish to multiple platforms such as Confluence, WordPress, Zendesk, SharePoint, Salesforce Desk, and easyDITA.
- Metadata capture ability that follows your actions.
- Supports multiple languages.
- Include information such as author and date.
- Invite others on your team to join your account and collaborate on large projects.
Now that you have an understanding of what StepShot can do for you, let’s see how it is in action.
Step 1: Create an Account
Since StepShot customers are privy to a 14 day no obligation trial run, setting up an account with them on their official website is a breeze.
Once you have created your account, simply login to begin the next steps.
Step 2: Download and Install StepShot
After logging into your account you will notice a clean and easy to navigate dashboard. In this dashboard there will be several options for you to choose from. The first section you should be concerned about is the Getting Started menu item.
Here you are given multiple steps to follow for getting started with StepShot as well as the chance to invite team members to join your account.
In order to use the StepShot tool, you must download and install it on your desktop computer. Simply click on Download Installer to begin the process.
Once you select Download Installer, you will be prompted with the StepShot Setup Wizard.
Follow along with the Setup Wizard until you have successfully downloaded the software. Then select Install. When installation is complete you will have the option to open up the program right away.
Step 3: Sign in to Your Account
For what I suppose is added security, once you open the StepShot program you will be prompted to sign into your StepShot account before being able to access the tool.
Now you are ready to begin collecting screenshots.
Step 4: Capture a Single Screenshot
To capture a single screenshot, locate the small box located directly under the label Workspace called Single. You will then see that StepShot has set up the screen to become captured. Drag your cursor to the section on your screen that you would like denoted as being “clicked on” and right click your mouse.
Notice that where I clicked my mouse to capture the screenshot, a small yellow circle appeared. This is helpful for when you want to share with your viewers exactly where to click something during a tutorial.
Step 5: Capture Multiple Screenshots
In order to catch a sequence of screen shots for multiple involved steps, you should select the box labeled Multiple which is located right next to the Single box.
There is a drop down menu in the Multiple screenshot selection that will let you capture a screen, window, or a region. I chose Region for my testing purposes.
When I clicked my cursor in three separate locations, while holding down the Ctrl button as was suggested to me during the process near the bottom of the screen, this is what I came up with. Each click of my mouse denoted a step, and showed the sequential order of my clicks.
I can see this as being extremely helpful for a very detailed, step-by step process. The visual aspect will make things very easy for a reader to understand step-by-step instructions.
Step 6: Save? Export? Your Screenshots
This step I initially became confused about. Originally I tried to ‘Save As’ my screenshot to my zip drive for later use on my website. Though it did save, it was in StepShot format (not sure what that means) and I felt it might not be usable.
I then decided to use the export option as an image and it successfully “saved” to my zip drive. I also noticed that every screen shot I took was automatically saved in my Workspace for later editing, saving, and exporting. This is a nice feature especially if you are working on a labor intensive project that requires a lot of screenshots. Being able to come back to your earlier versions would provide a lot of benefits during your editing process.
Since this tool is extremely feature heavy, I am sure that some practice and a little light reading of the documentation would do any new user some good.
More about StepShot
So, I just gave you the basic rundown on how to take a single and multiple screenshot. I think however, that it is worth digging a little deeper and letting you know what can happen after a screenshot is taken as well as some other things StepShot offers their customers.
After a screenshot has been captured, an editing screen pops up with your captured image inside of it.
Here you can do multiple things with your screenshot:
- Select a particular region.
- Copy, Save, Share, and/or Replace your image.
- Add images and text to your screenshot.
- Designate a title.
- Type in a description.
You will notice to the left there is a panel. Here you will find all of the screenshots you have taken so that you can edit each one individually.
I think it is also important to note that the StepShot tool offers users multiple setting options for controlling how you take your screenshots.
- Hotkeys. Add separate screenshot types to your workflow using hotkeys shortcuts.
- Capturing Settings. Highlight the cursor, blur extended lines, decide when to capture (always, when a key is pressed, or not when a key is pressed), and determine your capture delay speeds.
- Editor. Choose your screenshot title and description font sizes.
Other Dashboard Menu Items
In addition to the Getting Started dashboard menu item discussed above, there are two other helpful menu items to be aware of in your StepShot account.
- Plan & Billing. This section will tell you how many days until your trial period expires and provides you several plan options for purchasing. There will also be a section for any special offers available at the time.
- User Management. This section will let you manage other users that work off of your account. It will also let you add additional users if you want to.
Documentation and Support
As far as documentation goes, I love that the StepShot team provides very quick videos regarding their main features on their website for people interested in how this screenshot tool works. I also feel that the written documentation is very thorough, has excellent step-by-step images (as they should!) and can help users with almost any problem they encounter. I also noticed that they have a blog set up with some helpful articles. Although there are not that many posts as of yet, I am sure as time goes by they will continue to add more helpful information for their readers to enjoy.
The team at StepShot offers both email and phone support for customers that have additional questions or problems. The only fault I find here is that there is no information regarding the phone support availability. People love around the clock support, but when that is not available it is at least nice to know when the support team is available.
There is no word about updates or bug fixes when it comes to using StepShot. If this is something you are concerned about I recommend reaching out to StepShot’s support team.
Pricing for StepShot is fairly straightforward. Based on the amount of users you will have working off of your account and the timetable in which you would like to pay, you will pay the following to use StepShot:
As the amount of users on your account increases the price increases as well, whether paid monthly or yearly.
Altogether I find StepShot to be a very powerful tool with a lot of potential. There are so many more advanced features I could not have possible undertaken in this simple review that I think anyone looking to screenshot images would find useful.
Though I personally was a little shaky when it came to using it in real time, I am sure with a little practice I could become a screenshot master using this convenient tool.
The only thing that catches me off guard is the price. While you definitely get a lot of bang for your buck, for the casual blogger looking to provide basic screenshots, I think this tool is a bit advanced.
That is not to say it would not be useful. There are some editing tools available that are not as readily available in many of the free screenshot tools found online today. However, unless you are someone looking to create extensive and detailed guides and manuals, you may reconsider giving StepShot a try because of its hefty price tag. That being said, sine there is a free trial available for everyone it definitely cannot hurt to give it a try. You never know, StepShot might be just what you are looking for.
Have you tried using StepShot for your screenshot capturing needs? What other tools have you used that can compare to this one? I would love to hear all about it in the comments below!
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”