Sharing Screenshots of your Desktop, or Videos of your Desktop with Techsmith’s Jing

In all of my blog posts, I try to include a photograph, screenshot, or other image file to keep the blog interesting to read. Most often, I take screenshots from my computer to post on the blog. While there are a number of amazing tools available, (including the AVS Screen Capture program that comes bundled with the suite of AVS tools that I mentioned in my previous post), there is one screen capture tool I have an affinity for: Techsmith’s Jing. (Free download.)

TechSmith Jing screen capture and video recording software and sharing tools

The Jing “Sun.” The program runs in the background, this is only open when you want to edit options.

When you start up jing for the first time, there will be an annoying “sun” at the top of your monitor. Mouse-over it, click the ‘more’ button, click the preference button, and immediately change the following options: Check the “hide the jing sun” box, and set your capture hotkey. (I have mine conveniently set to Ctrl + Alt + J.)

From there, anytime you want to take a screenshot of something, simply press your hotkeys, and a cross hair will show up. Try moving your mouse around, to see what automatically happens – depending on which window or element of your desktop you mouse-over, the capture selection will change from a single window, to the entire desktop, to a frame within a window. Clicking once will select that element. If you don’t need an entire window, try to click and hold the mouse as you drag a box around what you want to capture. After you have selected the area for capture, you can refine it even further by dragging the sides of the frame to make it smaller / larger, or drag the selection area itself to move it.


Video of how to manipulate the screen grab

The Jing Mini-Editor

Once you have your screen capture area selected, select either the “capture image” or “capture video” button to start your capture. The capture image button takes a screenshot, and then presents you with one of the first really nifty tools of Jing: a very quick editor for making notes on the image. You can add arrows, text, highlight an area, or frame an item in the image before you save it. If you want to bring attention to a particular part of the image, this saves you a lot of time from having to open the image in another editor to add some text or arrows.
Screenshot software editor image share screenshots online productivity tools

Jing inception: Using Jing to capture and annotate a Jing screen capture. Click for larger view.

If instead of capturing an image you want to record a video (called a “screencast”,) simply click the “capture video” button. You will have 3 seconds to get ready, then the capture will start, up to 5 minutes in length, (more available with the paid version) with sound if you have a microphone on your computer.

Jing’s Coolest Feature and Why I Use it so Often

I’m glad you’ve stayed with me so far. Here is the main reason I use Jing on a regular basis, over other screen capture tools: As you can see in the “Jing inception” picture above, there is a button at the bottom called “share via screencast.com.” You create a screencast.com account automatically during Jing’s installation process (or use your existing credentials if are simply re-installing). The share via screencast.com button automatically uploads either your video or your screenshot to the internet, and once the upload is complete, it automatically pastes the link into your clipboard, ready for you to paste wherever you need to.


How I use Jing’s screencast to help Joe with youtube privacy settings.

I find the share via screencast.com option useful in many situations where I want to show something to others. I use it when I am troubleshooting another person’s computer, and I want them to follow specific steps that may be too complex to describe over the phone. I use it when I have issues on my computer and I want to show someone helping me what I am seeing on my end. I use it when I am training an end user on using a new feature. I use it via chat, email, even sometimes over the phone I speak out the url to the other person – the link comes back somewhat shortened: screencast.com/t/a5G8s1h4X.

This share online feature creates some of the quickest turnarounds for showing someone else a screenshot or screencast, as there is no longer a need to take a regular image capture, save it to the computer, start an email, find the file, attach it to the email, and then send it that way. I use Jing virtually every day, and the sharing feature at least once a week.

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