Capturing error screenshot is the most common task for the software testers. You might be using some free or licensed tool to accomplish this task. But today I’m going to share with you one very easy to use, functionality-rich screen capture and annotator tool which will make your work super simple.
Free Screen Capture Tool:
If you’re looking for a completely free screen capture extension for your browser then you might consider qSnap from QASymphony. This is a kind of utility that could prove useful for a much wider audience.
It allows you to:
- Capture a screenshot of your browser, and then
- Annotate it, and
- Share it.
We took it for a test spin to see what it can do.
You can get qSnap for all four of the major browsers: Chrome, Firefox, Safari, or Internet Explorer. You’ll either download directly from the qSnap page, or get it at the Chrome Web Store or the Mozilla Firefox Add-ons website. The download itself is tiny and you’ll be up and running in a snap.
As a screen capture tool, simplicity is vital, and qSnap really ticks the right boxes. Whenever you want to capture your browser window you simply tap on that qSnap icon. Your screenshot automatically opens in a new tab and you’ll find a tool bar along the top.
- You can create shapes to highlight areas, add text, add arrows, blur sensitive information, or even draw freehand.
- You can also crop your image.
- Most of us rarely stop at a single screen capture so qSnap offers multiple screen capture functionality that is rarely found in screen capture tools. If you want to grab multiple screen captures, you simply continue to hit the qSnap icon and your additional captures are added to a timeline.
- To get the exact look you want, there’s also the option to change your line thickness, color, and font size.
- The tool bar is completed by handy undo and redo options.
- It’s simple, well laid out, and, most importantly, easy to use.
- Top right you’ll find the option to create your own screen capture keyboard shortcut and you can access the help documentation or submit a ticket.
At the bottom you’ll find the timeline of your screen captures as shown in the above image.
- You click the one you want to bring up to full screen.
- There’s also an option to capture a new screenshot or add files.
- At the bottom right you’ll find a “Share this screen” button that opens a menu for sharing individual screenshots, or all of your screenshots from a session, or the option to print directly. “Share screen” gives you a copy of the URL for your clipboard.
- It also saves every link to a hosted service, in effect, creating a history of your images.
If you do want to share directly from qSnap then you’ll have to create a free qSnap account and log in. It is possible to use your existing Google, Facebook, or Twitter details, or you can create a new account. You can also just save screenshots to your machine; they’ll default to your Downloads folder where they’ll appear as JPG files.
Sample screenshot using its features: (click to enlarge image)
As we’ve already mentioned, qSnap is very easy to use. It’s intuitive and clear, and there’s nothing here that’s liable to confuse even novice computer users. Professionals will appreciate the time-saving inherent in the keyboard shortcuts.
Sharing screenshot as a group – One thing that really sets qSnap apart from the screen capture competition is the ability to have a session and share your screenshots as a group. When you grab a screenshot with qSnap, and the tool pops up in a new tab, as long as you keep it open, each subsequent screenshot you grab will appear in the same timeline. This means you can create a step-by-step guide with ease, which is especially handy for testers.
It’s also nice to see cross-browser support. It doesn’t matter if you use a different browser on your tablet and your laptop, you can still use qSnap and it will be instantly familiar. This is another boon for testers as they typically have to test websites or apps in all the major browsers.
Room for improvement
This is a deliberately simple and accessible tool, so it feels unfair to suggest that more options could improve it, but there’s very little else to criticize. Since you can capture a whole session it might be nice to be able to export your timeline as a PDF with the screenshots joined together.
Its hosted service creates a history of your grabs. To delete an image you have to open each one individually. It would be nice to have the option to delete several captured images at once.
If you need a free screen capture tool for your browser then qSnap is a lightweight option that’s accessible enough for anyone to use. The timeline for a session, keyboard shortcuts, and sharing options make it attractive for any user, not just testers. This is a versatile image capture browser extension tool and it’s free, so there’s little reason not to try it. You can download it on this page.
About the Author: Simon Hill has a background in game development. He completed a Master’s Degree in Scottish History at Edinburgh University. He spent several years working in the games industry and lives in Edinburgh with his wife and two kids.
Do you use any other commercial or free screen capture tool? Which one? Also share your experience if you are using or just tried qSnap. Let us know in comments below.