Useful Free Screen Capture and Annotator Tool for the Testers – qSnap Review

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.

Installation

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.

qSnap Features

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.

Toolbar Features:

qSnap toolbar

  • 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.

Timeline Features:

qSnap timeline

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)

qSnap screen capture features

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Usability

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.

Final verdict

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.



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23 comments ↓

#1 Sheetal Borate on 11.13.13 at 6:09 pm

Thank you for sharing. It is nice tool.

#2 Jose on 11.13.13 at 6:39 pm

AppLoader is a GUI-based load testing suite with an automatic screenshot function. AppLoader will capture a screenshot in the event of a failure or error message. These screenshots are presented with the test results to gain a deeper understanding of why a test failed.

#3 Rajesh on 11.13.13 at 7:42 pm

we use snagit screen capture software but its not free.

#4 syed on 11.14.13 at 6:30 am

Thanks for sharing this very important information.
Can you please tell me which cross browser testing tool is the BEST for performing testing of browser based applications ??
Because I’m really in need of that, I do cross browser testing on different browsers but unable to perform on different versions of browsers.
Please advise and suggest !!!

#5 Rohit on 11.14.13 at 6:35 am

Nice Job!!! Simon Hill. keep it up. @Admin – Tanks for sharing this knowledge with us. keep Going!!

#6 smita on 11.14.13 at 7:09 am

Hey thank u so much for the posts .. really very help full..

#7 Namita on 11.14.13 at 7:17 am

Thanks for sharing. This could be really helpful.

#8 Tester Orville on 11.14.13 at 8:53 am

Interesting! tool. thanks guys.

#9 Tester Orville on 11.14.13 at 8:54 am

does it support screen video recording?

thanks.

#10 Shruti on 11.14.13 at 10:50 am

I Use simple paint for screen capture :)

#11 xmojmr on 11.14.13 at 5:39 pm

I use iPhotoDraw. It is free windows desktop software, simple to use and powerful. Not so quick to work with as qSnap but also quite quick. Screen annotations can be embedded into the picture or stored in separate file. Best of the breed I’ve found so far

#12 Jose on 11.14.13 at 11:44 pm

@syed AppLoader is capable of testing across browsers. I would be happy to answer any further questions.
http://www.nrgglobal.com/load-testing-tools/software-quality-assurance-and-load-testing-apploader

#13 StewieQA on 11.15.13 at 6:59 am

Hi we are using ucrrently snipping tool ,however thanks for sharing this might come in handy

#14 Rakesh Hansalia on 11.15.13 at 10:28 am

Thanks for sharing. It is really nice one.

#15 Roopesh on 11.15.13 at 12:19 pm

Excellent Information Thanks a lot generally i used to do it with paint tools .

#16 Ritu on 11.17.13 at 5:41 pm

Really useful tool..Thank you

#17 Gentlin on 11.19.13 at 7:23 am

Nice Tool..,

#18 sweatha on 11.19.13 at 12:53 pm

Good one.Thanks for the share.

#19 Piyush Jain on 11.20.13 at 7:22 am

We use Wisdom-soft Screen Hunter. Its for Free and is majorly used in taking the snapshots for any kind of application.

#20 Yuliya on 11.21.13 at 3:11 am

I am using clip2net. It is nice screen capture tool to make screenshots and to add any text, create shapes and arrows. But thank you very much for info, I’ll try it too.

#21 Roopesh on 11.30.13 at 7:03 am

May be it is have OS compatibility it is not working in Ubuntu environment ,but thank u very much for this kind of Information.

#22 devikkah on 12.15.13 at 4:13 pm

Thanks it is really very usefull & nice tool.

#23 mars on 03.05.14 at 12:25 pm

Why no one can see the biggest problem with this tool, it’s literally doesn’t have an option to copy image to clipboard, so the productivity goes to zero.

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