Best screenshot and screen recording tools as of 2019


In pursuit of the finest screenshot and screen recording tools

Herein are the latest observations Team Amplenote has collected by personally testing the hundreds of screenshot + screen capture tools. The availability of these apps is scattered across platforms and in the Chrome Extensions Store. We'll start by quickly reviewing what we consider the "essential features" of a screenshot/screen capture tool.


Requirements

  1. Can select any area of screen to capture by dragging area with mouse after pressing a configurable hotkey

  1. After selecting dimensions to capture, can easily mark up screenshot with arrows or text

  1. After marking up (or not) screenshot, it goes to copy buffer so can be pasted into Amplenote via CMD-V

  1. Can select rectangle of screen to capture a video

  1. Can export video as animated gif (probably not necessary for long as Amplenote looks headed toward supporting movies by end of 2019)


A note about "full page web" capture

This feature gets top billing for many of the screenshot tools in the Chrome store, implying a lot of people must use it. If you use Amplenote, the Amplenote Web Clipper is built to take quick full-page snapshots and add them directly to your note of choice (with OCR so they're indexed in search). If you don't, any other Chrome screenshot extension you choose to download will be able to take full page screenshots -- it's a default feature.


Platform key

Emojis to indicate which experience we tested/recommend for each product reviewed


🌐 Chrome extension

🐧 Linux application

👴 Windows application

🍎 macOS application


Functionality key

📽️ Record videos

🖼️ Records still images


Great

🦗


Pretty good

🌐 Awesome Screenshot 🖼️ 📽️ Allows dragging SS area and adding markup. Can record video, but can only download in webm format, and no defining the boundaries of the video (either full Chrome window or full desktop). Allows setting hotkey, but using the hotkey non-functional in Chrome. 😖 All configuration options.


🐧 Peek 📽️ It makes videos on Linux within a selected area, and it works at all in Linux. 🎉 Command line install available. Videos seem remarkably well compressed for gif videos, which in other apps will commonly consume 5mb+


🐧 Flameshot 🖼️ Install via convenient sudo apt-get install flameshot. Easy means to select an area and mark it up. Broad markup options, but lacks a text tool, holding it back from making the "great" section 😖. Can be invoked via hotkey. Pushing Ctrl-C after selecting screenshot area puts selected area into copy buffer. 👌


Missing a feature or two

🌐 Nimbus 🖼️ 📽️ Can't copy a screenshot to copy buffer. Only options are to download locally or upload to a bunch of shit like Dropbox. Doesn't appear to be any means to use a hotkey to invoke capture outside of web browser. Supposedly allows recording videos. Addings edits to a screenshot pretty straightforward.


🌐 CloudApp 🖼️ 📽️ No options present to invoke via hotkey. Purportedly allows dragging a box within Chrome to define screenshot boundaries, but doesn't allow dragging to define boundaries of video capture. Unable to use for capturing content outside of Chrome, though curiously can capture screenshot of full desktop background.


🌐 Lightshot 🖼️ Invoked via Chrome, provides markup tools after selecting target screenshot area. Can't find any apparent way to invoke via hotkey, or to get it to take screenshots outside Chrome. Allows copying to clipboard via CTRL-C.


Far from good

🌐 Screenshot & Screen Capture Elite 🖼️ Chrome extension: No ability to add markup to screenshot or record videos. 🙅


Partial evaluation

🌐 Droplr 🖼️ 📽️ Chrome extension. Only allows recording video of full desktop or Chrome tab, like Awesome Screenshot.



Plot twist

Thanks for stopping by the Amplenote blog. Did you know that the content of this "blog post" is just a plain old note, lifted from the author's Amplenote notebook? Rich footnotes, built-in emoji selector 😄, and the strongest encryption game among major note apps (all notes encrypted client-side by default) make us a solid option for modern writers. Try it out yourself.

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