A screen-capture software is a must-have tool for creating instructional tutorials. If you are a Mac user and cannot afford a commercial version of screen-capture software, I recommend InstantShot! for your consideration. InstantShot! is a part of the DigitalWater project and is free for download. It offers basic screenshot functionality for capturing the whole screen, a portion of it or a window and also the option to make timed screenshots or to make delayed captures over time.


About Steve Yuen

I am a Professor Emeritus of Instructional Technology and Design at The University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, United States.
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3 Responses to InstantShot!

  1. mmesh says:

    Hello Dr. Yuen,
    Very nice blog, congratulations on an interesting presentation.
    For Windows-based partial screen grabs I use an inexpensive app called Lightning Navigator. For $7 it gives you the ability to capture any part of your screen by pressing control+Alt+PrintScreen. Drag the cursor across the area you want to capture and it is captured into the clipboard. Paste it into most applications quickly.

    Like you, I use it mostly for training purposes. Images are essential in training.

    Lightning Navigator by Poingo

  2. Amy says:

    This is great! I have been looking for a good screenshot application to use on Mac. I use SnagIt! on my PC, but they don’t have a Mac version yet. I am hoping TechSmith (the company that created SnagIt!) will create a Mac version soon because SnagIt! has a lot of functions for creating screenshots for instructional materials that I have not been able to find anywhere else. I have searched for a screenshot application to use on Mac that is intuitive and easy to use quickly. At first, I didn’t realize that it had already taken a picture of my screen, but I like that it gives a menu option where you can open it up in your Finder window. It would be nice to have more capture options, for example to be able to select a whole window without having to draw a rectangle around it. Hopefully in the future, either this application or some other Mac application will decide to add more functionality, for example being able to edit the image once the screenshot has been made. These types of applications make creating instructional documentation for training very easy and make the instructional materials more helpful to the learner. I think when trying to learn how to do something it helps to have these images to be able to understand what you need to do. A visual makes all the difference. I would also like to find a video screen capture application that works well on the Mac. I have found some, but they are not great and creating instructional tutorials using video screen capture is very useful.

  3. Shenetta Booth says:

    Here we go again, another cool application that makes life much easier. I love to hear about different software that gives a person what they really need. That list on Dr. Yuen’s site dealing with the top 50 proprietary programs, I will always be devoted to that list.

    InstantShot is a new exciting piece of work that requires nothing but you downloading it. I like this application mainly because it allows you to be lazy. No Ctrl + Print Screen, then opening up paint to paste the picture. This is so much easier. The advantages of using InstantShot are huge. There is too many to name. First, it’s a screen capturing software that allows you to click on the window, picture, a portion of the screen, and it also gives you the option to make timed snapshots.

    Comparing it with SnagIt, it’s a little better. For one reason, it’s free. That’s the important part. Secondly, it’s free, oh have I already mentioned it’s free. It creates an icon in the menu bar, which to me, is very easy to navigate to. You select the capture type and …..there ya go, it’s captured. It supports TIFF, JPG, and PNG, which are the leading types of image extension nowadays. It is also universal, meaning that it will work on any platform, such as Mac. It has a lot of gadgets for added application and shell scripts manually. You can also configure the apps to run after each screenshot on a new file. That is cool.

    The future of using InstantShot personally is good. I can see myself using it, but I am using SnagIt, religiously and it will be very hard to let it go.

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