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Jing – Where have you been all this time?

I take a lot of screenshots, both for work and at home. I was previously using Firefox Fireshot to take the screenshots of web pages (which is what I do 90% of the time). That was until I heard about a program called Jing. Oh and in case you are wondering, it’s 100% free!

Now, FireShot worked well enough for me (except for the occasional crash) so I didn’t really know I was even in the market to find a new screenshot taking program – but Jing is one of those programs where you wonder how you survived without it.

First up you will have to download and install it from the Jing Project website (just under 5MB) .They have clients available for both Windows and Mac. It does require the .NET framework 3.0, but the Jing setup program takes care of this all for you.

At the end of the setup process, you get prompted to create a Jing account. Its all very simple, a few form fields and your all done.

Then look to the sky, as you now have a incredibly handy sun at the top of your monitor – this is your gateway into the world of Jing magic.

Jing actually does a lot more than just screenshots. You can take videos of an area of your desktop too (complete with audio). Basically everything you could possibly need to make a professional looking screencast.

For screenshots you can also annotate the image as you would expect:

It also provides many ways to save the image (to your file system, copy to clipboard, to your flickr account, to screencast.com or to your own FTP server). In fact the worst thing about doing this post was that I couldn’t use Jing to get the screen captures!

As you can probably tell, I am hooked. But there are some things I would like to see in the next version of JIng:

  • Ability to save an entire browser window, but without having to include the browser tool bar etc (basically I just want the entire webpage). I still have to use FireShot to do this..
  • More annotation options. At the moment you have text boxes, highlighting, normal boxes and arrows. They are all customisable in colour, but I would like to see more things like straight lines, squiggly lines, round framing etc.

Give Jing a go – it’s free and I reckon you will be just as impressed as me.
Let me know what you think of it.