FullShot v6.03 & v7 Professional Edition

Reviewed by: Howard Carson
Published by: Inbit Inc.
Requires: Windows 95, 98, 98SE, Me, NT4.x, 2000, XP
MSRP: US$79.99 (download)

FullShot Professional Edition is designed for any Windows user who needs to capture and work with images of different parts of any Windows program. It's perfect for creating images for use in manuals, training handouts, presentations, magazines, newsletters, newspapers, marketing materials and web pages. You can also use FullShot to print screens directly to any printer connected to your PC.

Since its introduction in 1991, FullShot has been used world-wide to produce countless books, magazines, software manuals, training materials, marketing collateral, slides, presentations, web pages and other publications. I introduced FullShot to the documentation team at MGI Software Corp. during 1998 and the writers haven't looked back since (MGI was acquired by Roxio in 2002 - but the documentation team is still using FullShot). Grabbing a supporting image of a menu bar, tool bar, dialog box or an entire UI is one-click easy. It sure beats the heck out of doing a Windows print screen, loading the resulting BMP into PhotoShop, then laboriously clipping and resaving only the area you need. FullShot Professional Edition is available at most software outlets and via purchase & download. It's also bundled in an OEM version with professional documentation products such as RoboHelp Office.

FullShot Pro provides nine different ways to capture images from your screen. You can capture the entire screen, a single window, a rectangular region, title/ menu area, mouse pointer, button, command bar and an auto-scroll document. There is also a very cool freehand option which you can use to literally draw a capture area of any shape or dimension. Once you've captured a screen shot, you can add notes and perform editing tasks such as adding frames to individual images, rotating, cropping, and adjusting color properties. For document review purposes you can also choose from several print options including printing multiple images on a single sheet.

Captures can be executed using the mouse or via a customizable set of Hotkeys. When FullShot Pro is started, most writers minimize it. In this mode, Fullshot places a row of shortcut capture buttons on the title bar of every open window. The buttons do not appear in any capture or full screen shot. Captures can be executed in a variety of color depths and sizes and saved in any of 18 formats including BMP, CUR, DIB, EPS, GIF, ICO, JPG, PCD, PCT, PCX, PNG, PSD, RAS, RLE, TGA, TIF, WMF and WPG. The Image Explorer tool scans your hard drive for images of particular formats. You can browse and view images individually or in thumbnail mode. The program's interface provides a tree view for browsing each directory. FullShot provides a batch processing tool for converting a images from one format to another - very handy when someone comes to you with a format complaint.

Doing this review forced me to look at some features in FullShot Pro that I really hadn't touched before. After quizzing a couple of my writers about some of these features - write, save and print image annotations, image merge, flip /rotate, selective erase and the image database function - I discovered that they'd been using most of the features since I introduced FullShot to them. Active use of these sorts of features by real writers and documentation experts is the highest compliment of all.

Cons: There is nothing wrong with this software! Inbit has not overloaded the product with programming and feature bloat. The company should continue to find ways to make the software even faster than it is now (which is to say very fast), keep the size of the background kernel small, etc. You may find one or two incompatibilities with other programs but after doing screen, window, dialog and freehand captures in over 60 different programs, I couldn't find a problem.

Pros: FullShot Professional Edition is an exceedingly handy graphic capture program with a useful selection of editing and image organization tools - very handy for keeping individual documentation projects well organized. FullShot Pro definitely has a place in any department that prepares training materials or user manuals or security information and on the computer of every writer, web designer and documentation translator. The Standard Edition is almost as good. Highly recommended.




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