When I’m writing blog entries that need a pic, writing user docs, or entering bugs, all I really want is a screenshot of a particular window. I then busily find myself trying all combinations of ???-PrtSc trying to figure out which combination gives me the active window rather than the entire desktop. I’ve been using Cropper for awhile, which is great when you need part of a screen region, but most of the time, I need the whole window. So I end up resizing the clipping window until I grab the correct region. Then haul in Paint.NET to tidy things up.

Well no more! Window Clippings 1.0 by Kenny Kerr grabs whatever window region you want. It sits quietly in the system tray until you double-click its icon. Then the entire screen dims. You click on the window you want and it lights up. A double-click then sends it to the clipboard, a configurable folder (with an intelligent filename based on the window title), and/or OneNote. It can output BMP, PNG, or JPG. Even better, it grabs the window region, not the window rectangle. So if you’ve got a non-rectangular window such as Windows Media Player or WinAmp, it stencils out the non-application portions. Even with rectangular windows in Windows XP, it takes care of the rounded upper corners and eliminates the background. With BMP or JPG, it fills it with a configurable colour. With PNG, it uses an alpha channel and makes it transparent! Here is a PNG of the Windows Media Player QuickSilver skin. (IE6 and earlier don’t handle the alpha channel in PNGs correctly. So you’ll see a light blue background around the image below. If you Right-click… Save As… and view it in Windows Picture and Fax Viewer, Paint.NET, or similar program, you’ll see that it in fact has an alpha channel. FireFox renders the alpha channel properly and I hear that IE7 does too, though I haven’t tried it personally.)

Window Clippings is just plain awesome. I’ll keep Cropper around for when I need parts of a window, but Window Clippings is my new favourite screen capture tool. Props to Scott Hanselman for pointing me to both of these great tools.