Documenting configurations using screen capture

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John Gray
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Documenting configurations using screen capture

Post by John Gray »

I need to document the myriad settings screen from various bits of equipment like cable modems (SuperHub, since you ask) and Netgear routers.

These consist in a central section of settings which may extend lower than the current screen (but not more than two screens-ful), and they have a coloured background to left and right, top and bottom.

I just want to extract the central settings section on each screen, and save it either as a graphic (or preferably as text, but I doubt a screen capture program will do OCR!).

There will be LOTS of these screens, so the more automated the process can be the better.

What suggestions for a product that will do this? FastStone Capture? Snagit? Something else?

Thanks!
John Gray

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Rus
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Re: Documenting configurations using screen capture

Post by Rus »

This is old (not updated since 2007) but runs nice yet in Windows 7 Pro 64 bit.
I have not found anything else like it.
http://www.snapfiles.com/downloads/Wink/dlWink.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

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HansV
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Re: Documenting configurations using screen capture

Post by HansV »

I assume it's not feasible to select the text, then copy/paste it into a Word document or similar?

There are screen capture programs that can perform OCR, such as Capture2Text (open source, free) and Abbyy Screenshot Reader (commercial, with free trial), but as far as I can tell they don't capture areas larger than the screen.

Popular screen capture programs such as FastStone Capture, SnagIt and ScreenPresso can capture scrolling windows, but don't offer OCR. They do have configurable keyboard shortcuts. Which to choose? I think it comes down to personal preference...
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Re: Documenting configurations using screen capture

Post by Rudi »

HansV wrote:Popular screen capture programs such as FastStone Capture, SnagIt and ScreenPresso can capture scrolling windows...
Hans, its great to see you promoting Screenpresso :grin:
I'm a fan of Screenpresso and can unbiasedly say that this app has the best, and easiest scrolling screen capture process!
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Rudi

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John Gray
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Re: Documenting configurations using screen capture

Post by John Gray »

Rus: Thanks for tipping me the WInk - I will try it.

Hans: I have tried highlighting the text of the configuration settings and copying/pasting this into a Word document, but the end result tends to be a mess of embedded tables, within which there is compressed text, screwed-up formatting, and missing or unticked tick-boxes or radio buttons.

Rudi: when you say "rolling screen", my configuration screens do not roll. In some instances they extend over more than one physical screen, and have to be paged down to see the lower half, or third, or similar. I would want the screen capture utility to do the paging down 'automatically' (either physically or logically) to capture the details below the bottom of the first screenful.
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HansV
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Re: Documenting configurations using screen capture

Post by HansV »

I assume that if a configuration screen is taller than the physical screen, it has a vertical scrollbar. The term "scrolling screen capture" refers to the application automatically using this scrollbar to move down the page until the entire page has been captured. Here is an example (heavily reduced in size) from FastStone Capture:
S0256.png
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Hans

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Re: Documenting configurations using screen capture

Post by Rudi »

Hi John,

From Screenpresso side:
See this video on how to produce a scrolling screen capture.
And another one capturing a bigger area.


Using this app, you activate scrolling screen capture.
While in this mode, you drag the the scroll bar (intermittently releasing it) as many times as needed.
Then right click on the screen to end the screen capture.
The stitching of the successive scrolling is automatically done and you are presented with the full image.
Last edited by Rudi on 12 Sep 2013, 06:08, edited 1 time in total.
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HansV
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Re: Documenting configurations using screen capture

Post by HansV »

Your link doesn't work for me, perhaps because it contains a session number.
But having to drag the scrollbar manually seems rather primitive to me. FastStone Capture drags the scrollbar fully automatically, with excellent results.
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Hans

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Re: Documenting configurations using screen capture

Post by Rudi »

Sorry...I didn't notice the modified address (behind a firewall at my current location!)
I updated the original post.
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Re: Documenting configurations using screen capture

Post by Rudi »

HansV wrote:But having to drag the scrollbar manually seems rather primitive to me.
Not really! I actually prefer it to FastStone as I can control the speed and amount of scroll. (It's probably a personal thing... :smile: )
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Re: Documenting configurations using screen capture

Post by HansV »

You can specify the auto-scrolling speed in FastStone Capture. Anyway, as you mention, it's a personal thing...
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Hans

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Re: Documenting configurations using screen capture

Post by Rudi »

HansV wrote:You can specify the auto-scrolling speed in FastStone Capture. Anyway, as you mention, it's a personal thing...
I have worked myself through MANY screen capture apps. I use it extensively in my work. My favourite for some time was FastStone but I could never get that autoscroll process down, strangely! I eventually migrated to Screenpresso (not for scrolling screen capture), but for the VERY nice image editor and the great tools to annotate the capture. If Faststone upgraded their editor with better annotation features, I'd probably go back to them as I really liked their app.

I have got used to Screenpresso now and the scroll screen capture works great for me. Bottom line in my choice between these apps is the editor and annotation options...so I am sticking with Screenpresso until Faststone updates theirs!

Cheers
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John Gray
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Re: Documenting configurations using screen capture

Post by John Gray »

Looks like I mistook the meaning of 'rolling screen'. It would seem to be the same as 'needed-to-be-scrolled-to-see-all-the-detail screen'!

I will work through several of the suggestions, even the 2001 WinGrab!
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John Gray
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Re: Documenting configurations using screen capture

Post by John Gray »

I'm just trying Screenpresso. It crashed on installation, but I got a response from their Support in 2 hrs 10 mins, saying to (re-)install .NET 4.5. Having done this, it installed fine.

But I am still working out how to do a "Screenshot using autoscroll", and am stuck at how to select the part of the screen that I want to extend downwards. Win+Shift+PrtScr doesn't seem to "do" anything, and the usual selection mechanisms just seem to select text. Now to find the help function! (The YouTube videos didn't help at all...)

Later:
I uninstalled Screenpresso and downloaded the portable version of Faststone Capture, and got the results I wanted in about three minutes.
Last edited by John Gray on 12 Sep 2013, 19:06, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Documenting configurations using screen capture

Post by HansV »

Rudi is our resident ScreenPresso enthusiast/expert - I'm sure he'll be able to help you.
Regards,
Hans

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Re: Documenting configurations using screen capture

Post by StuartR »

John Gray wrote:...
I uninstalled Screenpresso and downloaded the portable version of Faststone Capture, and got the results I wanted in about three minutes.
I regularly use Faststone Capture to capture scrolling regions. It is intuitive and easy to use, and seems quite reliable.
StuartR


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Re: Documenting configurations using screen capture

Post by Rudi »

John Gray wrote:Later: I uninstalled Screenpresso and downloaded the portable version of Faststone Capture, and got the results I wanted in about three minutes.
:laugh: - It's all in a days work!!!
Glad you came right John.
Between FastStone and Screenpresso, I guess we are covered for any scenario.
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Re: Documenting configurations using screen capture

Post by Dave Davison »

Having just had to replace my old computer i need to reinstall progs like iWisoft; DVD Smith; VLC player; AShampoo and FastStone Capture, please point me to a link where I can find a free download of the latter as the -so called- free ones I have tried turn out NOT to be free but have a 30 day time limit. Thanks Dave.

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Re: Documenting configurations using screen capture

Post by Rudi »

Try here for some good stuff. Just do a search in the thread.

A piece of good advice is to always try loctate the Software Owner and access their site. They usually provide the download without any junkware that comes with it.
For example:
- VLC Player
- FastStone Capturer

I like to use the site called SnapFiles as they publish the Owners website and it makes it easy to download from there.
2014-01-20_17h15_53.jpg
Another good site to browse for software and get alternatives to apps that you may want to test is: AlternativeTo. A very nice site that also gives easy access to the owners site.
2014-01-20_17h19_08.jpg
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