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How To Make Screenshots and Post them in a Thread

Sun Oct 30, 2016 5:08 pm

I posted this once in the AACW forum, but it didn't get stickied and I'm always having to search it out again.

UPDATE: 2016-Nov-2 - Added description of how to use Photobucket to post illustrations. Scroll down to Posting Illustrations with Photobucket.

Since I've heard the question asked a number of times and I don't really want to repeat myself again and again, I thought I'd put this together here once and for all, and by all I mean everybody ;) .

With every Windows version there have been different ways to make screenshots, but why struggle with MS tools when there is a better solution and that is a nice piece of freeware called Greenshot, which was developed on SourceForge.

Greenshot is a fairly simple, but very effective tool for making screenshots. Download it through the above link and install in normally.

Greenshot Settings

There are a couple of things that you should set in Greenshot to make taking screenshots as simple as possible.

The first is organizational. Create a directory that you will always use for saving your screenshot. This will not be where they stay forever, but where you go to find them when you want to move them to a safe place for keeping and using again or just organizing them per project.

Now lets start configuring Greenshot.

You will probably want to have Greenshot be loaded with Windows start up. This makes it available at all times and not just when you think you may want to make screenshot.

Now you will want to define a few hotkeys so that you can take screenshot of any program without having to actually touch Greenshot. Note: the keys in the illustration below are in German, because I work on a German keyboard Image

These are the setting I use (I've written out the English key names), but YMMV:

  • Capture full screen: Print
  • Capture window: Alt + Print
  • Capture region: Ctrl + Print (more to this neat function later :) )
  • Capture last region: Ctrl + Shift + Print


Now some interesting settings.

  • Capture the mouse pointer: Usually you will not see the mouse pointer in screenshots. But often you will want to use the mouse pointer to point at something in your screenshot. This will spare you having to use a graphical editor to add an arrow to point at what you want to bring attention to.
  • Play camera sound: Purely preferential, but if it's turned on, you will know that your screenshot is in the bag.
  • Show notifications: I leave this off, because I don't want the little pop-up coming up from the system tray every time I make a screenshot.
  • Show magnifier: This is used when capturing a region. I find it very useful, and if I don't need it it basically moves itself out of the way anyways.
The rest if preferential.


Now lets put that directory that we created into place.

Storage location: That directory.
Filename pattern: This is important, because you want to be able to sort out which screenshot came from what and when without necessarily having to open each and every one. This is a very usable pattern: "HardCopy_${YYYY}${MM}${DD}_${hh}${mm}${ss}-${title}" without the quote-marks.
Image format: jpg is good because it is highly compressed compared to other graphical formats and is useable practically everywhere.
Copy file path: is only interesting if you have directory names imbedding in to your file name pattern.
JPEG quality: Always use the best possible. You can always downsize the quality later if necessary.


And the last settings you will need.

Save directly: Selecting this and nothing else and all your screenshots will land in the directory you entered above.


Making screenshot is now as simple as can be. Just hit <Print> and you get a screenshot of your entire desktop, <Alt><Print> of just the window that you are in.

And now for the magic. Pressing <Cntl><Print> will open a dialog over the desktop (which means the game if you are playing in full-screen-mode). That big circle with the cross-hairs is the magnifier we setup above. It magnifies the small cross-hairs that are just to the upper-left of the magnification. This allows you to pick exactly where the corners of the screenshot will be, which will save you time cropping large screenshots down or your posting huge screenshot with only a small areas that are of interest.


Now hold the left-mouse-button and drag from one corner of the area you want to capture to the opposite corner --notice that the magnifier moves out of the way of the capture area automatically giving you optimal view of the area-- and then just release the mouse button.


And there you have it, your pre-cropped screenshot is now in your screenshot directory.


But how do you get that screenshot into a post? I suggest using a picture hoster an the best one I know of is PhotoBucket. Accounts are free and allow you to use a lot of space. Plus you can configure your account to offer links to your screenshots in BBL format, the format that the forum uses, so that you just copy the offered link text into your post and that is where your picture will appear.

On top of that, PhotoBucket doesn't downsize your pictures, neither while uploading them nor when they are displayed in the forum. If they're smaller in the forum, it a function of the forum and clicking on the "smaller" screenshot will open it full size.

There you go. Now it's not a mystery anymore. Go out and make some nice screenys :thumbsup:


Posting Illustrations with Photobucket

Photobucket is an excellent picture hosting site. It allows for uploading picture files in standard formats, such as JPG, BMP, PNG, and GIF, and will not shrink your uploads, nor recode them, and will allow you to post them directly into standard BBCODE forums, such as this one, in their original size, regardless of that size.

Note: The forum may change their display itself, but that has nothing to do with Photobucket being the actual host of the files.

Creating an account is free, and from my years of experience, there is not need to pay increasing your account. I have been using Photobucket for about 10 years now, and I am only now close to reaching 1/4 of my allowed capacity, and I often upload very large screenshots.

I strongly suggest you consider the folder structure you use in your Photobucket Library first before starting to upload pictures, as moving them from one folder to another later, will break the URL links to them, and any pictures you have already posted to a forum will have their links broken.

Start with something like project name for the top levels; eg CW2 for Civil War 2, WON for Wars of Napoleon, Smilies for smilesy, etc.

Under these you can create sub-albums relating to subject matter, such as under CW2 - Disappearing in FOW. This way it is easy to order your uploads to be easily found again.

Once you have your account set up, you might consider adding links adding some setting to make using Photobucket even easier. Go to the upper right corner of the page and click on your account icon ---unless you've added an avatar, it will only show the silhouette of a head--- to open the account menu, and click on 'Settings'.


In the Settings menu click on the 'Albums' tab. Here on the left side under 'Links' you will find a number of options to include pre-configured links in different formats for different applications. I would suggest configuring 'IMG code' and 'Turn on easy linking mode'.


Now when you upload your pictures to the selected folder in your Library, you will see something like this


Click on the text under 'IMG' and press <Ctrl><C> to copy the link text to your clipboard and simply insert into your post with <Ctrl><V>

Code: Select all


The above BBCODE IMG markup text will be displayed in the forum like this:



Feel free to ask question or creative critiques.
Last edited by Captain_Orso on Wed Nov 02, 2016 8:15 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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Re: How To Make Screenshots and Post them in a Thread

Sun Oct 30, 2016 6:02 pm

Stickie Dis! :papy:
"Ludus non nisi sanguineus"


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Re: How To Make Screenshots and Post them in a Thread

Mon Oct 31, 2016 6:40 am

Gut, sehr gut. Das was ich brauche.

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Re: How To Make Screenshots and Post them in a Thread

Mon Oct 31, 2016 11:30 am

Ausgezeichnet Image

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Re: How To Make Screenshots and Post them in a Thread

Mon Oct 31, 2016 1:32 pm

Stickied per you command, oh mighty bear....

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Re: How To Make Screenshots and Post them in a Thread

Mon Oct 31, 2016 1:36 pm

Thank you, master Image

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Re: How To Make Screenshots and Post them in a Thread

Tue Nov 15, 2016 7:06 pm

This is very helpful. Thank you.

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