Recommendation on Screenshot Capture to Automatically Prompt for Comment, Then Save to Disk

Looking for a freeware screenshot capture program for W7 / W10 to:
  • Capture entire screen upon Print Screen button
  • Automatically Prompt the user for a comment, such that they don't have to bring up an image editing program in a UI
  • Then save to disk (jpg, png, etc.)  upon completion of the comment.

I'm attempting to collect feedback from a large number of employees about issues they have with a particular program.
All the machines are cloned and set up identically.
I anticipate writing some light code to then FTP (or maybe programatically email) the file once created.

The old ScreenPrint32 did the comment capture part perfectly for prints (but wouldn't capture this for saved files).  It just popped up a fill in the blank box upon the trigger (Prt Scr button) and as soon as the user hit the OK button on the comments, everything was done.  No more interaction.  Unfortunately, ScreenPrint32 is a little flaky under W10 even when run in compatibility mode for XP sp2.

Something like Greenshot (my fav) saves it nicely, but you have to interact with an image editing program to add a comment.  No bueno.
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Joe WinogradDeveloperCommented:
A few questions to clarify requirements:
Automatically Prompt the user for a comment
What should be done with the comment?
Then save to disk
What should the file name be? What folder should it be stored in?
jpg, png, etc.
Should the user have the choice of image type? If not, which image type do you want?

Regards, Joe
can the snipping tool not be used?
make a shortcut on the desktop to start
nosliwde99Author Commented:
Thanks for the questions.
  • The comment the user enters should be placed above the image...if screen is 1024 x 768, then perhaps the image size becomes 1024 x 798 to add 30 pixels for a line of text.
  • Filename is not particularly important.  A timestamp to include seconds could work.  If it had the machinename also, that would be better.
  • On the image type, a compressed format like jpg or png would be fine.  I'd want to avoid the larger bmp.

The snipping tool requires too much user interaction.  I want  
  1. Hit 'print screen button'  
  2. Type comments  
  3. Hit Ok button on comments.

...and  no other actions the user has to take.
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you could automate the actions needed, with macro, or programming
Shaun VermaakTechnical SpecialistCommented:
Use ShareX. You can create workflows
Joe WinogradDeveloperCommented:
Where should the image be stored? Desktop? Local folder (what name)? Network folder (what name)? Somewhere else?
Shaun VermaakTechnical SpecialistCommented:
Locations can be set with an "After capture task" in ShareX. It can even be imgur, Dropbox, etc.
Joe WinogradDeveloperCommented:
Thanks, Shaun, although that question was for nosliwde99, as I'm working on a custom script to do it and need to know where to store the image. Regards, Joe

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Shaun VermaakTechnical SpecialistCommented:
Thank you, Joe. I will leave it up to OP to decide if my comments are useful or not.
Joe WinogradDeveloperCommented:
> if my comments are useful or not

I'm sure they are. I don't use ShareX, but from its website I can see that it is quite robust, along the lines of Greenshot. Regards, Joe
Joe WinogradDeveloperCommented:
Hi nosliwde,
I'm a big fan of the (free) AutoHotkey language for automation tasks like this. You can compile it into a stand-alone EXE file for deployment to your large number of employees so that AutoHotkey does not have to be installed on any of their computers (only on yours for development). If you're not familiar with the language, this Experts Exchange article will get you started on it:
AutoHotkey - Getting Started

And these other EE articles have sample AutoHotkey code (working scripts, actually) that should be helpful in getting comfortable with the language:
How to copy the short link of an ID at Experts Exchange to the clipboard with a single keystroke
How to solve the problem of incorrect System Uptime being reported when a system has been up for a long time (approximately 50 days or more)
How to create an on/off toggle to mute the system audio/sound with a single mouse click or single keystroke

Using AutoHotkey, here's my approach to a script that provides the solution you're looking for:

(1) The script, which I'm calling AutoScreenshot, intercepts the PrintScreen key (and Alt+PrintScreen, in case your users want to capture just the active/focus window).

(2) It does a PrintScreen (or Alt+PrintScreen), placing the screenshot on the clipboard.

(3) It displays an input box that allows users to enter a comment. It also has a Cancel button on the input box so users can exit if they decide not to save the screenshot. The dialog looks like this:

AutoScreenshot comment
(4) It calls the AutoHotkey Gdip library (free) to retrieve the screenshot from the clipboard and it places the comment as a caption on the image. Gdip is available here:

Scripts that utilize Gdip to add a caption (free) are available here and are easily incorporated into AutoScreenshot:

(5) AutoScreenshot saves the captioned image to disk with a file name in this format (I chose JPG, but it could be PNG, or many other image formats):


I have a test version of AutoScreenshot already working. The comment dialog shown above is from that script and here's the result of a test:

The name of that file is:


Of course, it can be in any folder that you want. Regards, Joe
nosliwde99Author Commented:
(Interim response)
Our approaches on this are in sync.  I'll explain in a sec.

Location:  pretty much any location on the c: is fine.  I'll ultimately use something like:  "C:\AdminUtil\ScreenCapturesTemp"

I don't have any experience with AutoHotKey, but I've pretty extensively used AutoIt, including putting watermarks on images with <GDIPlus.au3> functions.  (_GDIPlus_WatermarkImage)   This worked great under W7 but have had issues in W10 that I've not done the troubleshooting on yet.

Overall approach has been that I've been hoping to avoid scripting something up.  If I do, I'll probably create a GUI, display the image just captured, ask for their message, offer cancel and send buttons.  If I choose to send it ftp, then I've already done the background work and it's super simple.  Or I may encrypt the jpg (while very unlikely, may possibly have patient data on it) and send it via email, which gets me cc recipients.

My next step is to look at ShareX more.  Ran into a snag with the portable version registering keys.  Will have more time available to look at it this evening.
Joe WinogradDeveloperCommented:
Hi nosliwde99 (please let us know your first name...feels strange addressing you this way),

> pretty much any location on the c: is fine

Whatever you's a trivial change in the script.

> I don't have any experience with AutoHotKey, but I've pretty extensively used AutoIt

They're similar scripting languages. In fact, AutoHotkey is a fork of AutoIt. They've gone their separate ways since the fork, but still retain similarities.

> putting watermarks on images with <GDIPlus.au3> functions

Great that you have experience with calls to GDIPlus.au3 functions. My script makes calls to the comparable Gdip.ahk.

> This worked great under W7 but have had issues in W10 that I've not done the troubleshooting on yet.

Haven't had problems with Gdip.ahk on W10.

> Overall approach has been that I've been hoping to avoid scripting something up.

Then perhaps Shaun's suggestion of ShareX is the way to go. Btw, I finished my AutoHotkey script and it is working perfectly on both W7 and W10; both 32-bit and 64-bit; both from source code (AHK) and compiled (EXE). Regards, Joe
nosliwde99Author Commented:
Looks like I will need to put in additional functionality that requires me to script this.  
What have you already put together Joe?
Joe WinogradDeveloperCommented:
Hi Ed (much better!),
What have you already put together Joe?
I've already put together a complete solution (written in AutoHotkey) that does everything you've asked far. :)

It also has two features beyond what you've requested. First, it also allows pressing the Alt+PrintScreen key, which captures the active/focus window rather than the entire screen (all screens in a multi-monitor configuration), the latter being what the PrintScreen key does without Alt. Second, it allows the output file to be specified as any of the following (thanks to using the Gdip library):

Looks like I will need to put in additional functionality
What additional functionality do you need? Regards, Joe
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