Wednesday, December 1, 1999

Two more screen capture utilities


By Frank McPherson

In my September article, I gave instructions on using CaptureCE to capture screenshots of your Windows CE device. Since that article, I have worked with two other programs that can also be used for capturing screenshots: SnapIt and StarTap.

SnapIt is a $12 shareware program from Xoanan Industries, LLC. It runs on Handheld and Handheld Professional PCs, including the HP Jornada 820 and its StrongARM CPU. When it's installed, a camera icon is added to the system tray, and initially the icon is crossed out, as shown in Figure A, indicating that SnapIt is disabled. To enable SnapIt, tap the camera icon and the red cross is removed.


SnapIt's camera icon is located in the system tray. Double tap it to open the program. (click for larger image)

Double-tapping the camera icon opens SnapIt's configuration dialog box, shown in Figure B. This dialog box shows the two benefits that SnapIt has over other screen capture programs. First, a key combination is assigned using the Shift, Ctrl, and Alt keys, providing the print screen key functionality. For more information on print screen functionality, see my article in the September 1999 issue.


SnapIt's configuration dialog box is used to define the key combination for capturing screenshots and specifying where to write the files. (click for larger image)

The second benefit is the "Base file name" field in the configuration dialog box. In that field you can specify the storage location and file name that SnapIt uses when storing the screenshot to a file. By specifying a storage card, as I have done in Figure B, the files are written to a CompactFlash memory card. If you have a CompactFlash reader, such as the SanDisk USB reader that I use, you can quickly copy the screenshot files to your PC. So far SnapIt is the only screenshot program that I have found that provides this function.

Swiss Army knife of Windows CE applications

Screenshots of dialog boxes and applications are easy to make using CaptureCE or SnapIt, but have you tried capturing the start menu? If you do, you will find that as soon as you tap CaptureCE's icon or use SnapIt's key combination the start menu closes, and you may get only part of the start menu. Hardly the desired result!

As far as I know, Thumbs Up! Software's StarTap is the only program that deals with this problem. StarTap is, in my opinion, the Swiss Army knife of Windows CE applications. It started life as an alternate to the Windows CE interface on Palm-sized PCs, but the folks at Thumbs Up! also packed it full of additional features. Chances are if Windows CE is missing something you need, StarTap fills the void. Handheld PC owners are not left out in the cold as Thumbs Up! has created a version of StarTap for them as well.