Capture.NET is the Swiss army knife of PC desktop tools

June 10, 2015 – 09:17 by in Tips Print Share No Comment

Capture.NETCapture.NET started life more than ten years ago as a simple screen capture tool. But then the developer began to expand it, with a clock, timer, calendar tools, text notes, program launcher, magnifier, screen ruler, backup tool and more.

That’s not bad, especially as the end result is portable, ultra-lightweight (a single 1.4MB executable) and free for personal use. But can this kind of all-in-one tool really replace more specialist programs? We took a look.

Capture.NET gets off to a good start, its compact interface displaying a clock, calendar and screen ruler. Right-clicking gives you a “Clock Mode” option which displays a transparent analogue clock only, a neat desktop gadget on its own.

There are several other useful clock features. Double-click and you’re able to set multiple actions to run daily, weekly or on selected days of the week. By default these are alarms, but you can also have the program shut down, restart or switch your PC to standby, synchronize your clock, launch some custom applications and more.

Capture.NET

Capture.NET’s interface is tiny, but right-clicking gives easy access to its many features

The Timer is another plus, a convenient stopwatch with various features (count up, count down, optional alarm).

The core of the program remains its screen capture tool. This impresses immediately with its lengthy list of capture types (window/ object, region, freehand, fixed-size, scrolling, full screen), as well as an Auto Capture feature which automatically captures a defined area of the screen every X (5-59) seconds.

Your image can then be tweaked with a built-in editor. There are simple bitmap drawing tools (oval, rectangle, arrow, line, text), a few effects (Diffuse, Emboss, Sharpen, Smooth, Spotlight), text watermarks and a few neat presentation tricks (shadows, torn edges).

Elsewhere, the “Post-It” module has enough features to be useful: you can create text notes, print them, optionally add an alarm time, even protect them with a password.

The “Backup Expert” isn’t so well-named. It’s a very simple backup tool with options to save your favourites/ feeds (IE, Chrome, Firefox), mail (Outlook Express, Windows Mail, Outlook) or custom folders. The implementation is dubious, with the program trying to alter our Registry via Regedit for an Outlook backup, and then crashing when we didn’t give permission.

The remaining tools work more or less as you’d expect. There’s a colour picker, a magnifier, a very basic batch image converter/ resizer and a Quick Launch where you can run your chosen applications or commands.

Capture.NET isn’t quite as good as the developer thinks it is, but the screen capture and clock functions are enough to justify the download, and the Post-It notes feature may be useful, too. Give it a try.

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