Level-up your screenshots game, with ShareX helping you automate the difficult stuff.

After being a long time fan of good-old Faststone fscapture for taking screenshots, I was chatting to some colleagues on Slack and Ronald pointed out ShareX.

There is a LOT to like about ShareX, it's open source and based on .NET, it's tiny and uses very very little memory when running in the background. I also have a huge problem with the UI and UX, there is just SO much in there and it's all weirdly organized, and it just gets overwhelming. At least fscapture had a bad UI but there was not a lot in it, so it didn't matter as much.

Screenshot of the ShareX tray menu with over a dozen menu items that each have dozens of menu items under them

Look at it! All I need is an app to take screenshots, why on earth is there a "Hash check", "Directory Indexer" and a "DNS changer" changer in there?

Anyway... I had tried ShareX a few years ago and I couldn't replicate my very specific workflow from fcapture well enough. But, always curious and open-minded, I decided to try again. And this time, it stuck!

So, what is my specific workflow, you ask? 

I have a few requirements:

  1. I don't want to open any image editors, get confirmations that I made a screenshot, no nothing, just do it and don't tell me about it, I'll check later
  2. Save any screenshot in a predetermined folder where I can find it easy, with a filename containing date and time so I can sort quickly
  3. Pop that screenshot on my clipboard immediately after, I am most likely taking a screenshot to send it to someone on Slack, GitHub, Discord, etc.; I'm using Ditto so I am not fearing it will overwrite some text that I copied and needed to go with the image

That's it! 

Screenshot of ShareX settings highlighting that "Copy to clipboard" and "Save Image To File" is selected

There are hundreds of things you can configure in ShareX, like automatically uploading each capture to the cloud, then copying the URL or a QR code (guess it's useful for.. someone?), even scripting through which you write the code to do something with each captured image. 

However, after configuring it "just so", I found that it does exactly what I need it to do and I can just forget about all the other things, they don't get in my way any more.

If you have similar requirements to mine, please do start with importing my settings first, it took me ages to hunt down the things to make it get out of my way (especially the enormous notification after capturing any image). After importing my settings you'll want to change the path where all screenshots are being saved:

Screenshot of ShareX main window after tapping "Application Settings" > "Paths..", with the screenshots folder location higlighted

And yes, the image editor in ShareX is really nice to make quick annotations like the arrow and the red box in the screenshot above.

For all my complaining, I will admit that ShareX is an app made exactly for me, someone who likes to endlessly tinker until they get the exact setup they need. However, I wish there was a more "friendly" version, with all of the weird extras stripped out, available as plugins, and with a clean configuration screen. One day, maybe. 

I still wholeheartedly recommend it though, ShareX has not crashed on me yet (unlike fscapture) and it gets out of my way, just the way I like it.

Sebastiaan Janssen
Sebastiaan Janssen