Creative captures

Capture and edit screen images with this feature-packed add-on.

There are plenty of times that screen captures come in handy; sometimes it's for something practical, like capturing an error message while you're in the process of troubleshooting, and sometimes it's as simple as wanting to share something funny with a friend. Aviary Screen Capture is an extension for Chrome that makes screen captures incredibly easily, and it boasts some pretty impressive extra features as well. This is by far the best image-capture utility we've come across.

The extension appears as a small icon to the right of Chrome's address bar, and taking a screen capture is as easy as clicking on the icon and selecting the option from a drop-down menu. The captured image opens in a new Chrome window along with a variety of editing options: users can crop images and insert arrows, lines, shapes, text, and more. But that's just the start. Using the extension's drop-down menu, users also have access to a suite of fairly serious image-editing tools from Aviary, including editors for color, effects, and vectors. All of it is Flash-based and takes place entirely within Chrome. Some of these tools might be a bit advanced for users without much previous image-editing experience, and there's no Help file per se, although Aviary's Web site does offer video tutorials for each tool. Overall, we were quite impressed with Aviary Screen Capture; it's easy to use and jam-packed with extra features.

Aviary Screen Capture is free. It installs and uninstalls without issues. We recommend this program to all users.

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