Desktop toolkit

This little toolkit packs lots of neat stuff in a small package.

Capture .NET Free sounds like it might involve white-coated men carrying butterfly nets, but in fact it's a screen capture utility you'd be crazy not to try. That's just the beginning for this useful little toolkit, though. It also packs a calendar, analog clock, lunar phase display, and expandable ruler in its compact interface. There's a useful backup expert, too, as well as a file shredder, password and quick-launch tools, Post-it Notes, font manager, and still more, all in a portable freeware application that's only 716KB in size.

Capture .NET Free's interface is about the size of a credit card on the screen, with the clock face and calendar displayed on a draggable, semiopaque background that became opaque when we clicked on it. The analog clock face also displays the time digitally as well as the day and date. We could stretch out the ruler along the bottom of the program's interface as well as reduce it to just a slender ruler or restore the full interface with small buttons. We noticed numbers changing in the upper border as we moved the mouse; a plotter displayed our cursor's onscreen position on the X and Y axes. The calendar is the familiar scroll-through type, while clicking the date display above the analog clock face let us select day, month, or year. Hovering the cursor over the left edge produced more surprises in the form of a pop-up toolbar accessing a flexible screen-capture tool as well as a color sampler, a file converter, a wizardlike backup expert, an onscreen pencil, and a magnifier. Right-clicking the interface gave us access to more tools, including Post-it Notes, lunar phases, and an alarm clock, as well as the program's options like colors, skins, opacity, and which buttons and features to display. Although it's a portable application, we could also configure Capture.NET to run at start-up by selecting a profile path and choosing our start-up options. A system tray icon let us quickly access the program and its menu.

Capture .NET Free reminds us of those wallet gadgets that manage to pack a bunch of useful tools into the space of a credit card. Since it's free, it keeps your wallet bulky, too, and keeps its tools on your desktop where you need them.

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