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Awesome Screenshot

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CNET Editors' review

Awesome Screenshot: Capture and Annotate is a free extension for Google Chrome that adds a screen capture utility with a small built-in graphics app that lets you edit, annotate, and share captured images quickly and easily via a pop-up toolbar. Instead of opening two or three tools just to save a screen image, doctor it up, and e-mail it to your grateful friends, Awesome Screenshot can do the job in a few clicks.

Chrome extensions usually install virtually instantaneously, and Awesome Screenshot is no exception. Clicking the extension's icon called up a small dialog letting us save the entire page, the visible portion, or a selected area, though we quickly learned that we couldn't save selected areas of secure Web pages. Right-clicking the icon accesses the extension's properties, including a set of clear instructions on its Chrome page and the ability to set keyboard shortcuts for the tool's three capture functions. The real fun starts when you capture an image, which opens a toolbar at the top of the main window just below Chrome's toolbar. If you've used Photoshop or a digital snapshot editor, you'll recognize the crop, blur, text, and color picker tools as well as tools for adding rectangles, ellipses, lines, free lines, and arrows directly to the captured image. There's even an Undo button, and a Done button to save annotated images. We had a blast capturing and editing images and entire Web pages on the fly, but that's just the beginning; clicking Done displayed our final image with the option to save it locally or online, temporarily or permanently, at the publisher's site. The tool also lets you save captured images locally and upload them later to a sharing site. We didn't try the online storage and sharing option but like the idea, or at least the option.

With Awesome Screenshot: Capture and Annotate, your friends will never have to miss another hilariously doctored screen image because you didn't have the time or patience to open three different tools to save, edit, annotate and then save it again. Don't worry; Awesome Screenshot has plenty of productive uses, too, such as illustrating reports. We recommend it for both work and play.

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