Screen Capture Utility (SCU) Pro Review
Whether you are a newcomer or a veteran when it comes to using a computer, there may well be times when you need to capture what your computer screen displays. You may need to do this for various purposes, such as educational or business purposes. Fortunately, the Windows operating system, by default, does provide users with the ability to capture what is displayed on their computer screen. In order to do this, the users simply have to hit the [PrintScreen] key on their keyboard.
The PrintScreen Function
However, there are often times when this default screen capture function provided by Windows turns out to be inadequate. For an example, imagine that you are about to perform a presentation for your business clients. So, before you start, needless to say, you have already made sure that everything is well prepared, including the external display to use and how you will be using it to display your presentation. For those who are not aware just yet, there are several methods you can use in order to display your presentation on the external display. One of these methods, the one which I often think most effective and professional-looking as well, is to extend your computer display to the external display. With this method, you can view the PowerPoint – assuming that you use the Microsoft PowerPoint application to perform your presentation – slides along with any notes you have written down so that you won’t forget what you will have to say to your audiences (in this case, your business clients). On the other hand, you will remain looking professional to your audiences as the external display will only show the slides without the notes.
Now, imagine that you happen to have the need to capture what is being displayed on your computer screen. In this case, if you hit the [PrintScreen] key, rest assured you will not end up capturing what is displayed on your computer screen but on the external display instead. This is when you may find such an application as the Screen Capture Utility (SCU) Pro handy.
The Screen Capture Utility (SCU) Pro is an application intended to help you perform the screen capture that the default PrintScreen function on Windows may not be able to help you with. In addition to that, SCU Pro also allows you to add watermark to the image of the screen you want captured.
Speaking of watermark, it can be pretty useful if, say, you want to let people know that a certain image or work of art is your creation. For example, you can place watermark with something like the copyright symbol (©) with your name next to it. This way, other people may refrain from using your work.
Fortunately, SCU Pro allows you to place either text or image watermark. Better yet, it even lets you place both of them altogether. When you choose to place both text and image watermarks, you will be given the option whether you want to place your text watermark on top of the image one or the other way round. Also, if you favor transparency, you can choose to make your image watermark transparent.
Ease of Use
Yet, no matter how many features an application offers you, in the end, what will turn out to be the most important thing is that whether or not it is easy to use. Well, honestly, SCU Pro is not at all that hard to use. As a matter of fact, you will even be provided with a brief instruction just when you are about to perform your screen capture.
When you first run SCU Pro, you will see the main screen where you can adjust all the watermarking options available. As mentioned earlier, you can choose to place either text or image watermark. Better yet, you can even choose to place both of them on the screen you are going to capture. In order to choose which type of watermark you want to use, simply tick the corresponding checkboxes.
Now, notice that if you tick both the text and image watermark checkboxes, you will also be able to choose how you want to stack the watermarks. You can choose to place image above text or text above image – which is particularly useful if your image watermark is in a format other than PNG.
Yet, if you choose to place image above text, you may want to adjust the opacity value of your image. Remember that you will be better off choosing an image that is in the PNG format in this case.
Text Watermark Options
If you choose text as your watermark, you will be able to choose from several options. You can choose what font to use, to start with. The font list displays all the fonts installed on your system. Besides the font name, you can set how big or small you want the font to be by specifying a corresponding value in the size box.
In addition to that, you also get to choose the formatting style you would like to use for your font. There are four styles available, which are, bold, italic, underline, and strikeout. However, if you change your mind and do not want to apply any formatting styles in the end, all you have to do is click the broomstick icon to reset the formatting style to none.
Font color is another option available for SCU Pro users. In order to change the color, simply clicking on the color circle will do and the chosen color will then be displayed on the color box next to the circle for reference.
SCU Pro also lets the users choose where they want to place their text watermark. This can be achieved by simply specifying the x and y coordinates users want to display their text watermark on the screen they capture.
Unlike some other screen capture utility on the market, SCU Pro lets users place their text watermark in multiple lines instead of a single line. To enable this feature, users can tick the box that says ‘multiline text’.
Unfortunately, as of now, SCU Pro doesn’t seem to support the use of multiple formatting styles at the same time. For example, if you choose to use the ‘bold’ formatting style, you will not likely be able to use the ‘italic’ or any other formatting styles.
Keep in mind as well that some font types are just not compatible with certain formatting styles. The font ‘Monotype Corsiva’ is a good example in this case. You cannot use it with the ‘strikeout’ formatting style, for instance.
Image Watermark Options
As mentioned earlier, besides text, SCU Pro also allows you to place an image watermark. For image watermark, it has fewer options available. Unlike the text watermark, the image watermark simply comes with the options that allow you to change how transparent you want the image to be, how big or small you want it to be, and where you want to put it on the image of the captured screen.
In order to choose the image to use as your watermark, the ‘Load Picture’ button is quite self-explanatory. SCU Pro allows you to choose from several different file formats when it comes to loading your image. However, it is recommended to go for the PNG format if you think transparency matters.
The Screen Capture Rectangle
In order to start capturing your computer screen, you can click on the ‘Start Screen Capture’ button. SCU Pro will then give you a brief instructional message regarding how you can use the application to capture what is displayed on your computer monitor.
SCU Pro uses what is called as the ‘screen capture rectangle’, a semi-transparent rectangle with a greenish background that you can move around or resize to fit your needs. As said in the instructional message shown above, all you need to do to capture your computer screen is hit the [Enter] key.
However, should you change your mind and want to adjust the capturing options, you can always hit the [Esc] key and you will then be taken back to the main screen of this utility software.
For the convenience of the users, SCU Pro comes with a help file that you can access locally on your hard drive. The help file is in the widely used PDF format and you can view it by simply hitting the [F1] key within the application. Alternatively, you can click the Help | Instructions menu.
However, as with most other things, there may well be some rooms for improvements in the case of SCU Pro. For example, for the transparency feature provided for the image watermark mentioned earlier, it seems to work best if the image you choose to be your watermark is in the Portable Network Graphics (PNG) format. Well, however, it lets you choose among quite a few different file formats, though. But then again, other than the PNG format, the other image file formats do not really seem to support transparency after all.
Well, with less than ten bucks, SCU Pro may be worth considering. Yes, you heard it right, you can get a copy of the software with only $8 at the store of www.newsoffame.com.