Everyone, at one time or other, will need a screenshot capture tool. Windows provides the [PrtScr] keyboard shortcut for capturing the entire screen to the clipboard, while Windows 8 users can hold [Win] + [PrtScr] to dump a screenshot in the Pictures\Screenshots folder on their hard drive. There’s also the Snipping Tool, built into versions of Windows since Vista.

If you want something a little simpler to use, yet more versatile, then Lightscreen is well worth checking out. It places itself in the System Tray for easy access, and offers six configurable options via hotkeys. You can upload your screenshots to imgur.com (or simply save them on your hard drive), and there’s an integrated preview window to let you vet your screenshot before saving it.

Once installed, the app will open at its Options screen – from here set your default save directory, filename and file type (JPG, PNG or BMP). Switch to the Hotkeys tab to set up the various keyboard triggers for capturing. Lightscreen lets you capture the entire screen, a selected area, the active window or – from version 2 – a selected window from those shown.

Use the Options tab to fine-tune its settings and enable a preview (300 pixels by default) of your captures, then click OK to get started. From here it’s simply a case of using the small pop-up window, pressing the requisite hotkeys or triggering Lightscreen from its System tray icon.

Lightscreen is a simple, lightweight tool with some clever touches – as you select part of the screen for an area-based capture you’re shown the dimensions of your capture, plus can resize or move it before accepting or rejecting the shot.

There is room for improvement – there’s no option for including the screen cursor in your capture, for example, but Lightscreen already has the makings of an incredibly useful tool for taking those all-important screenshots.

Version 2.2 brings (Changelog):

Added support for multiple upload services, starting with pomf clones.
Drag & drop screenshots right out of the Preview Window!
Performance, fixes and misc improvements.

Verdict

A lightweight and relatively simple tool for taking screenshots, Lightning could become a classic with more development.