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I'm creating an online tutorial for some software and need to include screenshots. In particular, I want to highlight the position and appearance of a given control in a large screen. Given that I haven't got the space to show the screen at full resolution (at least, not alongside the tutorial text), I figured I would use a kind of call-out from a thumbnail. Here's my poor first effort, made in Paint.NET:

Unzoomed call-out in a thumbnail

Given how long this took me to craft, I'd really like to find a tool to speed things up (and make them look a little more professional!). Preferably a free one, too - or one that has a downloadable trial. The exact style it produces isn't that important, provided it achieves the desired effect.

Can anyone help me out? I'm using Windows Vista.

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I'm now on Windows 8 and the question still applies! – Mal Ross Mar 18 '14 at 16:45

This would not be exactly what you need, but Camtasia (yes, trial available, ) has a zoom in feature, which is configurable, and which you can trigger (if Autozoom is on) with a hot key you can also configure. This way you zoom in there where you cursor is, at the moment you wish. :) Some people just capture all time zoomed, so, with Autopan on also, is like moving a loupe around the screen. But not everybody likes this effect. The zoom I explained in last paragraph seem perhaps better.

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