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I want to take screenprints and then be able to add a postbox effect to grey out all but a certain area of the screenshot. I wish I knew where I saw the example of this, they had screenshots in a tutorial and this effect made it all look so clear. I haven't able to find anything that does the same job.

Any ideas? Preferably freeware (I'm poor) and compatible with XP to Windows 7. Thanks for any suggestions in advance.

EDIT - for example, the "lights off" feature on tv.com. It dims the entire page, apart from the video itself. It add emphasis and that's effectively what I want to do with screenshots.

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5 Answers 5

up vote 4 down vote accepted

You can use the free version of FastStone Capture (in a slightly round-about way)...

  1. Take a screenshot
  2. Select the area to be highlighted with the Selection Rectangle
  3. Invert the selection (Ctrl + Shift + i)
  4. 'Ctrl + B' for 'Brightness Contrast Gamma' then reduce the brightness slider
  5. 'Ctrl + D' to remove the selection rectangle

If it's a colourful image you can also try 'Effect > Gray Scale' so only the highlighted rectangle is in colour.

Finished screenshot with highlighted paragraph

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I can see after a little bit of time, this is going to become one of my best friends. Just what I'm looking for. Great find, thanks. –  Kez Sep 9 '09 at 22:31

Already accepted an answer, but I have to admit that I found something a million times better.

Screenshot Captor

alt text

After trying nearly every screenshot tool under the sun, I found this to be the most comprehensive tool yet. It has the ability to grey out all BUT multiple selections of an image. This is exactly what I was looking for. Definitely worth a look, not just because of the feature set but because the guys behind the software are very active in development of the software, moving it forwards.

I just wish I stumbled on it sooner.

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http://greenshot.sourceforge.net/

Opensource, can do selected area, highlight with box, etc. directly copy to the clipboard, open paint editor directly, etc.

I used it everyday, very good program.

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Windows 7 has the built in problem step recorder you can use and I highly recommend Snagit. There are free alternatives that are almost to Snagits ease of use and ability but not there at least in my opinion.

Problem step recorder http://blogs.techrepublic.com.com/window-on-windows/?p=849

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ScreenHunter 5.0 is freeware that can screenshoot your entire screen, a selected area, or just the current window with the press of one button.

I don't know what the postbox effect is but I'm sure it is something you could add after the fact if it is necessary.

I like the file naming scheme in ScreenHunter. It is highly customizable.

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