As you may have read already, we’re in the midst of testing how viable it is to go Windows-free these days. The results so far have been extra alarming – if you’re Microsoft – because ChromeOS has become a very viable Windows replacement in a short period of time. Of course, Microsoft is less invested in Windows these days, too, and would rather make sure its other products work best on Android, Linux, and iOS. So, now is a great time to venture outside the Windows ecosystem to figure out if other options can work. And, considering that ChromeOS devices are generally a third the price of a comparable Windows or Mac device, it makes it a very enticing option.
We have a full series we’re writing up to cover all the bases, but in the interim, we’re releasing tidbits we’ve found here and there for those already using ChromeOS, or are thinking about it.
(You can run Windows apps on ChromeOS, by the way)
One of the cooler applications for the Windows environment is Snagit – the stay-resident tool designed to take granular screen captures and provide editing after-the-fact. It’s an excellent tool and probably one of the most used for anyone that works with documentation, blogs, or any project that needs custom images. But, unfortunately, Snagit is only provided for Windows and Mac environments (for now). So, how can one replicate this functionality on ChromeOS?
Enter a combination of tools: Nimbus Screenshot and Pixlr.
Nimbus Screenshot & Screen Video Recorder is available from the Chrome Store. Once installed it provides a right-click mouse option to capture what’s on the screen in various ways. Just like Snagit, you can capture the visible screen, opt for a small selection, or even automatically scroll and capture an entire web page. In fact, this scrolling option actually works better than Snagit’s capability for some reason.
After capturing the screen (or a portion of the screen), you can save it immediately, or opt to open the Nimbus editing window. The Nimbus image editor is not as full-featured as Snagit’s editor, hence, why Pixlr is needed, but if you just need to make slight modifications like changing the size or add text, it’s just fine.
But, when you need a full-fledged image editor, you need Pixlr.
Pixlr is available as both a web-based editor and an Android app. The Android app is fine in a pinch if you’re not connected to the web, but not as feature rich as the web-based editor.
Pixlr in the Google Play store: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.pixlr.express
Pixlr’s web-based editor: https://pixlr.com/web
Once you use Nimbus to capture the screen and save it to the local file system or the cloud, you can use Pixlr to open the saved image to make modifications. Pixlr will open images from the local system, from cloud storage facilities, or even by using just an URL.
Like most apps, Pixlr offers a free and a Pro version. Snagit (with a 1-year maintenance contract that includes free upgrades) will cost you around $70 per year. Pixlr Pro is around $50 for a year. However, for most, the free version of Pixlr is enough and can be used forever. However, if you’re an advanced Snagit user, the Pro version may be more what you’re looking for, considering the editing capabilities are far superior, doesn’t show annoying ads, and comes with an unlimited supply of stamps, themes, and image auto-enhancements.
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