Window Clippings 2.1: How to Capture Menus and Other Interactive Effects

One of the more popular features that Window Clippings provides is the ability to capture menus, tooltips as well as other interactive effects that applications may produce. Here’s how it’s done.

Let’s imagine I want to capture this Explorer window along with the popup menu that is visible when I right click on the drive:

If you launch the Window Clippings capture screen the popup menu disappears automatically since Explorer lost the input focus.

Keep in mind that the capture screen doesn’t show a copy of your desktop. It is actually a powerful view of your live desktop so that you can see any changes that might occur in the background.

To include the popup menu in the captured image you need to take advantage of an option called Delay before capture that is available on the Image tab of the Options window. To get there simply right click the Window Clippings icon and select Options from the menu (if the capture screen is already visible you can simply right click the capture screen and select Options):

Now select the Image tab and set “Delay before capture” to the number of seconds that you would like to have in order to prepare the “scene” for capture:

Now click the OK button to save the change and double click the Window Clippings icon again to show the capture screen. Now simply double click the Explorer window:

You will notice a fading message in the bottom right corner of your screen’s work area indicating how much time remains before Window Clippings will take the shot:

 It is at this point that you should display the popup menu, or any other effect that you would like to capture. When the timer reaches zero Window Clippings will capture the selected window and any associated popup windows that it detects.

Here is the result:

Note: although there are standard approaches available to developers for displaying different types of popups, some applications use non-standard approaches which aren’t always very easy to detect. Window Clippings 2.1 does a good job of capturing the most common types of popups but there is still room for improvement. The upcoming release of Window Clippings will continue to improve in this area.

Stay tuned for more “How to ...” articles.

© 2008 Kenny Kerr

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