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Old 07-23-2005, 07:49 PM
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Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 5,067
Default Making Pocket PC screenshots

The need for taking screenshots of Pocket PC is pretty common. This is why Iíve decided to elaborate on the solutions a bit. Iíve also made sure to add VGA-related information (are the, in cases, aged applications able to make proper screenshots of VGA screens?).

There're two ways of making screenshots of your device:

- on the desktop. IMHO, itís easier because you donít need to assign a screenshot utility to a hardware button and/or switch between tasks and probably wait for the delayed screenshot to be done etc.
- on the PDA itself if you, for example, donít have a desktop to take screenshots on. Incidentally, if you have a HP iPAQ device, you most probably already have built-in screen capture capabilities (more on them later).

Making screenshots on the desktop

As far as this solution is concerned, the best solution is using a remote controller application. In my roundup (which made even to the Pocket PC Thoughts frontpage), , I scrutinized the screenshot making capabilities of the commercial SOTI Pocket Controller ( ), the commercial dotPocket ( ) and the free ActiveSync Remote Display ( ). Of the three, the first two has dedicated screenshot/video shooting capabilities.

SOTI Pocket Controller is capable of saving BMP, GIF (these images need to be further compressed!) and JPG images; dotPocket, on the other hand, only BMPís. Neither of the two include the GUI of themselves in the shots, fortunately.

The third application, ActiveSync Remote Display, needs to be used with third-party tools (to record video) or with the plain Alt-Print Screen button to make screenshots; these, unfortunately, will also contain the GUI as well, which you may want to crop.

There is another desktop-based solution, which is specifically meant for making shots of the PPC screen and nothing else, the free GetPDAScreen (current version is 1.1), available at . Please read the tutorial there on the capabilties/installation.

Making screenshots on the PDA

If you prefer a completely PDA-based solution, then, you have many apps/options to choose from.

Of the dedicated screenshots applications, Magic SS (current version 1.1) ( ) is the most important, but you may also want to give a try to CECapture (current version 1.0) ( ). Both are free; Magic SS is great.

If you donít mind the slightly bigger memory consumption, you may also want to use an image viewer/editor application that also has screen capture capabilities. Of them, the following have screen capture capabilities (please consult my roundup of image viewer/editor applications at if you want to get more information on these programs):

Photogenics 1.0 Release 139: (not for VGA devices, only works on QVGA ones)
PQV 3.0.10: comes even with a separate screen capturer utility, assignable to a HW button. QVGA only on VGA devices!
XnView 1.31: settable delay and file format, VGA-compliant. You may also want to see my review of this app at - yes, this article has also made to the Pocket PC Thoughts frontpage!
Resco Picture Viewer 5.32: now/10s later; VGA-compliant
CEPicture 2.7: button-assignable; QVGA in QVGA; VGA in forced VGA
Conduits Pocket Artist 3.0: only to clipboard (saving is possible from the app via New / Paste); VGA-compliant
PictPocket Cinema 4.0: VGA-compliant, from inside the app

Also, of the non-imaging-related programs, Pocket Informant also has screen capture capabilities.

If you have an iPAQ and prefer taking pictures with what is available and built-in, do the following.

a. press the iTask button (by default, on most iPAQís, lower right).
b. press the lower left, iTask button

c. click iTask Settings

d. choose a Unassigned entry from the Menu Item drop-down list if you donít want to lose the 0: Menu item. In my case, the first unassigned entry was the third:

e. open the Replace With (the 4th) drop-down list:

f. open the Internal branch:

g: choose Capture (2nd from the top on the screenshot):

h: click Apply and OK.

i: you can do the same with the ďDelay CaptureĒ menu item (7th from the top). Assign it to another menu item (Iíve assigned it to the tenth).

Now, after pressing the iTask button and going to the same iTask menu, youíll see both Capture and Delay Capture in the list:

You can take a shot of both the current screen and any screen some seconds later with the delayed option. The screenshots will be stored in the root directory of your iPAQ, named CaptXXXX.bmp, where XXXX starts with 0000.
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