1

Windows Tool for automatic regular screenshots

Somehow similar to Hourly screenshot taker but for time tracking and so with other requirements:

  • Lossless image format (preferrably PNG)
  • multi monitor support
  • 30 seconds interval
  • Windows 10 support
  • Timestamp in filename
  • Free as in beer


Secondary requirements:

  • PNG format
  • per-day subfolders
  • custom interval
  • Pause/Resume from systray


Nice to have:

  • Small in size
  • portable
  • FLOSS + public repository + actively developed + taking feature requests + accepting contributions
  • Pause/Resume per hotkey

Note that I explicitely do not want to skip idle times.

There are some tools I heard about but I don't know which of them meet which requirements and now hope that other users here know, which one(s) do not and/or do:

+----+-------------------------------+-----------------------------------------------------------+-----------------------------------------------+----------------------------------------+
|    |                               |                          Primary                          |                   Secondary                   |              Nice to have              |
+ Nr +              Name             +-----------------------------------------------------------+-----------------------------------------------+----------------------------------------+
|    |                               | Lossless | Multi Monitor | 30s | Win10 | Timestamp | free | PNG | subfolders | interval | Pause (systray) | Small | Portable | OS | Pause (hotkey) |
+----+-------------------------------+----------+---------------+-----+-------+-----------+------+-----+------------+----------+-----------------+-------+----------+----+----------------+
|  1 | Apowersoft Screen Capture Pro |          |               |     |       |           |      |     |            |          |                 |       |          |    |                |
+----+-------------------------------+----------+---------------+-----+-------+-----------+------+-----+------------+----------+-----------------+-------+----------+----+----------------+
|  2 | Ardamaxx Keylogger            |          |               |     |       |           |      |     |            |          |                 |       |          |    |                |
+----+-------------------------------+----------+---------------+-----+-------+-----------+------+-----+------------+----------+-----------------+-------+----------+----+----------------+
|  3 | Auto Screen Capture           |          |               |     |       |           |      |     |            |          |                 |       |          |    |                |
+----+-------------------------------+----------+---------------+-----+-------+-----------+------+-----+------------+----------+-----------------+-------+----------+----+----------------+
|  4 | Auto Screenshot Maker         |          |               |     |       |           |      |     |            |          |                 |       |          |    |                |
+----+-------------------------------+----------+---------------+-----+-------+-----------+------+-----+------------+----------+-----------------+-------+----------+----+----------------+
|  5 | Automatic Screenshot Capture  |          |               |     |       |           |      |     |            |          |                 |       |          |    |                |
+----+-------------------------------+----------+---------------+-----+-------+-----------+------+-----+------------+----------+-----------------+-------+----------+----+----------------+
|  6 | Automatic Screenshotter       |          |               |     |       |           |      |     |            |          |                 |       |          |    |                |
+----+-------------------------------+----------+---------------+-----+-------+-----------+------+-----+------------+----------+-----------------+-------+----------+----+----------------+
|  7 | AutoScreenCap                 |          |               |     |       |           |      |     |            |          |                 |       |          |    |                |
+----+-------------------------------+----------+---------------+-----+-------+-----------+------+-----+------------+----------+-----------------+-------+----------+----+----------------+
|  8 | AutoScreenShot                |          |               |     |       |           |      |     |            |          |                 |       |          |    |                |
+----+-------------------------------+----------+---------------+-----+-------+-----------+------+-----+------------+----------+-----------------+-------+----------+----+----------------+
|  9 | Icy Screen                    |          |               |     |       |           |      |     |            |          |                 |       |          |    |                |
+----+-------------------------------+----------+---------------+-----+-------+-----------+------+-----+------------+----------+-----------------+-------+----------+----+----------------+
| 10 | ScreenMaster                  |          |               |     |       |           |      |     |            |          |                 |       |          |    |                |
+----+-------------------------------+----------+---------------+-----+-------+-----------+------+-----+------------+----------+-----------------+-------+----------+----+----------------+
| 11 | TimeSnapper Classic           |          |               |     |       |           |      |     |            |          |                 |       |          |    |                |
+----+-------------------------------+----------+---------------+-----+-------+-----------+------+-----+------------+----------+-----------------+-------+----------+----+----------------+
| 12 | TimeSnapper Pro               |          |               |     |       |           |      |     |            |          |                 |       |          |    |                |
+----+-------------------------------+----------+---------------+-----+-------+-----------+------+-----+------------+----------+-----------------+-------+----------+----+----------------+
3

I just tried TimeSnapper Classic and it seems to meet all primary and secondary requirements.

1

If you are willing to install python, (it is already on most other platforms), then installing a couple of other small packages and using a short script should do exactly what you need.

  1. Install python and during installation make sure you select the "add to path" and "associate files" options.
  2. In a fresh command prompt type: pip install -U pillow pyscreenshot and wait until it is finished.
  3. Download from here or Open a text editor and paste in the following code, ignore the backticks:

```

import datetime
import date
import pyscreenshot

INTERVAL = 30 # Time in seconds between screenshots
while True:
    now = datetime.datetime.now()  # Get timestamp
    filename = now.strftime('screenshot_%Y_%m_%d_%H_%M_%S.png') # Create a filename
    pyscreenshot.grab_to_file(filename) # take the screenshot
    time.sleep(INTERVAL)

```

  1. Save as timed_sshot.py in the directory that you would like the screenshots to appear in.
  2. Run the above script by double clicking, (if you rename to use the extension .pyw you will not get the terminal window appearing otherwise minimise it).

I believe that this meets all of your requirements above, with the exception of portable, and I tested it on Windows 10, but could not test with multi-monitor as I only have my laptop with me at the moment.

Note that if you were to run the above file through pyinstaller you could create a single directory, portable version of the above, for windows (just tried it with python 2.7 and got a directory of <72 MB).

  • Thanks for the detailed answer. While it's cool to have your own scripts you can hack around in, I'll probably accept my own finding of TimeSnapper Classic meeting the requirements as answer as it instantly seems to work the way it should. My upvote of your answer isn't beeing displayed due to lack of reputation. – sopupe Jul 13 '17 at 13:12

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