Windows 8+ only
Assuming you're using Windows 8 or above, and want a whole screen screenshot, simply hit + PrtSc. This works anywhere, and is about the only way to get a screenshot of Universal apps. You can find these under your Pictures/Screenshot folder in your user folder.
Sadly, this doesn't work in older versions of windows
Greenshot is a free program for Windows and is really good at this.
When you press Print Screen or click on its icon, it presents a nice context menu full of options
It also has a nice editor, which is the default that opens when you click 'Open in image editor'. It has shapes, arrows, a highlighter, an obfuscation tool, text boxes for annotations, undo (...
Dropbox now has this option out of the box. Any screenshot you take with PrtSc (or Alt+PrtSc for the current Window) is automatically saved to a "Screenshots" subfolder inside your "Dropbox" folder. (And consequently it is automatically uploaded too.)
If you are installing a recent version of Dropbox then you get prompted to enable this feature, otherwise, ...
My first thought was "ok you need something like Greenshot" so, after some search, I found Shutter which offers the features you need (more info in this blog post). You can download it from Launchpad. More details:
Capture options like capture a specific area or whole desktop
Share options like generating shared link and Ubuntu One(which has stopped I think)...
What you are asking for here is not physically possible.1 If your target BIOS does not have a built in way to capture screen-shots, there is no way for an external piece of software to do so.
The BIOS in most PCs runs below everything else on the system.
Although the data registers can sometimes be accessed, it is not possible to access the BIOS ...
Windows 7 includes Snipping Tool as standard.
You should be able to find it on Start menu > Accessories. You can assign a key to the shortcut. ie if you set it to S, you just have to press Ctrl + Alt + S to run it. Then you can use the mouse to select the area you want, and it will be copied to the clipboard. Or you can draw on top of the image, or save it ...
For Windows there is PicPick which is free for home, personal use.
I use it whenever I need to take screenshots as it allows a number of different screenshot sources such as the active window, a user-defined region or the whole desktop, plus it works well with multiple displays.
It also has the functionality of a full-featured image editor but it is ...
I use PicPick Portable. It is a very powerful screenshot program and can be configured to work the way you want.
You can set a key like PrintScreen to automatically save screen captures to say c:\Screenshots\Picture[x].png or so.
PicPick can capture specific regions of the screen automatically if you use the hotkey for Repeat Last Capture. Another great ...
I used the free version of Screenpresso to take screenshots for documentation of a web application.
The context menu of the taskbar icon for comparison:
I liked that you can define a capture region, which is used for the entire series:
I used once Greenshot. You can make screenshots in a series and process them later. It is possible to define a folder where your image should be saved. It has several settings. You can select if you just want to save the screenshot or to use it in any suggested program. A plus is that it can be connected with Dropbox. You can set a key combo which you prefer....
It only does PNG, but Firefox has a way to capture the whole page built in: Shift-F2 brings up a command prompt, which includes a screenshot command. For instance, screenshot --clipboard --fullpage as I was writing this answer produced http://imgur.com/tnplKPE.
If you want something designed to be automated, phantomjs has page.render() which takes a ...
The Snipping Tool that comes with Windows 7 and 8 appears to satisfy your criteria. It's very simple to use, is free and you probably already have it!?
(This was actually casually mentioned in comments above, but didn't appear to get acknowledged.)
Note that in order to draw "arrows" you need to use the generic pen tool.
Take a screenshot - YES
I recommend greenshot. It is actually better than built-in snipping tool since you can customize following points:
Where to save each screenshot
Save to file automatically
save to clipboard
You can customize this tool so that taking repeated screenshots are more easier than built-in snipping tool. This tool also works with WindowsXP+
You don't need an addon to do it - while the UI has changed significantly since I last used FF and its rolled into a new tool, its still native - you can access it from the toolbar rather than the command console (which seems to no longer be a thing). You can also rightclick and Add it to the address bar.
for older versions - see the old revisions
When forced to use Windows, Greenshot (free and open source) is my choice for this task. It allows you to...
capture a region as you described, by simply pressing the Print key
capture the active window by pressing Alt+Print
do some basic editing to your screenshot (annotate, arrows, etc.)
upload to several image hosters, including Imgur, Flickr – but also ...
I use Nimbus Screenshot.
Right click on the page, select Nimbus Screenshot then Entire Page.
Available for Chrome
Works also for Selected area
Rather simple, even though I could do without the edition window it shows after screenshot is taken
Did not notice any slowliness
FastStone Capture covers your needs. I used it for several years. Unfortunately my version doesn't allow direct emailing, but it seems that the latest one does.
It provide different screenshot modes:
All your screen
The active window only
Detection of your opened windows if you want to screen a specific one
Select the screenshot zone (rectangular or free ...
There's screenruler for Gnome/GTK desktop environments, and kruler for KDE.
You can install either from most repositories:
sudo aptitude install screenruler
sudo aptitude install kruler
sudo yum install screenruler
sudo yum install kruler
I'm on KDE at the moment, so here's a screenshot for kruler:
Or if you want to take a rectangle selection ...
ShareX is a free and open source screen capturing tool for Windows.The tool is portable too so you can run it on your USB drive without installation.
It has all the necessary features that would expect in a screen capturing tool. It lets you capture fixed areas on the screen, full application windows or even freehand regions. There’s a built-in editor to ...
Nimbus Screen Capture - editable screenshots
Has the ability to save the entire page exactly as you see it
You can save in JP(E)G, PNG and BMP (or copy to clipboard and paste into any image editor)
Works on all Firefox versions from 4.0. I think it's platform-independent. Confirmed, works on Windows and Linux
Firefox is the only dependency
I use Nimbus Screenshot a plugin for my Firefox for this task.
You can right click any page and say "make a screenshot of the whole page" and it will.
It will open the screenshot in a new tab and allow you to modify it.
Then you hit "Done" and can save it to your hard disk, clipboard, in their cloud (and more).
As example, here is a screenshot of this ...
I use Lightscreen for this purpose. Lightscreen is gratis, open source software that you can either install on your Windows PC or use as a portable app.
You can set up three different hotkey combinations to take screenshots three different ways: the entire screen, a window, or a screen area that you select with the mouse.
I've got the output options set ...
One is Awesome Screenshot: Capture & Annotate
Capture or clip selected area, or all visible portion, or entire page
Support PNG format
Support horizontal scroll when capturing
Annotate it with rectangles, circles, arrows, lines and text
Crop and scroll & Show crop area dimension
Use eraser to hide sensitive information
Copy the screenshot and ...
You can use inspect element to get the "Unique Selector", then input that into the firefox console (hit shift-f2) and type in screenshot --selector <unique_selector> --clipboard to save to clipboard or replace --clipboard with the filename to save it.
In short, you can do this in Firefox with no addons whatsoever.
My favorite is Gadwin Printscreen, mainly because it's very simple to setup and use, and because it has some nicely implemented features like cropping the screen before saving it.
Features include saving the screenshots to some pre-defined folder, copying to clipboard and choosing image format and quality.
You can use Skitch:
works with Windows/Mac (even Android/iPhone)
circle/comment/arrow/check/etc parts of an image
can take screenshots and crop+edit on the fly
it does not allow highlighting, but the latter is really not obvious to find (requires OCR).
I added 2 annotations on this image with Skitch, I find thempretty smooth: