Download Grabby

Version History
Version 3.0 [download]
posted Saturday, June 7 2001

  1. User configurable, timed screen shots
  2. Flashes when you take a picture
  3. Set max picture count (recycler)
  4. Tools Menu for 'stay on top' and 'Enable timer'
  5. Settings screen now has dynamic help/hints
  6. Now has 'force 24bit color' mode for older imaging programs
  7. More help here!
Version 2.0 [download]
posted Saturday, May 27 2000

  1. Add a minimize button.
  2. Add option to export to either .BMP or JPEG formats.
  3. Allow setting of the output directory
  4. Allow setting of output image quality
  5. Add Web based help (this page)
  6. Add AboutBox
Version 1.0 [download]
posted Saturday, Nov 18 1999

  1. Initial version

About Grabby

Grabby is a 32 bit, Microsoft Windows application written in Visual C++. (I wrote it in like 3 hours :)

Grabby is a very basic screen capture utility that has virtually no bells or whistles. It's very easy to use and needs no documentation.

How it works

You launch Grabby and press the Start button, that's it! When Grabby is running, it watches the clipboard for images that appear there. I.e., When you use Alt-Print Screen to Copy images to the clipboard.

As you know, Alt-Print Screen will send the current window to the clipboard. If Grabby is running, Grabby will quickly grab the image and write it to a user configurable directory in the desired format.

Grabby will name the first file Grabby1.bmp and the second Grabby2.bmp, etc..
The cool thing about Grabby is you can keep pressing Alt-Print Screen, Alt-Print Screen, Alt-Print Screen, to grab a fight sequence without ever stopping to save the images (Grabby does that for you.)

Things to note

  1. When operating in Bitmap mode, Grabby grabs the full resolution of the screen so that nothing is lost. There is no compression. Grabby stores the image in a .bmp (device independent bitmap file.) Depending on the size and resolution of your monitor, these images can be rather significant.

    On my 21" monitor running 24 bit color and running UO in full screen mode, the images are just over 2 megs. I have a 350 mhz system and 256K ram and don't see any slow down (I also have plenty of disk so I can take 100 pics without any problem.)

    Choosing Bitmap (.BMP) or JPEG (.jpg) is dependent on many things. Bitmaps are much larger but the best quality. JPEG on the other hand are computationally expensive but have a small file size.

    Which are faster to take? Well again this depends on your system.
    On a system with a very fast disk and a moderate to slow processor, you may actually see the large .BMP files as the speediest choice. However, if your computer is fast and your disk is slow of fragmented, then JPEG will probably be faster.

    In order to help you decide which is best for you, I added a status message to the bottom of the Grabby window that displays the elapsed time (in milliseconds) it takes to process and save an image.
    The best test will be one where you grab an image similar in size and 'richness' to the real screen shots you will be taking. For instance, if you take UO screen shots in full screen mode, use that as a test image. Take maybe 3-4 shots in BMP, then 3-4 shots in JPEG, checking the status window each time. I have found the first shot is sometimes slower. If this is the case, throw out that first shot.
    Now look at the images and 'shot times' and decide what is best for you.
    Oh, and there is a quality slider for JPEG format that adds another variable to this whole equation, but I'll let you play with that on your own :)

    Grabby has been tested on many different systems besides my own. I would guess 64 meg would be a minimum system (recommend 128.)
    Those that are running grabby seem to be happy with it's overall performance.

  2. Each time you start Grabby, the internal counter is reset. This means that if you have a bunch of pictures that you want to keep, you had better rename them and or move them or Grabby will start over writing them the next time you copy an image to the clipboard.

Image processing

After I'm done playing UO for the night, I bring the pics (Grabby1.bmp, etc..) into LView Pro for cropping and conversion to .jpg.
You don't need LView Pro, it just happens to be the image processing package I use. You should use whichever one you like.
I did the cool animated .gif shown above using images acquired through Grabby. I then used LView Pro for the conversion to .gif and frame editing.

Let me know what you think of Grabby.

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