Windows Snipping Tool

on Friday, May 27, 2011

Windows Vista and Windows 7 have a neat little gizmo hidden in the Accessories menu: the Snipping Tool. This very handy little tool allows you to take quick screenshots of any area of your monitor. The New menu pulldown (screenshot at left) allows you to take screenshots of your entire screen or a specific window of your screen. Yyou can also define the screenshot area yourself, creating either a rectanglar screenshot or a "freeform" screenshot that allows you to draw an irregular shape and take a screenshot of whatever is inside it.

To use the tool, go to All Programs, choose Accessories, and then choose Snipping Tool. Click the pulldown menu and choose either Free-form, Rectangular, Window, or Full-screen, and then define your screenshot area. Use the File menu to save the result as a .png, a .gif, a .jpg, or even an .html file.

Thanks to Ruth Willson for the tip!


on Friday, May 20, 2011

Podbean ( a free podcast hosting service that does for audio what Youtube does for video: it hosts the sound file, so you don't need to store it on your own server; it gives you embed code so your sound file can easily be embedded on a blog or webpage, and it gives you a slick looking playing for the end-user to use to play the file.

The process is pretty simple.  Register for Podbean with an email and password.  Record your podcast, upload it to Podbean, and then use their embed code to put the podcast on your website.

The free version of Podbean limits sound files to 100 mb total.

Joanne Littlefield and I co-hosted a Connect session on organizing and creating podcasts and using Podbean, available at  In addition, there are several video tutorials on sound file formats, recording podcasts and using Podbean available at the video tutorial page, at   


on Wednesday, May 4, 2011

JotForm ( is a form builder that allows you to quickly create customized forms using a WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) form editor so you can see the results visually as you create the form.  A screenshot of a form in progress is below.

You can use standard Form Tools section to access tools like radio buttons, checkboxes and text boxes, use the Quick Tools for preformatted phone number and address fields, use the Survey Tools for matrices, scales, and "sliders" (see screenshot at left).  You can even incorporate Payment Tools such as Paypal, Google Checkout, or Purchase orders.

The forms can also be configured to send both notification emails to you, and confirmation emails to the end-user.  You can also send them to a confirmation page (or any URL you wish) after they've submitted the form.

Once you've created your form, use the Embed and Source Code options (see screenshot at right) to embed your form into a webpage or blog.  The only limitation is that the free version allows 100 submissions a month, and 10 payments a month.  For $10/month, you can receive 1000 submissions and payments per month.

Much thanks to Joy Bauder for discovering this easy to use tool.