SMART Tutorial #3: The Screen Capture Toolbar

SMART Tutorials

The screen capture tool is your best friend for importing online materials or existing documents into the SMART Notebook fast. Also, the screen capture tool can be used for storing your annotated SMART documents. This way, you can share your class notes with others or refresh your memory when you will have to teach the same topics in the future.

The screen capture tool is one of the most useful SMART Notebook tools and you will be using it often. For this reason, I strongly recommend that you add its associated button on the SMART toolbar if you haven’t done so already. In case you don’t know how to do that, you can always check our previous tutorial on customizing the SMART Toolbar.


Step 1

Go to the View menu and select “Screen Capture Toolbar” or click on the screen capture button. This will bring up the screen capture toolbar.


The screen capture toolbar provides us with four options on how to capture what we see on a computer’s screen or SMART board. As the captions below suggest, we have the option to capture what is shown in the entire screen/SMART board (option 2), capture only a specific window out of the many we might have open at the same time (option 3), specify manually a rectangular area to be captured (option 1), and lastly, extract an image of a complex shape (option 4).


Step 2

It is time to practice and learn how to use the screen capture toolbar.

First, navigate to a browser and find useful materials for your teaching. In my case, I will pretend that today’s topic is Ancient Egypt. After looking online for a while, I found a lot of information on Wikipedia, several Google images that I can utilize, and I would also like to have a text editor open, so I can take quick notes. So, I have a total of three windows open on my computer’s screen/SMART board.

Now, go back to SMART Notebook and reveal the screen capture toolbar. At this point, most likely, you want to minimize the SMART Notebook application to have a clear view of the materials you wish to capture. Even when the SMART Notebook software is minimized, the screen capture toolbar still floats on top of the other windows.


Step 3

We are now ready to start capturing materials. How about we use all four of the capture options, just so we can practice?


Exercise 1

I will begin by capturing the whole screen, which contains all three of my windows. To do so, I will have to select the “capture entire screen” icon (2nd capture option).  If you are using a single screen, or a SMART Board, you will hear the camera shutter sound effect after choosing the capture entire screen function. This means that you have successfully captured your materials.

However, in case you are using multiple displays, as I do, you will be prompted to first select the display you wish to capture before SMART is able to apply a screen-capture. Here is how the “select display” pop-up window looks like for my set-up, which consists of three displays:

Obviously, if you select a display from the pop-up window only the chosen display will be captured. However, you also have the option to capture all displays in a single panoramic image by clicking on the “All Displays” located at the right bottom corner of the “select display” pop-up window.

After you specify which display should be captured and hear the camera shutter sound effect, SMART wants to know what to do with the captured materials. So, you will see an options dialogue box that looks like this:

Here, we can select whether we want the captured materials to be transferred and saved to a new page in the SMART Notebook software, be sent to the current page (last selected) in the SMART Notebook, copied to the clipboard so we can paste the captured materials in another software application like Photoshop, PowerPoint, Word etc., or save the captured materials on our PC as an image. I chose to send the captured materials to the current page of my SMART Notebook. Here is how my entire screen capture that contains all three windows looks like:


Exercise 2

For this exercise, let’s assume that I would like to only capture the Wikipedia window on the left side of my screen that contains the article about Ancient Egypt. In this case, I will select the “capture window” icon from the screen capture toolbar, and then tap on the window I wish to save. As before, choose where to send the captured materials—and that is all!

Here is how my captured window looks like:


Exercise 3

In most cases, we will need to import a very small portion of a website’s content into SMART Notebook. As opposed to the previous two capture options, the “Rectangular” and “Freehand” options allow the user to define a specific area to be captured.  As expected, the rectangular capture generates rectangular selections whereas using the freehand we can draw freely a custom-shaped selection.

Notice how the screen is grayed out when you select any of the rectangular or freehand capture icons. This is by design, nothing to worry about. As soon as you click/press and start dragging around the area you want to capture, everything that is part of the selection will turn normal again.  This is how SMART visually assists you with selections. Whatever appears grayed out will not be included in the selected area to be captured. Whatever looks normal/vivid will be captured.

Practically speaking, the rectangular capture is the fastest way to make a custom selection and import materials into SMART Notebook. The only downside is that we should be cautious about the image’s background. In the following example, pay attention how we can’t avoid including the text in our selection when using the rectangular capture. Contrary, that is not an issue for the freehand selection capture.

Exercise 4

There might be cases that you want to store annotated documents.  For example, your annotated class materials after you are done lecturing. Here are two basic methods for doing this.

In case you would like to save a single page, then, simply use either the rectangular or window capture option and when prompted chose to save the captured area on the desktop as an image. Here is an example of how your annotated document might look like by the end of your class.

If you would like to save multiple annotated pages all at once, then, go to the File menu –> Export As –> Image Files or choose PDF. If you select “Image Files” as your export option, that means that each page in the SMART Notebook will be saved as an individual image. Page 1 will be saved as image 1, page 2 will be saved as image 2, page 3 will become image 3, and so forth.  In case you prefer to include all pages into a single document, then choosing PDF as the export method will do exactly that. The PDF export method also provides more options regarding the layout and page range of the exported PDF file.


That is all about the screen capture tool for now. Stay tuned to our website for future tutorials on SMART Notebook as well as on other education-based software. If you found this tutorial useful or you have ideas on how we can improve, please let us know. We are always looking forward to discussing any topics related to classroom technology.