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Website Technology Issues Forum

software that gets screenshots of sites?

 9:40 pm on Jun 7, 2004 (gmt 0)

hi fellas,

I'm wondering, is there any software out there that will automatically take screenshots of browser pages and create a gif/jpg file out of it?

I wanted to create an index that shows a thumbnail of the site - seems like a great way to immediately tell the user if a site would be worth checking out or not based on how professional they look. Doing this by hand for every site on the index seems too laborious and surely there must be a way to automate this? how does alexa or msn do it?



 9:50 pm on Jun 7, 2004 (gmt 0)

There is a program called FullShot that does a good job of screen capture.

You can also hit the PrintScreen button on your keyboard and drop the file into an image processor like Fireworks.


 9:52 pm on Jun 7, 2004 (gmt 0)

I use solidcapture, it's a great little tool.


 11:40 pm on Jun 7, 2004 (gmt 0)

Interesting idea. I presume you plan to get permission from the site owners for reproducing their sites in this manner?


 12:04 am on Jun 8, 2004 (gmt 0)

alt+print screen does work, but it's a hassle. Automating this task would be very nice.

And yes, the index would be webmaster submitted, so it comes along with being listed.

Out of curiosity with the suggestion that it may be unfair use of the screenshot of the website, wouldn't that be similar to anyone's use of the name of a website, when we link to them? if we mention Volvo in this thread (just like I did a few word back) or if we place a photo of a Volvo car here, are those the same under the law, and would that require permission to do so?

Just trying to clarify.


 12:08 am on Jun 8, 2004 (gmt 0)

Are you looking to completely automate the process? You'd probably have to build something yourself which would link your bot to a Browsercam-type service running on a PC which would take the screenshots for you.

For starters, The GIMP [gimp.org] does screenshots, and it is supposedly fully-scriptable, so it may be able to do what you want. From there on, I'm not too sure! Sounds like an interesting project! As vkaryl mentioned, you need to check out the copyright situation too...


 1:30 am on Jun 8, 2004 (gmt 0)

I THINK (and honestly, that's a pretty empty-air disclaimer at this point....) that if you obtain permission from the copyright/trademark/registered mark owner of the pages you plan to display as you suggest, you'd be okay. When you use a "marca registrada" name or a copyrighted symbol or a brand-mark, you should automatically include the relevant "mark" (such as or or "tm" or whatever). You should obtain that permission-to-display in writing, and it should be VERY SPECIFIC about WHAT you are displaying, as much for YOUR protection as for the owner's....


 1:40 am on Jun 8, 2004 (gmt 0)

Any freeware or open-source desktop program that will also do this?


 3:20 pm on Jun 17, 2004 (gmt 0)

If you go to whoisreport and click on the Domain Explorer tab and enter a domain name it returns the whois info along with a screenshot. I'm sure all these companies didn't agree to have their site screenshot...


 3:35 pm on Jun 17, 2004 (gmt 0)

http://www.danvine.com/iecapture/ [danvine.com]


 4:04 pm on Jun 17, 2004 (gmt 0)

I'm sure all these companies didn't agree to have their site screenshot...

Even Alexa uses screenshots of sites without asking permission.

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