Screenshots on a PocketPC

Since it took me a while to find out how to do this myself, I’m going to use this opportunity to tell you how to take screenshots on a PocketPC or Windows Mobile device – in my case, Windows Mobile 2003.

First of all, you need to know that, as far as I can tell, your device does not have a screenshot capability built in. It’s not like a Windows machine where you can hit Print Screen or a Mac where you can hit Cmd+Shift+3 – you will have to install some software first. I’m sure there’s some fancy-pants shareware jobby that will do the job painlessly but in this instance we’re going to use Pocket SnapIt (link no longer available), which is available for both normal Windows Mobile/PocketPC devices and Windows Smartphone handsets. There’s also a Windows version for your PC. It’s free and open source.

Choose the relevant package – for my Dell Axim x50v, I chose the PocketPC package – and download it to your device. This may mean downloading it to the Mobile Device folder in My Computer and then using ActiveSync to send it across. Then, click on the cabinet file on your device to have it install. If you’re using Windows Mobile 2003 (and probably 5.0 also) you’ll probably get a warning saying that the application was designed for an older operating system – you can ignore this. Now, go to Programs and run the newly-added Pocket SnapIt icon.

You’ll now need to define a hotkey to trigger the taking of screenshots. I chose the ‘/’ character – to set this, click on Menu and select Options. Then click Menu again, expand Options and choose Capture Options. Now click Menu a third time and click Select Capture Button. Click OK and then select a key on the keyboard. Click OK to go back to the main screen, and then click Start.

Now, open up the program you want to take a screenshot of and press the trigger key – you should hear a noise when you do. You should then find a bitmap file in your My Documents folder call Snap001.bmp – this is your screenshot.

You can see my effort further up the page – this was a shot from Skype for PocketPC. As you can see, the capturing mostly works but it chokes on the font smoothing, so you may want to consider turning this off first. You’ll also need to change the image format to something other than bitmap if you want to post your screenshot on the internet (since bitmaps are not compressed) – PNG is probably the best format to go for. The image I posted is less than 13KB.