Current Features 
Current Supported Platforms 
Known limitations 
Todo list 
Available command line arguments 
Available annotation items 
Post effects 
Hotshots is a screenshot tool with some editing features. It is
particularly suitable for writing documentation (as used in the
following chapters) but you can use it to highlight some details on a
map image or what ever you want.
Because HotShots is written with Qt, it runs on Windows and Linux
(MacOSX isn't tested yet).
Why this name, Hotshots ? Firstly, I'm a fan of Jim Abrahams's film and
my second choice was Screen'n Shot but I'm not sure the pun will be
- Grab current screen, all monitors (in case of multi-monitors
configuration), current window or a part of the desktop.
- Save the screenshot in multiple formats (PNG, JPG, BMP, ...).
- Automatically save the screenshot to clipboard, disk or launch the
- Automatically scale the screenshot to a given size.
- Use “system” shortcuts to take a screenshot.
- Add automatically some “post-effects” to the screenshot (drop
shadow, rotation, border, …).
- Add annotation items (text, arrows, rectable, ...) to the
- Can be minimized to system tray and work in background.
- Can be launch at system start-up (Windows).
- Export edited image in multiple formats (PNG, JPG, BMP ...).
- Save/Restore edited image in proprietary format.
- Send image directly to printer or to web service.
Current Supported Platforms
- Windows XP, Vista, Seven, 8 (with provided installer)
- Linux (with recompilation). Currently, package for Ubuntu and Arch
Linux are also available but not maintain by your humble servant.
There are some problems to grab desktop on Linux running in VirtualBox
with 3D acceleration enable, not resolved yet (verified on Ubuntu and
Some keyboard shortcuts on editor can interact with window manager on
linux, because of the multitude of possible configurations, these
interactions must be set on a case by case basis.
System "print-screen" shortcuts can't be used as global shotcuts because
they are catched at a system level.
HotShots is available on SourceForge 
in setup.exe for windows (as a simple "portable" archive) and source
archive for other platforms (qmake and cmake configurations included).
  
- more translations (help wanted !!)
- .deb, .rpm, delivery
- more post effects ?
- more features ?
If you have suggestions, problems or questions about this tool, you
- send me directly a mail at xbee at xbee dot net
- use the SourceForge forum here 
- create a ticket on SourceForge (here )
Don't hesitate to send me your creation, I will create a specific
gallery for that soon.
If you want to help with translation, you can send me the translated
Qt Linguist file (*.ts) or use the Transifex
website (you need to create a free account as translator).
If you find this tool helpful and want support its development, you
can pay what you want.
Snapshot parameters panel
HotShots isn't very complicated but you can find here some explanations
about the interface.
The main interface is shown below with:
- This area displays the current screenshot.
- Take a screenshot according to (10) choice.
- Take a screenshot from all screen, current screen, window,
rectangular or freehand region. For the rectangular and freehand
region types, the previous selection are automatically displayed by
- Open the setting panel.
- Save the screenshot as image (PNG, JPG, BMP, ...).
- Upload the current screenshot to the web (with the default service
set in the parameters panel).
- Send image to the printer.
- Copy the current screenshot to clipboard.
- Launch the editor with the current screenshot.
- Change the default output path.
- Change the default screenshot mode (see (2)).
- Delay in second between action and effective screen capture.
- Action perform after screen capture like saving or launch editor.
upload URL will appear here when upload is successful
- The Quit button. Caution, this tool is designed to
work as a background task
available in the system tray so to minimize it use the close
button of the window manager, not the quit button !
Main Interface description
The snapshot parameters panel is shown below with parameters like:
- Automatic hiding of HotShots during screenshot.
- Automatic copy of current image into the clipboard after
- Force background color (avoid transparency) for clipboard copy or
- Background color to avoid transparency
- Parameters used to set file name for automatic save (if needed)
- Play a sound when screenshot or upload to the web is finished.
- Default screenshot file name.
- Post-effect applied to screenshot (none, drop shadow, border, torn
- Rotation applied to screenshot.
- For window grabbing, enable/disable window decoration capture
- Snapshot delay: same delay as in the main interface
- Scale applied to screenshot. You can choose between a systematic
resizing (in %) or a maximum size.
The parameters panel
The network panel is shown below with:
- The default upload service. Currently, you have the choice between
a FTP server and three web service (Imageshack, Imgur,
- You can show a short dialog with the selected web service before
- You can also display a short dialog after the download (some
services are a bit long)
- Launch the default Internet browser on the uploaded URL when done
- Automatic copy of the uploaded URL to the clipboard when upload is
finished and accepted by the remote service.
- Format of the URL. You have the choice between the direct URL and
a BBCode, HTML, IM format. You can also select a user format given
- User format if selected (Must contain @url@).
- Proxy configuration (Not yet available)
The network panel
The uploaders panel allows user to set specific parameters for each
available transfer service. Currently, only the FTP service has
The uploader parameter panel
The editor interface is shown below with:
- Open a HotShots file (.hot) or an image for a new edition.
- Create a new HotShots document (clean current edition).
- Import image from clipboard. You can also drag&drop an image
in the editor.
- "Save" and "Save as" edition as .hot file.
- Export current edition to the clipboard (you have to take care of
transparency support of the external program or fill the background
with a default color in the "Preferences").
- Export current edition as an image (PNG, JPG, BMP, ...)
- Upload current edition to the web (with the default service set in
the parameters panel) (you have to take care of transparency support
- Zoom handling
- Add a post effect to the background image. Caution! You can change
the post-effect as you want but only before saving the .hot file. If
you save your creation, the effect can't be change after reloading.
- Rescale background image. Caution! This operation isn't
- Align selected items. You can align right, left, top, bottom, ...
the selected items.
- Enable/disable shadow under graphical item.
- Push up/down selected items on the heap.
- Duplicate current selected elements.
- Clear scene
- Delete the selected item.
- Item selection and creation. You can choose between:
Font manipulation. You can increase/decrease font size or select
the current one. These have action on selected tag and text items.
Set the default black/white color or swap the current selected
color for background/foreground.
Choose the current background/foreground colors.
Line style selector.
Filling selector (empty, transparent or opaque).
Color selector. Some previously used background/foreground colors.
A short help is displayed for each item.
Mouse position, scale, ...
Send image to printer.
- a simple text.
- a straight line.
- a surround shape.
- a poly-line
- a polygon
- a curve
- a crop tool
- a rectangle
- an ellipse
- an arrow
- a tag item
- a highlighting line
- a magnifier
- an image
- a blur item (obfuscate part of the screenshot)
Available command line arguments
Hotshots have some options available with the command line. Following
options are known:
Usage: hotshots [options] [file]
--help: displays this help.
--reset-config: clear the saved preference parameters.
--no-singleinstance: enable the use of multiple instance of program
file: file to load in the editor, can be a .hot file or an image file.
Available annotation items
Currently, Hotshots offers 14 different items to annotate an image.
There are listed below:
To be defined !!
Currently, there is only four post-effects defined. With no post effect,
you can have a screenshot like this:
No post effect
The first one is a simple drop shadow like this:
Drop shadow post-effect
The second possible effect is a border with a drop shadow, like this:
Drop shadow with border post-effect
The possible effect is a progressive transparent border like this:
Progressive border effect
Torn edge effect cuts randomly the edge of the screenshot. Caution,
this effect is only suitable with rectangular screenshot (result on
freehand region can be ugly).
Torn edge effect
Frequently asked questions
- Q: When I copy a screenshot or an annotation into the clipboard, I
get a black border when I paste it into my favorite application.
- R: Transparency is not well support by a lot of programs, use "Force
background color for clipboard/web services" in the parameter panel
and choose a background color.
- Q: When I upload a screenshot or an annotation to my favorite web
service, I get a black border when I used the given URL.
- R: Some web services don't support well transparency, use "Force
background color for clipboard/web services" in the parameter panel
and choose a background color.
- Q: I have lost the main tool bar and I don't known how to restore
- R: There is two solutions at your problem. You can right click on
the top of the window (there is a small area between the main panel
and the window decorzation) to bring up the menu. You can also use the
"--reset-config" as argument of the tool.
- Q: In editor, I can only save in .hot format, not in JPG or PNG.
- R: "Save" and "Save As" functions are only deal with .hot format. To
save your creation as an image, you have to "export" it or use