I have lots of screenshots from the games I play. I used to use screen capture programs to do this, but almost all the games use PrintScreen now to save the images. Most tag the images with unique names based on the date and time, but Guild Wars 2 is not doing that. They tag the files with sequential numbers which makes it difficult to archive the images.
The problem is that the names are not unique if you delete the files in the screen shot folder and take more screenshots. In that case they start over from gw001.jpg again. So I wrote a program to archive my screenshots from my game programs.
I back up my screenshots to folders in the form yyyy_MM, like 2013_11 so that I can easily find them and so that not too many files appear in a single folder. Also, since my system drive is an SSD, I don’t want screen shots to accumulate there to excess and use up that valuable space.
Update: 11 Mar 2014 – Get Version 1.5 to add zoom/pan and reorder pairs. Read more below.
Update: Get version 1.2 with a fixed installer and screen shot image review. Read more below.
Update: Get version 1.1 that supports sub-folders. Read more below.
If you want to skip ahead , you can get the program on SourceForge.
I was a software engineer for years, so we always start with a set of requirements for a new program.
- Allow copying screenshots from multiple games.
- Store the settings for these games so you can easily use them.
- Copy the files to unique names based on the modification date/time right down to the millisecond so there is no confusion.
- If a game creates unique names you like, use them.
- Provide for a game prefix so the images can be sorted by game.
- Provide for subfolders based on the modification date/time to prevent 1000’s of images from accumulating in a single folder.
- Provide an easy way to delete files in the screen shot folder of the game.
- Provide a log file so that you can figure out what happened if there’s a problem.
I have used the Qt framework quite a bit and like it. It’s portable, and while I don’t need this program on Linux or the Mac, others might like to use it there. It will be easy to port.
Qt was developed by TrollTech was owned for a time by Nokia and is now independent. Qt Creator, the IDE, is mature and works very nicely for development on the desktop, and on Mobile devices as well.
Here are the settings and log file.
The settings file is created using one of the several ways that the Qt framework provides for settings. I avoid using the Registry so that the scheme is more portable and you can see the settings file with a text editor.
To use the program, you need to add a “Pair” for each game that captures screenshots.
Fill in a Pair Name, Source Folder of the game screen shots, and a destination folder for the shots archive. Notice that the destination folder does not have a date. The program will store files in sub-folders. Choose, Year_Month, None or Year_Month_Day for the sub-folder format from the pull down.
If like Guild Wars 2, the game names the screenshots in an inconvenient way, then you need to add a prefix, and un-check “Preserve File Names”. QTSSA will then make file names of the form prefix_yyyy_MM_dd_hh_mm_ss_zzz where zzz is the time in milliseconds from 0-999. This will guarantee unique names even if you hit the printscreen key very rapidly.
After filling in the fields, click Add Pair. If you click on a pair that’s already done, you can use Add Pair to make a copy. For sanity, you might want to change the Pair Name. It’s just a comment.
After any changes to a pair, be sure and use Update Pair, although if you Copy or Delete, it will save it for you.
Remove Pair does the obvious thing.
When the program closes, the pairs are saved along with the window size and position. If you want to save the pairs at any other time, just use Save Pairs from the menu.
If you check the Test check box, then no operations are done, but the operations are logged, so you can see what the program would have done.
Finally, to clean up your game screen shots folder, the Delete Sources button deletes the files from the source folder of the current pair.
You can get the program here. There is an installer for windows and the sources are there if you need it for mac or linux.
Wouldn’t you know it. As soon as I thought I was done, I found a game that required a change.
DC Universe online stores it’s screenshots in sub-folders.
I’m not sure where these names come from, but they aren’t important to saving your screenshots. I’ve added a feature that allows the program to search sub-folders for images.
Search Source Sub-Folders is saved with each pair. Normally you don’t need it. DCUO is the only game I’ve played so far that stores images in sub-folders. Also the names of the images for DCUO are not helpful, so you will probably want to override them as shown above.
When deleting files, the sub-folder choice is used as well, but sub-folders are not removed.
Update: Now with a fixed installer and screen shot image review.
Version 1.2 fixes a problem with the installer. The platform DLL was not properly installed.
Also the program now allows displaying the screenshot images from the source so you can review them before you copy or delete them.
To review the images choose a pair, or just enter a source folder, choose whether to search sub-folders and click View Source. The images are displayed in the image pane at the top of the window, with their file names and arrow buttons allow moving through the images to review them. You can resize the window to provide a smaller or larger review image, and as always, the window size is restored the next time you run the program.
Version 1.5 adds some features that have annoyed me. I often have the program running as I play and need to review recent screen shots in more detail. Esp for gear details seen on other players. This update adds mouse zoom/pan of the image so you can see the details for a quick review. To pan, just press and move the mouse on the image. To zoom, press the mouse on the image and move the mouse wheel.
The update also adds 3 buttons to the right of the pairs list to reorder the list: Top, Move up and Move down.
I think this takes care of things for a while. As always, you can get the new version on SourceForge.