Jim Lawless' Blog

Auto Save Clipboard Images Redux

Originally published on: Mon, 23 Aug 2010

One of my most popular posts is Auto Save Images From the Clipboard. It's easily the most visited post every single day. However, not everyone downloads the free software that goes along with the post: Pic2File.

Pic2File is a console-mode program. I understand that people prefer the comfort of an easy-to-use GUI. I've even been frustrated trying to remember what the parameters are on occasion and I wrote the darned thing.

I thought that I should dress up the code a little and provide a simple GUI for the application. You can download Pic2File Express (Pic2FileX.exe) in a zip archive here:


It requires the .NET 2.0 runtimes.

I believe that the operation of the utility in its current incarnation is pretty self-explanatory, but I'll try to walk through the key points here.

The Pic2FileX.EXE is free to use. You are not permitted to re-sell it or to make money from it in any way.

There's no installation program. You can place Pic2FileX.exe on your desktop or in your favorite directory or whatever, but you don't need to walk through a setup program.

I will update this page as new features are added with announcements at the top. The "Help" button on Pic2FileX will bring you here.

Here's the Pic2FileX main window:

Here's how it works...

When you press the PrintScreen key in Windows, the full screen image is copied to the clipboard. When you press ALT-PrintScreen, the current window image is copied to the clipboard. If you're on a web site, you can right-click most images and can then click "copy" at the popup menu.

You can then paste these images into a word-processor or graphics editor, or whatever. You get this functionality absolutely free with Windows and most browsers.

What if you just want to save the images automatically without having to manually interact with another program to save each one?

Pic2File Express will save images to your chosen directory whenever an image appears on the clipboard. It will then empty the clipboard. If you run into a problem trying to paste an image into another program that you know you copied, make sure that the Enable Capture checkbox is unchecked. If you want to temporarily halt Pic2File Express, you can uncheck "Enable Capture" and can recheck that again later.

By default, it will save to your My Documents folder ... you'll need to click on "Choose Folder" to select a new one or overtype the existing folder name.

By default, Pic2File Express will play a beep or noise when a file is saved. You can turn the sound off by unchecking the "Play a sound.." checkbox.

The default filename prefix is P2F_. You can change this at any time. A number is appended to each filename. As noted below, you cannot reset this number if you've already been capturing under another prefix.

To open the folder where you've saved your images, click the Open Folder button. You can then select one image to open with your system's default viewer.

You have a full right-click menu in the Open Folder dialog. You can click "copy" safely ... Pic2FileX won't interfere ... then you can paste the file into another folder in Windows Explorer.

Alternately, you can copy the directory name and paste it into Windows Explorer's file/open dialog.

I'd like to know about any bugs/quirks you run across. Please feel free to email me questions about the program. ( Please put the word "Pic2FileX" in your subject-line. )

Some shortcomings that I'm aware of.

Unless otherwise noted, all code and text entries are Copyright 2010 by James K. Lawless

Views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessary reflect those of the author's employer.

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