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Fastest way to satisfy 4.6 Application Screenshot section from WP7 Application Certification Requirements

Oct 12

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Tuesday, October 12, 2010 8:01 PM  RssIcon

miFlashlight screen cap satisfying Section 4.6 Application ScreenshotSo you've read the WP7 Application Certification Requirements eh?  Section 4.6 says you need an app screenshot but how do you get "a direct capture of the phone screen or emulator?"  Read on for the quickest way I know.

miFlashlight screen cap satisfying Section 4.6 Application Screenshot

Ok, so you've gotten your WP7 app ready, you joined the Marketplace, and you've read my blog about submitting your application.  COOL!  But you recall Section 4.6 says you need to get a screenshot of your application.  And more-over, it's a little strongly worded for just a simple screen shot right?

Section 4.6 Application Screenshot says, "The screenshot should be a direct capture of the phone screen or emulator." 

It goes on to say in the table, the EXACT size is 480 X 800 PNG image.  Not  a pixel more, not a pixel less! 

Try to do that with your digital camera AND do your app justice for the Marketplace?  Ok, ok, that's an exaggeration.  Ok, then, you COULD use the PRTSCN trick to take s snapshot of the whole desktop, but then you're having to use pbrush or Paint.NET to copy/paste, and grab just the right 480 X 800 pixels.  You could try the ALT+PRTSCN which takes a screenshot of just the active window, but then you'll still end up with too much (more than the 480 X 800) and you'll still end up having to crop via pbrush/  Below is the screenshot I got when I did the ALT+PRTSCN trick, notice the emulator shows up, including some of the background desktop?  We want an exact 480 X 800 remember?

Alt+PrtScn results

Ok, smart-alec, then how DO you get an EXACT 480 X 800 screen cap from the emulator?  Great question, and the Windows 7 Snipping Tool is the answer!  Find the SnippingTool.exe (try typing it out at the Start|Run command) and you'll see the tool below, and it might just become your next best friend/utility/lover?  A bit much on that last one?  Well, it is THAT good of a tool!  If you're using SnagIT, this is the Windows (and free) cousin.  A bit less feature rich, but the main screen scraping/capture feature is there.

Snipping Tool and Window Snip

Anyways, back to work.  When you run your application from Visual Studio to launch the emulator, and this is key, set the Zoom level to 100%, this is what is going to give you your 480 X 800 EXACTLY!  Anything else, is just for you, for development purposes.  Reset it to 100% for the Marketplace submission process.

Emulator ScreenCap

Next, run the Snipping Tool and make sure you've selected New|Window Snip, then hover over the emulator.  Notice how everything else goes foggy (just like me before my 2nd cup of coffee LOL) but the "Window" you DO want to screen scrape/capture is exactly your application and when you click the mouse, save it as a PNG file, and you'll notice it's exactly the right, 480 X 800 dimensions!

Taking emulator ScreenCap

That's the quickest/fastest/more exact way I know how to satisfy Section 4.6 Application Screenshot.  Now you can repeat this up to eight times in total for your Marketplace submission.  Go for it!  Fill your boots!

Now that you know how to get an exact WP7 application screen shot to satisfy one portion of the Application Certification Requirements, it's time to grab a coffee and get coding! 


PS If you're doing XNA games and have a really slick/cool/wickedly fantastic visual you want to flaunt on the Marketplace, this solution just might not work for you.  You're not SOL though, check out this link to the APP HUB and look for Krome Studios screen scraping code.  Ya, ya, it's a bit of code, but it will give you the ability to screen scrape that super cool game graphic for the Marketplace that only can get!


APP HUB: what is the tool to capture screen shot from phone? Are you ready for the WP7 Marketplace? Here's an in-depth analysis of the Application Certification Requirements Anatomy of a WP7 Application Submission Are you signing up for the Mobile developer program for WP7? A picture's worth a thousand words!

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2 comment(s) so far...


Re: Fastest way to satisfy 4.6 Application Screenshot section from WP7 Application Certification Requirements

Awesome! been using Win7 since its conception, never noticed the snip tool. Thanks!

By DiamondDrake on   Friday, February 11, 2011 11:37 AM

Re: Fastest way to satisfy 4.6 Application Screenshot section from WP7 Application Certification Requirements

Thanks for commenting DiamondDrake! Very cool! Have a great weekend! PS do you have any apps on the Marketplace?

By Peter Henry on   Friday, February 11, 2011 11:38 AM

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