If you’re a software developer, it’s better to invest more time into testing or development, rather than on documenting its usage and preparing bug reports, whichever applies to your area of work. Albeit the fact that documenting the scenario is significant, you can easily lose focus if you’re inadvertently busy in capturing screenshots and not performing the actual task. I have tinkered around with several screenshot tools, both good and abysmal, but none I could found was as unique as qTrace. It’s such a handy software testing and reporting tool that may even entirely eliminate the need to capture screencasts. The application is aimed at project managers, IT administrators, software and web developers, and/or application reviewers like me, who frequently find the need to capture various screenshots in order to define, rectify or troubleshoot a problem. Suppose you want to write a step by step application guide, qTrace can do wonders by automatically grabbing all the screenshots for you, which itself is a great time-saver. For that matter, it can also let you submit defect tickets to various supported trackers, such as Assembla, Bugzilla, Fogbugz, HP Quality Center, QASymphony’s qTest, Rally etc. Similarly, it comes with Dropbox integration to automatically save the bug reports to the cloud storage. Continue reading for more details.
qTrace is available both as a Free and Pro (Paid) variant, both of which require to create a QASymphony account in order to activate the program. You can easily create a new account within QASymphony’s webpage. After successfully signing up for an account, input your registration email and password in the tool’s Activation window and click the Activate button.
Your main interaction with the application is basically linked with its miniscule control panel to the right-hand side of the screen (when the application is active, of course). This control panel provides an easy way to start and stop the screenshot sessions. The big red button in the middle is the Record button (it changes dynamically, however), which can also pause the current session. Completing existing session requires you to hit the Stop (small squarish) button. Upon clicking Record, the application also asks you about which application windows need to be captured (you are allowed to select multiple windows at once).
The control panel facilitates you to select different Capture Modes as well. Simply click the drop-down arrow button and you will see the available modes such as Full screen, Active window, Custom region and Selected region.
When you’re done with existing screen capture session, you can click the Stop button, which in turn opens up qTrace Editor window. The editor allows you to review all the screens that the utility kept saving in the current session, enabling you to trash any unwanted screenshots. One very cool feature about qTrace is that it also keep notes of your actions with the selected apps, and place them under Trace Steps to the left. You can also add annotations and notes using the editor, enter screen title and description, modify the default steps noted down by the tool and on it goes. It also allows you to send the screens as email attachments, save as qTrace EXE file, or DOCX, JPEG, PDF and TRACE format, along with all the recorded Trace Steps. Furthermore you can submit the report to Supported Trackers, which I mentioned earlier in the review.
The application’s Settings window allows to configure a few different options under General, Defect Trackers, Hotkeys, Proxy and Dropbox tabs. For instance, under General, you can specify Default save location for the images, select output format for email attachments, change Image quality and so on. Defect Trackers allows adding trackers by clicking New Connection and then inputting the required details, such as Connection Name, URL, User name and Password. As the application supports hotkeys, you can modify the default hotkey combination with a custom one via Hotkeys tab.
While, qTrace may not be the software for everyday use, the specific function it’s designed to perform – it does it pretty well. It is such an application that can be used in various scenarios and it’s up to the users that how they make the most out of it. Even though the free version already offers a lot, the Pro variant (for $49/year subscription) contains extra features i.e. Disable Ads, Unlimited number of defect ticket submission (free variant only offers up to 3 per day), and Priority Support. The application works across all versions of Windows.