Screenshots of the BlackBerry Display
while working with BlackBerry devices , sooner or later we had the need for documentation of BlackBerry applications and "How-to-..." leaflets. That was when I started to look for a tool that would create a screenshot of the BlackBerry display. My first try was BlackBerry JDE and the simulator. This works fine but creates a huge overhead and is not suitable for users. Then I found the javaloader.exe command line tool which is part of the JDE. It allows taking screenshots of the BlackBerry in bmp format. Since the handling of a command line tool is no fun especially if you have a lot of documentation to do, d_fisher, the mod of this forum, created a cool script what made handling much easier. (http://www.blackberryforums.com/bes-...bscreenshooter)
Independently I tried to program a small GUI wrapped relying javaloader.exe to handle the taking of screen captures more convenient.
What started as a personal gimmick is now a usable tool that I like to share with the BlackBerry community.
To use this tool you need a BlackBerry with an OS version higher than 4.02 and the BlackBerry Desktop or Device Manager installed on your PC. The BlackBerry has to be connected to the PC via USB. The file JavaLoader.exe needs to be in the same folder as my program.
The tool needs to be downloaded to a folder on your local disk drive. At first use on XP PCs a pop-up might appear the the publisher cannot be verified and if this pop-up should appear each time you start the program - you need to uncheck this.
Select a folder to store your screenshots using the [Folder] button or leave the default. A history of up to 16 folders is kept in the drop-down menu.
Enter a name for the picture file and select the graphics format and size from the drop-down menu in the "Screenshot:" fields or leave the default. (.bmp has no loss, but uses a lot of space, .png has no loss but a very good compression, .jpg has slight quality loss but creates the smallest files)
Check the "autonumber" check box if you want to take multiple pictures with the same name automatically expanded with an increasing number in square brackets. (e.g. pic.png, pic.png ...)
In the "Frame:" fields you can select a colored border to be added to your picture. A frame value of 0 means "no border".
If your BlackBerry is protected by a password you need to enter it in the "Password:" field; Otherwise turn the field of using the [on/off] button.
The "hide DOS box" checkbox should be checked to hide the DOS box which actually takes the picture using javaloader.exe. It will unhide automatically in
case of any problem.
Finally click on the [shot] button to take your picture.
Your screenshot is saved to disk with the requested file name and format and copied into the clipboard. You can now paste it into most applications using the "CTRL-V" keyboard shortcut or select "paste" from your apps menu.
Click the [Viewer] button to bring up a picture browser that shows all your screenshots. You can sort the list by name, number or timestamp. A double-click on a picture will copy it to the clipboard. Right-click on a picture to add/remove a frame or delete the file.
The little red [pin] button in the lower left corner allows you the make the tool's windows sticky on top of other windows.
The red [speaker] button toggles the use of sound effects.
Press the exclamation mark [!] button to check online for program updates.
Click the question mark [?] button to display a small help window.
The names RIM © and Blackberry © are registered Trademarks of Research In Motion Limited.
The program JavaLoader.exe is intellectual property of Research In Motion Limited.
US export restrictions apply for both tools!
You can use the tool free of charge in private or business environment.
It does neither collect nor submit any data from your computer.
The password you enter into the tool is never saved to disk.
The program is created from scratch using the wonderful PureBasic (PureBasic : visual basic compiler, easy & optimized basic programming language, basic, compiler) and does not contain any ad- or spy-ware.
The program comes as is and without any warranty.
Use it at your one responsibility, do not use it for any illegal action.
The author can not provide support for the program but I always like to get feedback and will listen to feature or bug fix requests.
here is another tool I wrote - BBSceenStream. It constantly captures the BlackBerry display and displays it on the PCs screen.
The same prerequisites as for BBScreenShooter apply.
The Start/Stop button starts or pauses the display.
Adjust the capture speed with the slider (slow ~2s, normal ~1s, fast ~0.5s)
The 1:1; 1:2 and 1:3 buttons scale the screen capture. (if the PC screen is big enough)
The window can be resized to any size, however the scale will always be a multiplier of 10 to avoid picture distortion.
Request for feedback!
I have heard from a lot of people that both tools run fine.
However at least one person reported problems.
To solve any issues and fix problems it would be a great help if you would post your experiences and you PC/BB environment information.
(BlackBerry OS Version, Desktop Manager Version, PC OS and SP)
I want to try :D
ScreenShooter works fine for me, thanks again :-)
I have no need for ScreenStream yet, but I gave it a shot: it starts fine, but closes itself after a few second. (start as in launched, sorry, didn't get to use the start button yet)
bug in BBSCreenStream - fixed!
There was a bug in BBScreenStream - sorry.
I guess I have fixed it now.
Please download it again from the link I gave those who requested it.
(current version: 0.30)
working fine now, thankies :-)
Really awesome work!
I have to say this will make life a lot easier when creating documentation for my users. Thanks!!!!
These are outstanding. Highly recommended.
Fantastic, very well done indeed.
bbscreenshooter v1.24, just some cleanup fixes
bbscreenstream v.0.40, reworked code, should no longer crash
(new screenshots below)
Thanks to ZIP who pointed out that a screen capture of a locked screen of a Blackberry with content protection enabled will not work. (my tools give back a "wrong password" message)
Thanks to all others who contacted me and gave feedback.
(yes, you should not run both programs at the same time)
I just heard that the tools work fine under VISTA. (for the update you need to unblock the application first, like in XP)
Initially I wrote that the Desktop Manager needs to be installed for the tools to work. A user informed me that the Device Manager is enough as well. It does not even need to be running.
And I have another info about BbScreenStream. The LED that indicates when a capture is done was only thought as a gimmick. But now I found that it helps during presentations to avoid the problem that the BlackBerry misses a click of the wheel. Just only watch the PC screen and only click when the blue LED is off.
BBScreenShooter and BBScreenStream require the file javaloader.exe from RIM in order to function. It needs either to be in the same folder as the tool or a pop-up window will ask for the path to javaloader.exe.
You can download javaloader.exe as part of the BlackBerry JDE Components package 4.x from RIM. (BlackBerry)
The tools themselves can now be downloaded here:
Thank you! I'll give it a try when I get a little spare time.
Works great. More toys :)
News on BBScreenStream plus Video
here is another update to BBScreenStream.
Thanks to the people from Sunset-Team Homepage for the kind permission to use their AviServ.dll v0.93 which allowed me to add the option to create small video sequences from the BlackBerry display to my tool.
When the screen capture has been started you can click on the round record button. You will be asked for a file name. (Existings files with the same name will be overwritten!) Then you need to select a compression method. The available options depend on the codex installes on your PC.
I got some resonable results (small size, good quality) using the DivX codec 6.4 which is part of the free DivX bundle. You'll need to experiment with codecs a bit.
A demo avi file in DivX 6.4 format can be found here:http://oppitronic.de/public/files/screenshot/bbss.avi
(a blackberry gets switched on, a web page is viewed, options menu viewed and switched off again, size: 1MB)
The screenshot below has been updated.
The links are still the same.
Latest version as of today is 0.60.
and one more update
Well I could not keep my fingers from the keyboard and updated the BBSCreenStream tool again. (If I go on like this I'll release more updates than a well known software company usually does 8-) )
I have improved the button logic and design. Now there is a real pause function that pauses the screen captures even while recording.
And there is a new check box to enable the copy to clipboard function. Like in BBScreenShooter the currently displayed screen gets copied to the clipboard.
You could work in your favorite document editor and leave my tool running in the background. Each time you press CTRL-V you would get the latest capture copied into your document. Since the content of your clipboard is overwritten, I recommend to turn this feature off when you do not need it. (default)
I updated the help text a bit so it might be worth to have a look.
If you already have the tool, just click the [!] button and do an online update.
From my point of view this tool now has all it needs. I'll slow down a bit and look forward to Christmas.
As usual pls let me know if it works for you or if it doesn't.
Does this work with the Pearl? Just to be sure.
and what is the benefit of one over the other? I am not sure I will need streaming, but screenshots I need, as the simulator never worked 100% for me.
Yes it works with the pearl. In fact it works with any existing BlackBerry that runs OS 4.0.2 or above. (4.1.xxx, 4.2.xxx)
Both programs make use of javaloader.exe, a command line tool from RIM that actually does the screenshot and writes a bmp file to disk.
BBScreenShooter picks up the original bmp file, displays it, copies it to the clipboard, adds a colored frame to it, re-sizes it and saves it as jpg or png if needed. It is able to auto-number files with the same name and therefor eases the creation of documentation. It comes with a small integrated picture viewer.
BBScreenStream contiguously creates screenshots, places them in the clipboard if needed and displays them on the PC screen. It allows on the fly resizing of the displayed screen and the creation of video clips. This is useful if you do a presentation and like to show the BlackBerry screen on the projected big PC screen to the audience or if you create self-help step-by-step documentation.
Hope that helps
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