Who knew there was so much money to be made in the simple art of screen capture. Screen capture?
Yeah, you know—capturing an image on your Mac’s screen. Apparently, that’s a big business. How big? So big that a popular Windows PC screen capture app is available for Mac users as a Mac app. But can you love an app that Windows PC users love?
Keyboard Shortcut Tricks & Tips
After using Macs for 20 years I’ve managed to retain a few of my diminishing brain cells and remember some keyboard short cuts. Copy. Paste. Open. Quit. And screen capture.
In fact, my many years of experience have taught me multiple keyboard shortcuts to capture sections of the Mac’s screen.
There’s Command-Shift-3 to take a picture of the whole screen.
There’s Command-Shift-4, my personal favorite, which lets you drag to select just a portion of the screen. See? Ginko Biloba rocks. And so do Stickies. Regardless, what you get is a captured screen, or a portion of whatever’s on your screen.
So, why would someone need more than that? Why would they pay money for the privilege?
Screen Capture For Fun And Profit
Apple even provides a screen capture tool called Grab which eliminates the need to remember the keyboard shortcuts. But all it does is grab. Some Mac and Windows PC users want more, and they’re willing to cough up the bucks to get it.
Snagit is a popular screen capture tool for Windows. Snagit is also available for the Mac. This is not your little brother’s screen capture tool.
Snagit is for pros. Or, pro wannabes with extra cash. Snagit is as much edit tool as it is capture tool.
More than just simple screen capture, Snagit empowers you to communicate faster, clearly explain concepts, and archive digital information. All with point and click convenience. You can easily capture, edit, and share a screenshot of exactly what you see on your screen.
It captures any open window on your Mac without you having to go there. Apple’s anemic Grab requires you to go to the window to grab the image.
Snagit installed nicely on my Mac. When I started using Snagit’s little floating tool palette promptly hid behind my DragThing apps bar on the right side of the screen and wouldn’t come out to play.
The palette is mostly unobtrusive (small) but doesn’t communicate quickly what the tools do. Preferences are straightforward.
Output buttons can be customized within preferences.
Snagit has tools and effects and works more like a graphics editor allowing you to annotate, combine images, capture sections (even web pages which scroll off the page), or capture pages with a timer.
The Snagit app lets you drag and drop images from Snagit to whatever app you need—Pages, Word, Photoshop, Numbers, Excel, Mail. Images can be sent to Screencast.com, shared with others or uploaded someplace to a server far, far away.
Where’s the fun and profit of using Snagit? Profit aside, Snagit does a good job of grabbing screen and app window images.
And, if you’re counting, you can drop in annotations, add speech bubbles, place arrows and the like onto grabbed images. Then you can combine images or add effects, and share the images online. Images are stored and sorted automatically and displayed on the convenient and Windows-like Capture Tray.
Apparently, and I have this on good authority, there’s a whole industry out there that use screen capture tools. Tutorials are made using screen capture tools. Ditto for technical support folks. And corporate cubicle farm dwellers who create presentations.
They love this stuff and make money using such tools.
And, as we all know, when you make money with something, you pay something for the privilege. Snagit for Windows has a price tag. So does the Mac version. And, so does Skitch, a long time Mac screen capture tool, image annotation tool, drawing tool, image sharing tool.
Of the two, Snagit and Skitch, I prefer the latter because I’ve used it for a few years and it’s a familiar app. That said, Snagit is loaded with features, and shows the Windows heritage kinda sorta disguised as a Mac app. It also comes with a community of users, and is true try-before-you-buy, while Skitch costs much less, has a Lite free version to try, but is only available from the Mac App Store.