If you are in the web development world then most likely you are in constant search for the silver bullet of screenshot software. My partner Kenn wrote a post titled, "Best Screen Capture Extension for Chrome" a few weeks back. I dove in full force with that extension for a few weeks but overall felt like some key features were missing. Since then I have rediscovered and starting using Skitch by Evernote. If you have not used it before you should hold on to you hat.. this thing works like a boss. At first I completely underestimated it with heart shaped logo and its playful UI. But after a few weeks of use I would recommend it strongly to anybody quite a bit over any other screen capture software. First here are some of the things that I was constantly dealing with using in-browser screen capture software that just ate at me upon every use...
- Lack of full featured cropping tools. The chrome extension mentioned above doesn’t have cropping tool at all. Boo.
- Inconsistent performance.
- Lack of annotation tools that typically looked terrible at the same time.
- Inability to save and revisit a screen share, adjust and resend. No public link sharing option. Not always bad as you would not want everything public but it is certainly a nice to have.
- No way to revisit or adjust if a mistake was made. Undo only takes you so far. Typically once you save… that is it.
Just a few things that Skitch offered out of the gate that I instantly latched on to and saw potential in and now would consider a must have for any screen capture software moving forward.
- Ability to take screen captures and annotate anything on my screen, not just browser windows and viewports.
- Hold shift and it will give you a 3 second countdown before taking the shot. This gives you the ability to get into menus, show roll over states, etc. There are other ways to capture as well. Already have a screen shot? Drag it into Skitch and start marking up that beast.
- Ability to archive and share in the cloud via evernote account. Share a single URL that is public and linked to your Evernote account.
- Option to save, revisit, adjust and tweak annotations if I didn’t get something right the first time. Additional features allow you to save locally, only in the cloud or not at all.
- Edit screen capture files names on the fly and then drag and drop them right on your desktop.
- Great looking tools with enough options and styles to clearly annotate and convey your message, instructions, etc.
- Enter URL for full screenshot of entire web page. Although it is not perfect everything time and has issues with fixed elements I find this feature is pretty good and I have had pretty great luck with it thus far.
- Wicked awesome cropping. At first I did not think Skitch had the cropping options I needed and was quite cumbersome. I was actually pretty disappointed. However, I recently discovered that the cropping was right there in front of me without touching the menus the whole time. Not only can you take away from an image but you can add white space for notes easily and on the fly by just grabbing the edge or your screen capture and adjusting as needed.
To truly maximize the potential of Skitch an Evernote account is key although I don’t think it is required. I personally have been using Evernote for a few years now and go through waves in terms of how it compliments my work flow. Skitch has certainly revived its usefulness for me and has peaked my interest in other Evernote tools.
If you haven’t tried Skitch stop what you are doing and grab it now. It is an easy and powerful tool of which I only mentioned a few of the benefits. There are other goodies tucked away just waiting for you to latch on and fall in love with so be sure to dig in and get your feet wet. Did I mention there is a pretty tasty iPad app as well?
If you didn’t watch my quick video and demo have a look and get an idea of what you are missing out on.