Capture Edit & Share Your Screenshots With Skitch [Mac Only]

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This is in no way a new application. Skitch has been around for quite some time but we here at Make Use Of don’t only cover new applications. We share the most useful and interesting stuff with our readers. That includes bringing up older software or webpages which you might have missed out in the past or never got a chance to use.

So, let me shed some light about Skitch. It was announced by its creator, plasq about a year ago but only released to the general public as a beta about 6 months or so before this. Somehow, it was widely anticipated by users – can you imagine people being excited about a screenshot (and image) capture application? But they were! Probably it was the cool interface it had or the ease-of-use or something else, but it was so heavily covered during the previous Macworld. To me, it made no sense. What was all the fuss about? Actually, if you delve deeper into the roots of Skitch, you will find that plasq has actually created one of the most iconic Mac applications i.e. Comic Life. So you know, Skitch actually has some heritage.

Since it’s currently available as a public beta, head on over to skitch.com and sign up for a free account. You’ll get to download the application and a free 2GB account which you’ll be able to host and share the images on the Skitch server. But you don’t necessarily need to upload your images to their server if you don’t want to. Skitch provides you with the options to upload to your own FTP, SFTP, Flickr or .Mac account.

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After installing Skitch, it will appear in your menu bar, dock, or both, if you choose.

The joy of using it is just about to begin. By invoking certain hotkeys, you’ll bring up the Skitch crosshairs, take a fullscreen snap or the coolest feature that brings Skitch one step further: frame snap!

What this does is opens Skitch but makes its main application window transparent, so you’re actually framing up your screenshot and you’ll be able to see how it looks like after its taken. Pretty neat. This way, you’ll know what size your image is going to result in.

By the way, in case you didn’t know, Mac OS X has a built-in screenshot capture application called Grab. Its hotkeys are:

  • Command-Shift-3 – Takes a picture of the screen
  • Command-Shift-4 – Takes a picture of the selection
  • Command-Shift-4, then press Control while selecting – Takes a picture of the screen, places in Clipboard
  • Command-Shift-4, then Spacebar – Takes a picture of the selected window
  • Skitch takes this one step forward by adding:

  • Command-Shift-5 – Crosshairs Snap
  • Command-Shift-6 – Fullscreen Snap
  • Command-Shift-7 – Frame Snap
  • Skitch also added the option of allowing you to take snapshots using your built-in iSight. The button is on the right column of the application window. You could have missed it since its pretty obscure. I did.

    After taking a snap, Skitch will open up with your image. You will now have a chance to edit your image before sending it out to the web. Remember that Skitch has only a very light built-in editor – it will only be able to do some freehand drawings, add arrows and lines and other pre-defined shapes and also will allow you to type using the ‘letter’ tool. You may also resize, crop and scale your images. If you make a mistake and would like to retract what you’ve added to your image, there’s an ‘Undo’ button at the bottom right corner. Skitch remembers the original state of your image and will restore it if you need to.

    Once you’re done and ready to share it, click on the ‘Webpost’ button and that’s it. Your image is now on its way to the Skitch server or your Flickr account (or any other servers you added in Preferences). That’s right — just one click to upload. But if you want to save the image onto your hard drive, you get to choose between several image formats:

  • .jpg – Most compatible
  • .png – Sharing fine snaps, drawing and text
  • .pdf – Printing on another computer
  • .svg – Importing into design applications
  • .skitch – Passing to another Skitch user
  • .tif – Sending to print publications
  • So there you go. Skitch is pretty much an awesome application and it would probably make it to my “top applications I can’t live without” list if I had such a list. Nevertheless, I hope you give Skitch a try if you haven’t already. Or if you are currently a Skitch user, let us know how it’s been going for you.

    Here’s an introductory video from Skitch’s website showing you how to use Skitch in 3 minutes.

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    Merso

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