There is no shortage of screen capturing tools available – that is certain. However, there is a shortage of applications that are quick and simple to use, while remaining useful and intuitive. There are a few. Some, however, aren’t free. Others come feature packed. And others don’t have enough features.
Skitch is right in the middle – it doesn’t have all the features, but it does have the ones you’ll likely need and use the most. It is simple to use – in a good way. Sometimes simplicity can be a not-so-good thing, but in Skitch’s case it has the right amount of features without becoming too confusing or complicated for the user. It’s also owned by Evernote meaning that it has some integration with it as well – not a bad feature for a screen capturing and annotating tool.
As you can see the interface is pretty simple. There are a few buttons on the side, some of which open up to a few more options (not too many though) and there is a dropdown menu in the top left corner and two save options in the top right corner. The toolbar buttons offer all of these options as well, while also displaying the program’s keyboard shortcuts next to the command.
The Tools And Features
As you can see in the above image, Skitch’s features, like the interface, are simple, clean and intuitive, somewhat basic, but provide all the essentials and then some. Sure, every program is different (that’s what is great about technology), but I would almost say that what Skitch lacks is almost a good thing. Take a program like PicPick – it’s a great screen capture tool, but it has so many features.
Skitch is great for that every day user who just wants to take a simple screenshot and maybe touch it up a bit without using their time or energy to “learn” the program first. – Me (Aaron Couch)
Skitch is set to “Screen Snap” by default, which can be accessed through the button or the keyboard shortcut Control+Shift+5. Once it’s initialized, you’re screen will fade and your cursor will become a crosshair.
Other features of the dropdown menu include capturing the full screen, loading an image from a specific file or folder, and loading an image from the clipboard. So as you can see, Skitch isn’t just for screenshots, but it can load other images to edit and annotate as well.
Annotating And Editing Images
Arrows: There are several annotations you have at your disposal in Skitch. One that is a must is arrows. There’s nothing worse than trying to make arrows… or even just boring arrows.
Text: Simple, one font, yet still available in a clean fashion. As long as you don’t need a specific type of font for your images, you should be satisfied with Skitch’s text tool.
Color and Size: Again, Skitch keeps it simple. It doesn’t even include a custom color changer, but who really needs one of those for a screen capturing program? Perhaps there are occasions where you need one, but I can’t remember the last time I used that… maybe you have though.
In the image below you can see the size adjuster under the colors. Simple and clean right? This adjusts the font and line size for the various annotations such as the arrows and shapes.
Shapes: Skitch includes four types of shapes: a rectangle, a rounded rectangle, an ellipse and a line. Sure there could be more fancy shapes like stars and pentagons, but Skitch likely has taken the most popular and useful shapes and left out the clutter.
Free Draw: If you want to doodle or add a little creativity to your screenshot or imported image, this tool is great. It has two variations: Marker and Highlighter.
Pixelate: Yet another essential feature in screen capturing – covering up private information, whether it be a face, an email, or whatever. It’s nice to be able to not reveal that information to everyone, publicly, on the Internet. There aren’t any variation to degrees of the pixelation, nor is there a burring option. The depth of pixelating really isn’t that big of a deal as you can cover it up again with more pixelating.
Having a blurring option combined with pixelating would be nice though. It could just be another pop out menu like the other features have and wouldn’t add to the clutter at all. Unfortunately this isn’t a feature yet, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it was added at some point.
Crop/Resize: The crop and resize modes are easy to use and straightforward.
There are more features than just the editing and annotating ones above.
Zoom In/Out: It might be simple (and it is), but the ability to quickly zoom in and out is definitely worth noting.
Drag Me: The “Drag Me” feature is actually pretty cool. At any time you can simply click the button and drag it to where ever you’d like to put the image, whether in a folder or right on the desktop. The image is automatically saved with the changes that were made without the need to manually save it through the “Save as image” button. Pretty nifty!
Add to Evernote: The option to add to Evernote was already mentioned earlier and it certainly is to be expected since it is owned by Evernote. If you are an avid Evernote user, and haven’t used Skitch yet for Windows (either because you didn’t know it was available yet or because you just haven’t gotten a chance to try it), I encourage you to give it a shot (heheh… ok so that was a lame pun).
Help menu: You might think that these aren’t features, but the ability to update a program manually without having to check the website for updates is most definitely a feature – and a great one at that. Also, there’s an option to show tips. This should be in more programs I think. It’s just a quick and easy way to see what everything can do again in case you forgot something (although Skitch is so simple and easy to use, there’s not really much to forget).
Certainly Skitch isn’t for everyone, but I don’t think it aims to be. It’s for the user who enjoys an intuitive, simplistic interface while still having the primary features they’ll need. PicPick, which I mentioned earlier, certainly gives Skitch a good run for its money (although both are free), because it does have so many features, but the user interface isn’t as simple. Part of that is due to all of it’s options. What I’m saying is, that there are other options and some good ones, but Skitch is definitely in the top five and I highly recommend you give it a try if you haven’t already.
What do you think about the Skitch screen capture tool? Is it something you might use? Would you try it even if you haven’t been much of one for taking screenshots in the past? What about Skitch is intriguing to you? What would you like to see different? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!
Note: Skitch is available, not only for Windows, but also specifically for Windows 8, as well as iOS, Android and Mac. Download Skitch at Evernote.com/skitch.
Image Credit: Evernote