Since the time when there was only the full-screen print function, the tools for screen-shooting have evolved a lot. Now you can select what you’re snapping, create annotations, easily share with your friends, all in a matter of seconds. Screenshots became popular because they’re a great way to catch information on the spot. Taking screenshots is like taking a picture of a place you visit, only this time, you’re visiting your Mac.
LittleSnapper is the epitome of screen-shooting. It covers most aspects of what you’d want a snapshot application to deal with. It has advanced features to capture, edit, organize and share your images. And this article won’t only work around what LittleSnapper offers, but also how you could use its resources to take screen-shooting to the next level.
Learning the basics
I’ve been using LittleSnapper for a while; every single article I wrote for AppStorm recently had most of their images taken by the application. The sidebar gives quick access to your Library, Folders, Smart Collections or Collections. The default options can be added or removed at LittleSnapper’s Preferences. You can’t place snapshots within Folders, only Collections, the previous are here to nest your Collections or even more folders, in a hierarchy similar to Finder.
In the main window, you have three kinds of views. Probably the first one you’ll see is the Icon View, which displays your images on superb-looking and resizable thumbnails. Next comes the Edit View, where you can include your annotations, but more on that later. From these two views you may also use the Info panel on the right, which allows you to manipulate the metadata and tags from the image, or upload it to Flickr or a FTP server.
The last view is the Browser. LittleSnapper has a built-in browser for you to grab specific spots from the web pages you’d like to keep images from. The Browser is one of those features that you underestimate, but in the end it changes the way you see the application.
LittleSnapper places a pretty little icon in your menubar and it will definitely be the most used method to take your screenshots. It comes with universal keyboard shortcuts that blend easily to former users of the Mac built-in screenshot application. Yet, the best thing about the status item is that it doesn’t require LittleSnapper open to work, neither will it open every time you take a picture (unless you tell it to on Preferences).
Among the options given by LittleSnapper you’ll find the possibility to snap full screen, timed full screen, an area or a window. If you have an open website, LittleSnapper will also give you the alternative to capture its web address or open it in its own browser for further control. As you open a URL in LittleSnapper’s browser, it allows you to snap the whole page, as in a web archive or snap only a part of it.
When you choose to snap a part of a webpage, LittleSnapper will intuitively highlight its elements. You can edit them later, but it usually gets it right. As you may see from the image above, I’m selecting only the article for the screenshot, giving me a clean image to keep forever. Turns out that you may convert LittleSnapper into your personal web article repository.
Editing your Snapshots
As you take a few screenshots, it might be a good time to edit them. LittleSnapper probably offers everything you’d want to point out something in your images. You can draw vector shapes, arrows, write and even blur, highlight or crop your image or its parts. You can change the size or color of the outlines and create references with your text notes, connecting your indications in a more refined way.
When you’re done, you may share the image in one of your configured accounts or just use the navigational arrows to move to the next snapshot in Edit View.
Organizing your Library
As you finish editing your screen shot, would be a great idea to organize them for later reference. LittleSnapper offers several tools for making it a breeze to find your images later. In the sidebar, you have a Smart Collection named Unprocessed, which will point out images that still require to be organized. Then you have several Smart Collections to arrange images by its type. Most of the time you’ll take screen or web snaps, but you can change that anytime on the Info panel.
Then at the Info panel, you may change the URL address for the image, if you did a web snap, there’ll find the site it was taken from. You can modify the type, which influences mostly the Collections’ behavior, include tags of all sorts or add a description to your snapshot. Put all these features together (there’s also a Tag Manager if you want to spend some time working only on tags) and you simply can’t get lost under your shots.
Sharing your Pictures
LittleSnapper integrates with Flickr or with your own FTP server. Is that enough? Maybe. I miss a direct option to send an email with the image as an attachment or perhaps posting directly into Facebook. Still, you can drag snaps out of LittleSnapper and drop them wherever you need them, may that be your desktop, your Droplr icon in the menubar or an upload field on a website.
But that’s not all. LittleSnapper can also export pictures taken from its web browser as a PDF with selectable text. Or you can export screenshots as a Snap Bundle. But what is that? Every time you take a screenshot with LittleSnapper, it stores everything in layers and that´s what the Snap Bundle is. Pretty nifty, eh?
What is there to improve?
A few things were already listed through the article, like the lack of further sharing tools, like email, Facebook or even Airdrop. The Snap Bundles and the way LittleSnapper splits your images in layers feels underused to me, and it would be nice to have a built-in control of them so you can take a full-screen snap and remove elements like your menubar from it right on the application.
However, those are luxury. The only reason for LittleSnapper not to grab a 10 in this review is the absence of a resize tool. You can easily open your images on Preview or any other editor of your choice, but that’s not the point. Every screen shot you see in this article was taken by LittleSnapper, however, all of them had to go through Preview for resizing. That’s something that shouldn’t be missing in LittleSnapper itself.
If you deal with screen shots of any kind, LittleSnapper is the application to go, no doubt. It is a powerhouse with plenty of features to please both the power and regular users. The further you dig it, the better it gets. And as you use it, it may show you different ways to turn its tools into new directions, like saving your web articles or as an image organizer itself.