Back when I worked in quality assurance, good screenshotting applications that did anything more than what you could already do with Command+Shift+3 were few and far between. I ended up pasting together a lot of screenshots, wishing I could just hit a button and capture the whole webpage at one time.
Those days days are over. Web Snapper, with its range of tagging features and ability to snap an entire webpage, is a pretty useful tool to have. Add to that it’s multiple export formats, and is there anything this app can’t do? We’ll find out!
Snap to It!
It’s really simple to take a screenshot of an entire webpage in Web Snapper. First, make sure you have Web Snapper open, because you’re going to need the app going if we’re meant to get anywhere on this project. You have two ways to get the webpage’s URL into Web Snapper: drag the URL from the Address Bar onto Web Snapper, or select Open URL from the File menu and copy and paste it into the field.
Tip: If you’re dragging the URL onto Web Snapper, make sure you grab the favicon to the left of the “http://”!
There’s also a handy browser extension and bookmarklet you can install from the Web Snapper menu. With either of those, you won’t actually need to have Web Snapper open to start screenshotting or worry with all that URL dragging and copying. The extension is only for use with Safari, though, and the Web Snapper FAQ makes it clear the developers aren’t eager to add Chrome or Firefox support any time soon. The bookmarklet gets around that, though, but when I tried to install it from the Web Snapper menu, it bypassed my default browser and opened in Firefox. I’m a smart cookie and did eventually get everything squared away in Chrome, albeit with a few extra steps.
When you’ve got your browser set up, and Web Snapper takes a webpage screenshot, it’s not only getting what’s visible on your display, as you would get tapping Command+Shift+3 or Command+Shift+4, but it’s also grabbing everything you’d have to scroll to see, too. All of it ends up in one continuous file, more or less, depending on your preferences when you save.
You do have a few different formats to which you can save, but the default is PDF. With a PDF, you’ll have the choice of creating one continuous page or separate pages in a single document. Web Snapper also lets you choose, GIF, BMP, PNG, TIFF, etc., to export your screenshot, but of course those aren’t going to support multipage files, so you’ll just get one giant image.
When you’re saving your screenshot, there are a few options on offer from Web Snapper you may find handy. You can choose to include the original URL, add headers and footer, create your own tags, and compose notes, all to be included in the final screenshot file. If you just want to save images from a page or need to read an article later, some of this may be extraneous, but when I was doing quality assurance on live websites I absolutely needed the URL on each screenshot I made, and the ability to add headers and footers, along with notes and tags, would have been phenomenal.
Things That Didn’t Work
I had a great time screenshotting entire webpages as multipage and single page documents. I was screenshotting everything. And then I hit on a webpage that didn’t look right in the PDF. All the text was cut off on the right and I couldn’t read any of it. I tried again, and then it happened on another page. Web Snapper was cutting off the right side of the webpage.
This by no means happened on every page I tried, and it seemed to happen more on blogs than elsewhere. I’m assuming it was a problem with themes, that Web Snapper didn’t like the themes it was was looking at. Still, it was a big disappointment, and the screenshots I got from the affected pages weren’t usable at all.
Another issue I ran into was the buttons on the Web Snapper interface itself. I should be able to email my screenshot right from the app, but I guess that only works if I’m using Mail as my default email program. It’s possible it would have worked had I been using any other application than Sparrow, my preferred application, or had the Gmail web app set as my default, but I couldn’t find anything in the FAQ or support section on the developer’s website to back that up.
To the right of the email button is the magnifying glass/Finder button that should locate my new screenshot in Finder. It never once did that. I tried sticking my screenshots all over the place, thinking Web Snapper was refusing out of some anthropomorphic insistence that my requests for it to find things for me on my otherwise empty Desktop were acts of laziness on my part, and it was going to make me work for it. So I put the screenshots in Downloads and in Documents, anything starting with a D, but no luck. That little button never worked.
Where Web Snapper worked, it worked really well. I got really good looking screenshots I could easily control. The interface is uncluttered and a breeze to use. With the Safari extension and bookmarklets for everything else, it really is so simple to make full screenshots of entire webpages.
There didn’t seem to be a workaround for the sites that would be cut off in the final screenshot, though, and if you really needed a screenshot of one of those sites, you’d have to either paste it together out of lots of Command+Shift+3 images or find another app. Which is unfortunate, since Web Snapper is otherwise so nice to work with.
I loved the ability to add notes, tags, and headers/footers. I could easily choose how my screenshot was output, and whether it was multipage or not, if I went with a PDF. There is a lot of good here, but there’s also a lot to think about before you buy the app.