LittleSnapper: Capturing Beautiful Screenshots

There are a number of different screenshot utilities for OS X, but none with the functionality and style offered by LittleSnapper. Produced by the developers behind RapidWeaver, LittleSnapper provides a tool for capturing inspirational websites or any area of your screen. It’s simple to organize hundreds of screenshots, exporting to a variety of different formats for use elsewhere. Innovative vector editing functionality allows you to annotate and edit screenshots through an incredibly simple interface.

If you regularly feel inspired when browsing the web, LittleSnapper is one way to keep track of all the information you come across. This review will delve into the application, outline the different features on offer, and provide a handy tip for keeping your inspiration in sync between multiple computers.

LittleSnapper’s functionality can conveniently be separated into four different areas; Capture, Organize, Edit and Share.

Capturing

There are two simple methods for capturing data into LittleSnapper. First is a number of different keyboard combinations, second is a tool which sits in the OS X menu bar:

The LittleSnapper menu bar

The LittleSnapper menu bar

This allows you to capture a screenshot in a number of different ways – some completely new, and some replicating the interface already built into the default OS X screen capture utility:

  • Snap Current Web Address: This will take a full-page screenshot of the current site, and import it directly into LittleSnapper complete with URL information
  • Open Current Website: This opens the current site within LittleSnapper’s integrated browser
  • Snap Full Screen: Simply takes a screenshot of your entire screen (including multiple monitors if you have them)
  • Snap Area: Allows you to drag a cross-hair to define a particular area of the screen to capture
  • Snap Window: Brings up the OS X camera interface to pick a particular window to capture
Capturing a snap

Capturing a snap

After initiating a website capture, LittleSnapper will download all the information from the page (including HTML code) to store within its database. This can take a little while for large pages, but once imported the graphic is quick to load and perform operations upon such as zooming and editing etc.

In addition to capturing an entire site, its possible to select only a certain element of the page – such as a particular graphic or form – through opening a site within LittleSnapper’s browser, then rolling your mouse over various page elements.

Editing

The editing tools built into LittleSnapper are, in my opinion, one of the best executed features of the app. A whole range of different tools are on offer, and the following snap shows an example of most of them being put to good use. It’s rare for annotation elements to be so well designed that they often look even better than the inspirational snap you’ve captured:

Showcasing LittleSnapper's editing tools

Showcasing LittleSnapper's editing tools

Because these annotations and graphics are stored as vectors, all changes are ‘non-destructive’. This means that it is always possible to move and undo edits, along with being given the option to display or hide annotations when exporting a screenshot. Something I’d like to see integrated is a dedicated key for showing/hiding annotations when viewing a snap – similar to pressing ‘M’ in Aperture to view the master version of a photograph.

Organizing

If you start using LittleSnapper on a regular basis, it won’t take long to generate a fairly large and unwieldy set of screenshots and snippets. A number of features are built in to make organizing and browsing your inspiration a little easier. A sidebar can be expanded to add tags, ratings and category information to each snap:

Organizing using tags and ratings

Organizing using tags and ratings

The data you’re able to enter and search by includes:

  • Category: Choose between Screenshot, Websnap, Photo, Illustration, Mockup and several more
  • Tags: These allow you to create your own system for adding information. I like to tag by colour and webpage element (e.g. form, table etc) to make future searching simple.
  • Rating: Certain sites are more memorable than others – ratings separate the wheat from the chaff
  • Description: Space is available for a longer description if required

As with most modern OS X apps, you’re able to search all this information and create smart folders based upon a search result. I have several smart folders each automatically searching for a particular colour, along with organizing snaps by rating.

Sharing

Why stop at a mere desktop application? LittleSnapper also integrates with a web service called QuickSnapper to allow easy sharing and uploading of your captures and annotations to the web. You can create a QuickSnapper account from within the app or, if you prefer, send uploads to your Flickr account or an FTP server of your choice:

Here’s an example of a screenshot uploaded and shared through QuickSnapper:

picture-7

Moving a screenshot to an email or hard drive folder is just a case of dragging and dropping. You can set whether annotations are exported in the application preferences. Alternatively, it is possible to export to a particular image format or a PDF (which retains selectable text, gathered from the HTML code when the snap is captured).

Synchronization Tip

Michael Wilson emailed to let us know a great tip for keeping your LittleSnapper library in sync between several computers:

When I first downloaded the demo of LittleSnapper I instantly thought it was a great idea that would help me to easily organise my web inspiration. The one thing that stopped me from buying a license for it and switching from Evernote was the lack of a sync facility. I do a lot of work both at home and in the office and didn’t want to be doing the same process twice every time I added a new image to a project gallery.

I was looking through the preferences for LittleSnapper and noticed the option to change where you save you LittleSnapper library file. This made me think of the other fabulous application that is Dropbox – a service offering 2GB of space that lives in the ‘cloud’. It’s very handy for keeping documents in that you wish to access from more than one computer. So I took the chance of choosing to save my LittleSnapper library inside my dropbox to see if this would then update on both of my computers and… voila – it worked a treat!

Limitations and Other Utilities

It’s fairly difficult to pick out the negative side of LittleSnapper. As mentioned previously, I’d like to have a dedicated key for showing a non-annotated version of a snap. In addition, it would be good to see integration with MobileMe (either as a simple upload method, or through creating some form of online gallery).

There are a few free tools which are able to re-create LittleSnapper’s functionality to an extent. Paparazzi is a screenshot tool capable of capturing full-page images of a site. Combining this with a simple image editing app and a sharing service such as Dropbox could lead to a decent free inspiration capture system. However, it would lack the finesse and style of LittleSnapper!

If LittleSnapper seems a little expensive, don’t worry – we’ll be giving a copy away within the next couple of weeks to two lucky readers.

Conclusion

There are a number of reasons I really like this app – it’s wonderfully designed, provides a host of features for capturing data, and has editing tools which look good enough to eat. A couple of areas could use a little more development, but I do struggle to find any significant flaws. If you have any gripes with the app, do let me know!

LittleSnapper is available on the Mac App Store.


  • Jake

    Wow 9/10? I saw this app, but somewhat shrugged it off. Maybe I’ll have to pick it up or maybe even win it hehe.

    • http://davidappleyard.net David Appleyard

      As far as a tool for taking and organizing screenshots goes, it’s difficult to beat. It’d be great if they create something similar for video/screencasts in the future.

      • Jake

        I’m sure they will after seeing the response that this app gets. Then they could integrate with QuickSnapper. That would be cool.

    • Whiteyez

      I love this app! I didnt think it was so usefull..thanks appstorm.

  • http://www.rubiocommunications.com RUBIO_Janet

    Good grief this looks like a wonderful app! The price is possibly a bit on the steep side for those not earning dollars, but that’s probably my only negative comment!

  • http://www.gabriellopes.com Gabriel

    Awesome review. Nice app.
    i´ll try it. i should make a review about the PostBox app. lovely.

  • http://john.onolan.org JohnONolan

    I’m currently giving away 2 free copies of LittleSnapper on my blog – all AppStorm readers are welcome :) http://tinyurl.com/dyvqyc

  • http://www.eberlin.co.uk eberlin

    Another superb review. My problem is that all these great apps that you write about merely tempt me to empty my bank account (I have just bought Things after your review and failing to win the competition!).

  • http://ryanroberts.co.uk Ryan Roberts

    Not sure if you guys would object to this so feel free to remove it but John O’Nolan has two full copies of Little Snapper up for grabs on his blog: http://john.onolan.org/best-web-design-business-apps-littlesnapper/

    It’s a fantastic app and I highly recommend it! :)

  • http://www.webmaster-source.com redwall_hp

    I like Skitch. It’s free, it takes screenshots, and let’s you annotate them. It has some good upload options as well. You can, for example, have it upload the file to an FTP server.

    • James

      Note: Little Snapper can upload to QuickSnapper, Flickr, or any FTP.

    • Josso

      I agree.
      Though I will take this app in mind, if I need to take screenshot of the whole page. :)

  • James

    David, I downloaded the free version a while back and have been using it like crazy. I haven’t found a reason to pay for it. Can you explain what the paid version adds?

  • http://www.masey.com.au Masey

    Easily one of the best Apps I, as a designer, have added to my MBP since I got the thing. I can highly recommend it!

  • http://appleinfused.com Ray

    I use grabup for things like this to be done, I might invest in this app as it seems quite attractive.

  • joe

    O.T but i just want to thank you for this blog! Ive been waiting for a blog like this

  • http://www.maximebornemann.com MBornemann

    I’ve never heard of this app before but, strangely enough, this is exactly what I needed!

  • http://www.unboxmedia.net Rory

    This app is fantastic! It has several features that are unique to it, being a web designer I find these to be VERY helpful!

  • http://www.tutorialwow.com/ Ben Lind

    Looks really nice! However, I agree with RUBIO_Janet when I say that the price is a bit much. I would highly recommend Skitch – the free screen capture app that does everything this can do.

  • dave

    At first I thought this app was way over priced but the capturing and sorting was just what I needed to sort out screenshots of tuts, articles, receipts, etc… So I picked it up and it has turned into one of my fav apps and worth every damn penny 3x over. I ditched paperazzi & skitch within 5 minutes of using this app.

  • Alex

    “but none with the functionality and style offered by LittleSnapper.”

    I beg to differ! Have you never heard of Skitch! hrmph And even better, Skitch is free! Unlike Little Snapper.

    • http://mlgvideos.com Jordan

      Perhaps you missed out on the keyword “functionality.”

  • http://www.suberapps.com Ben

    I’m all for LittleSnapper, I love the great looking annotation tools, looks way better than Skitch. The only gripe I have is that it doesn’t let you resize your screenshots effortlessly as compared to doing annotations.

    There’s a new update to let you do resize on export, but the resize function is still flawed as it doesn’t let you resize proportionally, you’ll have to calculate the height after entering the width, the app doesn’t auto calculate the height for you, or vice versa.

    Otherwise, great app with a very cool online community to share your screenshots with, and discover other users’ inspirations.

  • http://www.falkencreative.com/ Benjamin Falk

    I’ll have to download LittleSnapper and try it out. I’ve been using Evernote + a Firefox plugin, which has been working pretty well for me, but it does look like LittleSnapper would speed up the process. Hopefully I can pull screenshots from Firefox, rather than only being about to use Safari, since Firefox is usually my browser of choice. (Yes, I see it can grab a portion of my screen, but that most likely means that I would have to enter URL information, etc. myself, which defeats the purpose of saving time by grabbing the URL)

    • http://davidappleyard.net David Appleyard

      It works great with a range of browsers, Firefox included.

  • javi

    I WOULD LOVE TO OWN THIS COPY YOU ARE GIVING AWAY!

    Cheers

  • http://www.deezignink.com Chris

    Is there any reason i would want to own this rather than using Paparazzi! ? I’ve been using that for a while and it seems to do the same things as this? Compare and contrast please? Paparazzi! is free btw

  • http://WWW.goldentechs.com Spookus

    Thanks for letting me know about this application. I actually googled a coupon discount and got $5 off:-)

  • Pingback: 10 Clever Screen Recording Tools for Mac « AppStorm

  • Pingback: Win a Copy of LittleSnapper « AppStorm

  • ath adja

    i have capture app but i can’t edit it..
    but little snapper do more..
    look my screenshot

    http://ath-adja.deviantart.com/art/my-desktop-screen-114723778

  • http://www.brizk.com Kai Brach

    I’m a Littlesnapper user but to be honest I’m not really that happy with the app. There are tons of features requests in the realmac support forums, but nobody answers to them and new feature updates have been very very rare in the last months. There are some free alternatives out there I’d go for now if I had to decide again…

  • Pingback: Layers: Multi Layered Screenshots « AppStorm

  • Pingback: Mailplane: Gmail on your Desktop « AppStorm

  • Pingback: Techknology’s Blog » Mailplane: Gmail on your Desktop

  • Pingback: Best Web Design Business Apps: LittleSnapper | John O'Nolan

  • http://www.geniuzdesigns.de g3niuz

    looks like a really great app…

    i would need that ;D

  • Pingback: Christmas Giveaway Day 10: LittleSnapper – Mac.AppStorm

  • Pingback: How To Streamline Screenshots with Skitch | Mac.AppStorm

  • Pingback: How To Streamline Screenshots with Skitch | Design City

  • Paul Grew

    Thanks for the information, this saves me time reviewing all the other software products out there.

  • Pingback: Freelance Mac App Bundle | SSTechBlog

  • Pingback: Page Layers: Turn a Website Into a Layered Photoshop Document | Mac.AppStorm

  • Pingback: Page Layers: Turn a Website Into a Layered Photoshop Document | Apple World

  • Pingback: Page Layers: Turn a Website Into a Layered Photoshop Document | Design City

  • The Kid

    Great app. Highly recommend it. 5/5.
    Only downside, snapping full screen in Firefox (with scrolling) doesn’t seem to work, other browsers, not an issue.

theatre-aglow
theatre-aglow
theatre-aglow
theatre-aglow