Monosnap: A Feature-Packed Super Screen Capture App

There are plenty of screen capture apps, but they all seem to do too much or too little. If you haven’t found an app for creating and editing screen shots beyond what comes standard in Mac OS X, it’s likely because what’s available either gets in your way or doesn’t have enough features to make it worth a switch.

I’m right there in the same camp as you. I take a lot of screen captures and have tried a handful of different apps, but nothing’s ever stuck. Maybe Monosnap, a tiny screen capture app with a pile of features, will change all that. We’ll take a look at Monosnap and see if it has the chops to make me switch from the default OS X tools.

Capture Everything

There are a few different ways to use Monosnap, but the most familiar are going to be Capture Area and Capture Fullscreen. These are similar to the two screen capture methods already present in OS X and accessible via the Command+Shift+3 and Command+Shift+4 keyboard shortcuts. Capture Fullscreen, whether selected from the menu bar or initiated with the default shortcut, will just create a screen capture of everything on the display. Capture Area allows you to select a portion of the screen to capture, or you can click a window with the selection cursor, and just that window will be captured.

The Capture Area tool even has a nifty zoom so you can get exactly the shot you want.

The Capture Area tool even has a nifty zoom so you can get exactly the shot you want.

Similar to the selected area and fullscreen capture, Monosnap also has a delayed capture. Choose the delay capture in the menu bar and then quickly get your screen set up. After ten seconds, Monosnap will grab the screen shot. This method is great if you can’t get everything into place before selecting the menu bar icon, for instance if you need to get a screen capture of a right-click menu.

Once you’ve got your screen shot, it will open in the Monosnap editor, though you can change this in the application preferences. Monosnap will save the screen shot, upload it, or open it in an external editor instead, if you like. The Monosnap editor’s pretty good, though, because it has just enough features to work without getting in the way. Annotate your image with shapes, arrows, or text. You won’t be able to go too far in customizing your annotations, but there are just enough options to keep the editor from feeling bloated. When you’re done, just drag the tab to your Desktop or a folder.

If a static image just won’t do it for you, and you instead need to share a video of what’s happening on your Desktop, Monosnap can help. While it won’t capture and save video, it will create a livestream of whatever you’re doing, accessed via a personalized URL on their website. The Desktop livestream definitely won’t be a solution if you need to create videos to save and upload elsewhere, but if you just want to quickly show one or more people something on your Mac that can’t be conveyed with images, this is a nice extra feature to have.

Yeah, I'm livestreaming my Desktop background. It's that good. And Monosnap is making it happen.

Yeah, I’m livestreaming my Desktop background. It’s that good. And Monosnap is making it happen.

Great Built-in Sharing

Monosnap will upload and share your screen shots and give you a URL to share. You’ll need to create an account, but it was a really simple process and worth it for the ease of getting my screen shots up and shared so quickly. Unfortunately, Monosnap won’t automatically shorten your URL, so if you want to paste it anywhere with character restrictions, you’re on your own.

Set your upload preferences, how you want your screen shot to be saved, and more.

Set your upload preferences, how you want your screen shot to be saved, and more.

When you’re done, Monosnap by default will copy to your clipboard the page link to your image. That is, it creates a sort of splash page to house your screen shot, and that’s the link that gets shared. Alternately, let Monosnap know in the application preferences you’d like the direct image link, and that’s what you’ll get.

If you’d rather upload your images to your own FTP server, though, Monosnap lets you do that, and there’s no account registration required. Just enter your credentials in Monosnap’s application preferences, and you’ll be all set to upload.

Snap It Up!

Monosnap is just a fantastically simple app for creating screen shots. While I admit it doesn’t have the complete lack of features a simple Command+Shift+3 keystroke does, it doesn’t have the same bloat that a lot of other screen capture apps do. All you need is there in the capture and annotation functions, and if you don’t want to annotate, you can just let Monosnap save your images to a default location.

These are some pretty sweet annotations, you've got to admit.

These are some pretty sweet annotations, you’ve got to admit.

If you do want some extra features, Monosnap has some great ones, making it easy to create really good-looking annotations and simple livestreams. There’s a great upload feature, too, again, if you want it. If you don’t need any of that, it’s neatly tucked out the way. I was surprised at how much I got with a free app and how simple it was to fold Monosnap into my routine, quickly replacing other screen shot and editing apps.


Stellar screen capture app. Feature-packed without ending up bloated.



Add Yours
  • I really wanted to try it (oddly enough I was looking for an app like this today).
    However, at first run it asks me to create an account (errmm.. no thanks?) or use facebook (don’t have a facebook account and If I did, still, errrm… no thanks?).

    Shame. Not that I’m uptight, it’s just that I downloaded a screen grabbing app, social gibberish or creating accounts with them for whatever purpose.. that should be entirely optional.

    • To be honest I might have been too quick on the perception.
      I just noticed a “flash” icon on the top bar (still 2 years later and can’t get used to that part of OS X), and voila! It’s there.

      So basically, the initial screen, which is still annoying and I don’t know what’s for… was closed but the app appears to run just fine.

    • Someone else said that in a review somewhere, too, but it wasn’t my experience at all. I was able to create screen shots and even stream my desktop without an account. I just couldn’t upload them to Monosnap without an account, but that’s entirely optional. You can even upload to your own FTP, bypassing the need for a Monosnap account entirely!

    • appsychedelic, have you tried dragging an image file to the menulet?
      By dropping images on that “flash icon” in your menu bar you can open files in your external image editor or use the services you set up in the preferences.

      I’m using this app for quick annotations in screenshots of layouts, websites, etc. or to blur out personal/private informations in screenshots (like passwords) before sharing them with colleagues. (so I dont have to open PS for such a simple task)

      I, btw, am using this app without any social-media-features and did not had to create any account either!

      You can – as mentioned already by Paula in the article – also use your own FTP- or WebDAV-Server to upload the images. Works great, and you don’t have to sign up/create an account on the developers website.

      You might also want to set up/use the keyboard shortcuts/hotkeys instead of the menulet to capture screenshots.

      I don’t know what you mean by “annoying initial screen”, tho.

      Paula, thanks for the article.


      • Dan, thanks so much for sharing how you’re using Monosnap! :D

      • Thanks for the insight. The initial annoying screen was the thing that popped out when I just installed it (prompting me to believe it would require me to login to a social website just to use it).

        However, after trying it out it’s really great!
        And yes, the upload can work well with a WebDAV/FTP server of my own.

        So the verdict after trying it out: It works real fine. It’s a tidy little nice app that becomes really useful specially if you want to add annotations and the like in an easy manner.

        Thanks for the heads up Paula ;)

  • So basically it’s Skitch?

    • So basically your mum’s Skitch?

    • Skitch and Monosnap are both screen capture apps, if that’s what you’re asking. Not everyone likes Skitch, though. (I don’t!) :)

    • yeah, it’s Skitch pre-Evernote buyout.

      Like, really.

  • Wow, really useful app. Simple one, but have all the features I needed.

    BTW I think there is a small correction needed in your article. Monosnap gives automatic short links, you need to turn on that option in the General options section :)

    • I wasn’t able to create short links, but there’s been an update since I reviewed the app that may have fixed that! (I also had difficulty logging back in after logging out, but that was after the review was published. The update fixed that problem for me.)

  • A Great simple tool !

  • I have quite a few screen shot apps. I mostly use LittleSnapper but have been making the switch to Voila as development of LS has been stale for a while.

    Tried this and have to say it’s simplicity is what makes it so good. Definitely a keeper for quick screenshots/annotaiton & sharing. Much better than Skitch ever was imo.

    • I agree. I like how easy to use it is while still having key features.

    • Voila is truly a great app. Kudos to the developers!

  • Hi Paula DuPont

    thanks for this nice screen capture app, this guide really helped to generate screenshot