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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.