8 Versatile Mac Screenshot Apps

For many Mac users, taking screenshots is activity performed several times per day. Having the right tool for the job is vital and can save an enormous amount of time. Today we’ll be taking a look at 8 excellent examples of screenshot software for OS X ranging from simple utilities, through to fully-blown applications for organizing and sharing a vast library of images.

Much of the software on offer is not only great at capturing screenshots, but also at allowing you to quickly and easily share them online. We have previously covered a range of different screen recording applications, so please feel free to delve into the archives if you’re looking for a video solution.

Grab

Grab

Grab

The default screenshot utility in OS X, it can either be invoked through opening the application or via one of several key combinations. These include:

⌘ + ⇧+ 3 = Take fullscreen picture
⌘ + ⇧ + 4 = Take selected area screenshot
⌘ + ⇧ + 4 + Space = Take screenshot of an individual window

Price: Free
Developer: Apple
Requires: Mac OS X

Paparazzi

Paparazzi

Paparazzi

Paparazzi offers a simple way to capture a website screenshot, recording the entire contents of the page. You can set the simulated browser size and choose to crop the image if desired. It is also possible to build a command-line script around Paparazzi, automating the process.

Price: Free
Developer: Open Source
Requires: Mac OS X Version 10.3 or higher

Skitch

Skitch

Skitch

A delightful all-in-one utility for capturing a screenshot, website, iSight picture, or iPhoto image. A set of in-built editing features allow you to make changes and annotate before sharing your screenshot with the world via Skitch.com or Flickr.

Price: Free
Developer: Plasq
Requires: Mac 10.4.6 or later

LittleSnapper

LittleSnapper

LittleSnapper

LittleSnapper is wonderfully designed, provides a host of features for capturing whole webpages, and has editing tools which look good enough to eat. Very full-featured, and a brilliant tool for snapping and organizing inspiration.

Price: $39
Developer: Realmac Software
Requires: Mac OS X 10.5

Snapz Pro X

Snapz Pro X

SnapzProX

The most expensive application in our roundup, but the only screenshot tool that also supports video recording. We’ve previously covered screen recording tools, but SnapzPro is also good at taking static images. Great if you need something with a little more flexibility, but over-kill if a screenshot utility is all that is required.

Price: $69
Developer: Ambrosia Software
Requires: Mac OS X 10.3.9 or later

GrabUp

GrabUp

GrabUp

GrabUp offers a seamless way to share screenshots. As soon as you’ve captured an image, it is automatically uploaded to the internet, and a link to the file placed on your clipboard. Fast, effective and very impressive. The Pro version removes banner ads, and allows you to enter custom FTP details for uploading.

Price: Free, Pro ($20)
Developer: GrabUp
Requires: Mac OS X

Layers

Layers

Layers

Layers is a screenshot utility that records all your screen content in a layered Photoshop file. Each layer represents a different application or interface element, and various options can customize what exactly is placed into the resulting file.

Price: $19.95
Developer: Wuonm
Requires: Mac OS X 10.5

Voila

Voila

Voila

Voila lets you capture from a huge variety of different sources, add annotations, and share via Mail, Flickr, FTP or iPhoto. Before taking a look, it may be worth giving this post a read. Voila borrows heavily from LittleSnapper and I’d rather hand my money over to the developers who spent time crafting an innovative interface from scratch.

Price: $39.95
Developer: Global Delight
Requires: Mac OS X 10.5.2 or later

Conclusion

I hope I’ve managed to cover most of the tools available for OS X – If you prefer a different solution, please let everyone know in the comments. Enjoy experimenting with the various apps on offer, and happy snapping!


  • lee

    i use jing! its awesome.
    http://www.jingproject.com/

    • http://www.marcofolio.net/ Marco

      Jing is a little bit annoying in my opinion.

      I use “Grab” -> Simple, easy, awesome. Another good point for “Grab” is that it “freezes” your app. This way, you can make screenshots from “hover” effects or “menu items” that are open, even when you’re moving your mouse.

      For screenshots from websites I use a Firefox plugin (there are many of them).

    • http://twitter.com/AdrianHerritt Adrian

      Yes. Jing is great. And supports Video recording…

      “Elegant in its simplicity, Jing’s minimal feature set keeps the focus on instant sharing. It’s the perfect companion to the casual, fast-paced online conversations we all have every day.” It captures windows and user-chosen areas on screen, as well as records video in mp4 format (Pro version). It comes with one-click upload ability to Screencast.com as well as Youtube. You can also annotate your screencaps with text, blocks, and arrows in much the same way as LittleSnapper.

      Price: Free. Pro Version is $14.95 a year (with very little feature difference between the two.)
      Developer: Techsmith
      Requires: Mac OS X 10.4.11, or 10.5.5 or later

  • http://www.designify.ca Michael J. Young

    You missed a modifier key for Grab: Control. This allows you to copy the screenshot to the clipboard in the same way that printscreen does in windows.

    http://www.apple.com/pro/tips/secretcapture.html

  • http://kimsokol.com Kim

    I got LittleSnapper with MacHeist, but I don’t use it – instead, I’m sticking with Skitch. I find it a lot easier to use, and I love the fact it automatically names the shot after whatever open window I’m capping.

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  • Andy Couch

    The Grab application and the screen capture utility built into Mac OS X are not the same thing. The keyboard shortcuts you mentioned are for the built-in screen capture utility, not Grab.

    Grab has its own keyboard shortcuts that can only be used when you launch the application.

  • http://creativeexit.wordpress.com Haley C

    I use Skitch also, especially for giving instruction, or pointing to things on a map etc… really handy tool. Although I still use the built-in screen capture more often than anything else, its just so easy. And like Marco said its great how it freezes the screen.

  • http://marcelocx.wordpress.com Marcelo Campiglia

    I use Grab. It do the job for me and i dont need an other application.

    • Victoria

      Will Grab capture the entire web page? I use Grab for capturing the screen or a section of the screen, but sometimes I need to capture the entire page. That’s why I’m looking for a program.

  • http://marcelocx.wordpress.com Marcelo Campiglia

    Andy Couch is right, Grab have this shortcuts:

    Selection Sht + Cmd + A
    Window Sht + Cmd + W
    Screen Cmd + Z

  • http://marcelocx.wordpress.com Marcelo Campiglia

    The other shortcuts that are in the post are “system wide” and can be used when Grab it is not running.

  • http://gobecky.net Becky

    Skitch allows uploading via FTP to any server, not just Skitch.com & Flickr.

  • http://X111.com XIII

    I’ll stick with Grab, it works for me. Skitch looks interesting but I refuse to do free bug testing for a beta app which is then going be sold commercially as soon as all the kinks have been ironed out.

  • Adi N.

    Cool, thank you!
    (i’m use Skitch, and it’s really useful)

  • Adi N.

    and i also recommend the Picturesque software. ;)

  • Bryan1884

    Grab = free and gets it done, what else do you want?

  • Zombie

    I got Little Snapper thru MacHeist. Most useless and unfriendly application. The flow is just terrible. I had to purchase Voila because of its advanced annotations for post processing of screenshots.
    Layers is another interesting application. I just wish if Voila and Layers were one package…

  • Adriaensen Klaas

    I allways use the Capture Widget from VanillaSoap Design. It provides just that little more functionality that Grab is missing. And, it’s free :)

    http://www.vanillasoap.com/widgets/

  • Nand1977

    I like Skitch, it’s good for the free version and for quick snaps I use Skitch. Then I got LS from the MacHeist bundle and bought Voila from MacUpdate promo.

    LittleSnapper does things pretty decently, however when I want to capture freehand or for advanced annotations, I switch to Voila.

    I have all 3 on my system and the 4th one SnapzPro still runs for its screen recording :) I have spent quite a lot of bucks on the screen capture and lately I tend to use Voila a little more. By the way, Voila has a cool offer on http://maczot.com today.

  • http://www.bluefrontier.co.uk/ salisbury design

    Thanks for the post.As a web designer familiar to PC but not so familiar with a Mac, I was getting a bit frustrated with the CMD SHIFT and 3 process – so really value and appreciate your post.

  • http://marcelocx.wordpress.com Marcelo

    Does anybody notice that the Grab screenshots are not to sharp or it is just me? Anybody knows how to fix this? Thanks a lot,

  • http://www.marketingtactics.com Dave Barnes

    You should add CaptureIt! to your list. It has a very different UI.

  • Yads

    I think you should be a bit responsible before making statements like that regarding Voila. People look up to such sites for real advice. Personally,i have evaluated both applications, Little Snapper and Voila,both programs use the same UI that apple created with itunes, and both sites follow the standard Apple website format with the 4-bar feature elements at the bottom. Further, Voila has several other features that Little Snapper does not cover. And as far as usage is concerned, Voila gets my vote hands down. So people use your judgement, do not go by the sob story of some developer who has no better work other than comparing two applications, when they should be working on improving their product.

  • HawkGX

    I use the SnapNDrag free version quite a bit at both the home and office. Easy interface; small footprint… nothing fancy but gets the job done quickly and easily.

    http://www.yellowmug.com/snapndrag/

    • http://sg-techlandscape.blogspot.com Dr_SG

      I use the SnapNDrag free version. It is easy to use, doesn’t use up system resources, and has just enough functionality to cover 99% of my needs. Quite often, when I take a screenshot, I immediately email it out. SnapNDrag presents a tiny thumbnail (fingernail?) of the screenshot right on the app’s main window, which I can drag onto an email and I’m good to go.

  • artmania

    Skitch is number 1 !! :)

  • http://www.yourlistings.org Your Listings

    my vote is for Voila, however other software is not bad, but i think that use more system resources

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  • Meghan

    I love using Capture Me (http://www.chimoosoft.com/products/captureme/) – it is a great, simple program!

  • eden T.

    what about TinyGrab?! how could you ignore it so badly? its awesome…

  • http://www.ondiz.net ondiz

    I’m lovin Skitch ;)

  • Brah

    is paparazzi safe?

    Love skitch but it is missing a feature I need, which is take full page screenshots of multipage websites.

  • http://www.avioesavenda.org/ Avioes a Venda

    Voila has several other features that Little Snapper does not cover. And as far as usage is concerned

  • http://justinpaine.com xxdesmus

    I’m honestly shocked that CloudApp didn’t make this list. I use it all day every day and I wouldn’t even consider switching to a different service at this point. Fast, efficient, and doesn’t have any extra fluff that I don’t need.

  • http://angelaspeed.com Angela Speed

    So far the best tool I have found is Little snapper. although when exporting to PDF, the program becomes unresponsive causing you to force quit and restart after each export. Exporting to jpg works just great, and the demo version is great if you only need a few images (allows 30 before you must export then delete to snap more).

    Please let me know if someone found one that you can combine and rename files and export into one pdf. That is what I need!

  • http://snappy-app.com Victor

    I use SnappyApp.

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