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I take screen captures just about every day. I'm always writing articles, blog posts and doing tutorials and therefore I need to capture what I'm doing on screen quite often. While the Mac has had this ability built-in for years, I have always preferred dedicated utilities that offer more features. I've been using SnapzPro X for years. I started out with this utilities because I sometimes need to record what I'm doing on screen as a movie. Of course since it can capture both movies and stills, it was great to have. In more recent years I've started using other utilities to capture what I'm doing on screen as a movie. My favorite two are iShowU and ScreenFlow. The one main reason I use iShowU the most now is because once I'm done with the capture, there is no post rendering process. I use ScreenFlow when I want to do some editing, put in callouts and easily integrate my iSight camera of me presenting into the movie. Unfortunately in SnapzPro X if you capture a 10 minute recording, once you say "done" it has to render out the movie for 10 minutes. This basically made it unusable for recording things like our 90 minute user group meeting presentations because I didn't have another 90 minutes after the meeting to let it sit and render. Since iShowU doesn't have this limit, I've been able to use it at our meetings for the past year. Also note that even QuickTime X in Snow Leopard can record your screen as a QuickTime movie too.



LittleSnapper is a dedicated Mac (Leopard and Snow Leopard) screen capture utility. What's nice about it is that it goes beyond the standard capture your screen, capture a window, capture a selection functions found in the OS and every other app in that it also lets you manage and do some light markup on the images that you capture. Many times when I capture a window or palette in an app I have to then go into Photoshop and use the tools there to circle what I want you to see in the image that I captured. Well LittleSnapper has all of those kinds of markups built-in. 


This will speed up my work considerably! You can put arrows, highlights and text on too, which will be a great help to anyone that is documenting software. There's also the ever important Crop tool and the ability to change the name of the image captured.

Once you launch the app, you can either use the LittleSnapper menu no matter which app you're in or you can use a keyboard shortcut to capture your whole screen, one or more windows, a selected area or do a Timed Full Screen capture (and crop it later).

The next thing that I really like is that the captures don't end up all over my desktop. They are filed away neatly in the app itself (in a folder on your hard drive that you can change if you like). Once the capture is in the app you can then annotate it, add metadata tags to it for easy searching later.


Capture a full webpage

One of the traditional problems with capturing a webpage is that often times you can fit the entire length of the page on your screen at one time. LittleSnapper had a built-in browser. So just key in/paste in the URL and once LittleSnapper displays the page you can snap the entire length of it.


Click to the image to see it larger.



Once you've done everything to the screen capture that you want to do in the app, you can then export it either as a PNG or JPG file. You also have the ability to upload it to an FTP site, or their free image sharing site. Although PNG and JPG are what I use most of the time, I'd like to see the option for .PSD format like in SnapzPro X because then there is no compression applied and I can tweak it the way I want before saving for web. I'd also like to see an Export to Email (Mail) option. I snap a screen shot, hit a button and it attaches it to a new email message. 


The Bottom Line

I've already replaced most of what I was using SnapzPro X for with iShowU. While SnapzPro X is still an excellent screen capture utility, it doesn't offer a complete workflow. In other words once it captures the image to your desktop or folder you're on your own after that. Lastly and probably the biggest reason I've been looking for a SnapzPro replacement is that the way SnapzPro X installs is that it runs all the time and I have to wait for it to start up each time I boot or login. Having to wait for SnapzPro to load whether I'm going to do a screen capture or not really gets old. LittleSnapper is an app that you launch when you need it and quit when you don't. I was also impressed at the number of preferences that you can control in the app. Lastly and probably the one thing I would really want them to add is the ability to also capture your cursor/pointer. They promise to add this, but currently if you pull down a menu or point at something onscreen your pointer will NOT be captured.

LittleSnaper is $35 and available here. You can download a trial to try it out.

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One Response to Screen Captures with LittleSnapper

  1. Bob Eavns says:

    Terry, thanks.
    I’ve been using LittleSnapper for sometime, great UK app!
    You seem to be getting more out of it than me, any chance you could do a little video tutorial of the advanced features you mention.