4 OS X Screenshot Tools

Taking screen captures in OS X is pretty simple and powerful. Today I’ll explain how to use the built-in screen capture functionality, the included application Grab, and a couple of third-party options that offer extra functionality.

Shooting Screen Captures With Snagit For Mac Beta

Working as a technical writer and writing for WebWorkerDaily mean I shoot a lot of screen captures to illustrate my documents and posts. I like my screenshot apps to offer flexible capture options and have a light footprint, but I hadn’t found a good one for my Macs (s aapl) yet.

Techsmith, the makers of applications including Jing (recently covered by Doriano), Camtasia and Snagit for Windows recently launched Snagit for Mac beta, the Mac version of its popular screen capture application that is pretty much a standard in the Windows (s msft) technical writing community. This new beta requires an Intel Mac running OS X Leopard or Snow Leopard. Read More about Shooting Screen Captures With Snagit For Mac Beta

5 Things You Can Do With Aviary Screen Capture

Image Markup - Aviary_s FalconIt seems hard to improve on a standard screen capture, right? You want a copy of whatever happens to be on your screen, so you take a screen cap. But Aviary, which already has an impressive array of online photo-editing tools, has come up with a nifty screen-capping web app and a matching Firefox plugin that improve on the basics.

Here are five things that make Aviary screen capture really useful. Read More about 5 Things You Can Do With Aviary Screen Capture

Say Cheese: 3 Screen Capture Tools Reviewed

screencapiconsDo you have a need to capture screenshots for personal or work use? If so, you are in luck as the market for these tools is improving. In case you did not know, Apple provides default screenshot capturing within OS X (via command keys) and also provides an enhanced free tool (Grab). However, if you need more control than what Apple provides, you will want to read on and see what else is available to you.

We’ll be taking a look at three different screen capture tools. A longtime standard of mine has been Ambrosia’s Snapz Pro X. Another very popular tool is Plasq’s Skitch. And a short while ago, the folks at RealMac software released LittleSnapper, a new tool that takes a different approach to screenshot capturing.

Let’s take a look at what each tool provides…
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Where to Get Your Daily Show Fix and More Online

With Time Warner Cable (s TWC) poised to take Viacom (s VIA) channels off the air in New York, Los Angeles, Dallas and several other cities Jan. 1 due to a dispute over raising fees, that’s an awful lot of people who will be missing The Daily Show, Best Week Ever, Degrassi and The City.

Time Warner, which also happens to be in the broadband business (convenient!), says it will be telling consumers where to find those programs online and how to hook them up to their TVs. And just that simple act would be a HUGE step forward for online video.

But seeing as Jan. 1 is tomorrow, if you’re a true TV junkie, you may want the assurance of having that list right now. Beyond all the different complications of online distribution deals, one problem with finding Viacom shows is they have a strategy of giving them each their own site, so hopefully we can give you a full-episode kickstart here.

The Daily Show with Jon Stewart: its own site, Hulu, Fancast

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Silverback – Usability Testing for the Rest of Us

If you’re a website or software developer, then surely you’ve heard of usability testing before. To many web developers, “usability testing” is one of those buzz words that clients and developers love to use, and something that is very rarely actually done.

The reason? Usability testing requires you setup a lab of computers (or at least one) with specialized software that records the users actions and clicks on the computer, and potentially their expressions and eye movement through the use of a camera. Usability software can be very expensive and complex.

Until now.

Clearleft just released Silverback, a simple usability testing software that’s only $49.95. And it comes with a full-featured 30-day trial.

Silverback sits in the background, capturing the user’s screen activity in the form of a Quicktime video, and also records audio and video from your Mac’s iSight camera (or any webcam). The finished test can be customized and output as full-resolution Quicktime movie or saved down to a smaller file size suitable for email or web use.

Read More about Silverback – Usability Testing for the Rest of Us

2 Ways to Take Screenshots From Your iPhone

Ever wanted to know how to get great screenshots from your iPhone? It’s really easy. With the iPhone 2.0 software, you can simply hold down the Home button and press the top (on/off) button. The screen will flash and the screenshot will be saved to your iPhoto library. That’s quick and simple, for sure, but to actually use the screenshots on your computer you still have to transfer them.

You can also grab screenshots directly from your computer while plugged into your iPhone or iPod Touch. First, you have to download and install the iPhone SDK. Don’t worry, it’s free. You just have to have the desktop software tools that come with the SDK.

Open Xcode and open the Organizer window (from the Window menu). Plug in your iPhone or iPod Touch and in a few seconds, it should appear in the list of devices on the left. The first time you plug in your iPhone or iPod Touch you will be asked if you want to use that device for development.

Once you’ve got your device setup, just click the “Screenshot” tab in the Organizer window and you can capture screenshots from your device. You can capture literally any screenshot, including the lock screensaver, video as it’s playing, even as you’re holding a button down.

It can come in very handy when writing tutorials or taking screenshots of your application or mobile website for use on your marketing materials.

Sequence: Screencasting On A Budget

App4Mac has introduced Sequence 1.0b1 a simple, yet powerful, screen capture/casting application for OS X Leopard. With Sequence, you can very easily capture and save an image or a movie of your screen to your computer’s clipboard or to a file in practically any image format (bmp, pict, gif, jpg, png, tiff & pdf).

The welcome screen explains most of the functionality pretty well. You can choose between image mode or motion capture mode and select fixed, free selection or full screen mode. Just move the selection area around, resize (if in free selection mode) and capture away. It’s that simple. You may select where the image goes (including MobileMe)

For movie captures, you have the option of turning on your Mac’s microphone (if available) and also including input from your iSight camera (again, if available). You can choose what part of the screen the picture-in-picture display will be placed and all audio will be included (if you chose that option). It saves the output to a Quicktime “.mov” file.

“Doodle” mode enables you to make annotations on screen, but options are limited at this point in the beta release. Application preferences are also not fully functional at this time.

There are two truly amazing points about the program. First: both modes (image and video capture) work very well, even without binding to the standard capture keys (which is a forthcoming option). Second: it’s $9.00 USD with lifetime free upgrades. While it may not have the high end features of similar programs, there is no way you can go wrong with ability to do picture-in-picture screen/app-casting with audiio for nine bucks (which may go up after July 4, 2008, so you might want to grab your copy now).

If you do a great deal of screencasting, appcasting or screen image captures, let us know if Sequence is or may become a valuable tool in your workflow processes by dropping a note in the comments.