5 Easy Mac Screen Capture Tools For Perfect Screenshots
Several years ago (back when I was still a PC-user), I saw a friend take a screenshot on his Mac. It was the first time I’d ever seen it done, and I was amazed that a computer could capture an image of its own screen! (Isn’t it funny what technology we thought was “amazing” just a few years ago?)
Now there are hundreds of Mac screen capture tools available (both built-in and beyond) to help Mac users take the perfect screenshot. And some of them have some pretty incredible features.
Because we can’t help but share really cool stuff with you, we’ve taken that list of hundreds and whittled it down to our five favorite Mac screen capture tools. These programs are fast to obtain and easy to use.
5 Easy Mac Screen Capture Tools
Before we get into tools you can download, let’s take a look at the screen capture options that are built in to your Mac.
Macs come preprogrammed with simple shortcuts for taking screen captures. To take a screen capture of your entire screen, press and hold Shift+Command+3. Or, to capture a selected area, by press and hold Shift+Command+4.
Here’s a neat little trick. Let’s say you want to capture a specific object only, like your dock. Press and hold Shift+Command+4, then hit the spacebar. You’ll see a little camera icon replace your cursor. Now move the camera over the object you’d like to capture (it will give you options by pre-selecting certain areas for you to choose from). Unfortunately, I couldn’t capture the camera in a screenshot. But you can see in the screenshot below that the dock has been selected because it is highlighted in blue.
Then, simply click to capture your image. You now have a screen capture of that specific object without anything “extra” around it.
Now let’s get into some downloadable Mac screen capture tools.
Skitch is owned by Evernote, so any work you do through Skitch can automatically be saved to an Evernote account (just create an account and make sure you’re logged in).
When you’re ready to take a screenshot, simply click on Skitch’s icon in your top menu bar and select what kind of shot you want to take. You can choose from a full screenshot, a selected area screenshot, and a timed screenshot.
The timed screenshot is a nice feature if you want to take a picture of a drop down menu or something that happens only if you hover your mouse over a particular object. If you choose this option, use the tool to select the general area you will be capturing. Then, you have five seconds to drop a menu or hover over a link-whatever you’re trying to capture.
Once your screenshot is taken, you can add arrows, text, shapes, drawings, stamps, and even blur out names or faces.
And, changing the the format and the name of your screenshot is a breeze with Skitch. These edits can be made right after capturing your image by select those options in the bottom left corner of the window.
Another great feature in Skitch is how easy it is to add your screen captures to documents, PowerPoint, emails… you get the picture. While the editing window is open, click on the tab at the bottom-center of the window. Once clicked, you can then drag and drop your image wherever you’d like to include it. You can also do this with images saved to Evernote—simply find the image you want to integrate, and then drag and drop where you want it.
If you have an Evernote account and don’t feel like adding another program to your Mac, Evernote’s WebClipper extension (created to help you save anything you see online) has a built-in screenshot tool. Simply click the extension’s button within your browser and select the Screenshot option. You can click to capture the full screen or select a specific area to capture.
WebClipper has the same mark-up and annotating tools as Skitch, so you can add text, arrows, shapes, and stamps, highlight, blur out names and faces, and draw. Unfortunately, you can’t choose a specific file format for your image like you can in Skitch. But, you can rename your image just by clicking the default title at the top of the editing window.
One feature unique to WebClipper is the ability to add tags and comments to your images. With this function, you can find specific images within Evernote just by searching for a tag, or share your thoughts on a particular image with someone.
SharpShooter is a program that allows you to edit the name, format, and location of each screenshot you take as they are taken. And SharpShooter will give you a preview of each screenshot right after it’s captured, so you can immediately decide to save or delete it.
SharpShooter is not a free program, but you can get a free 30-day trial. If you take a lot of screenshots, SharpShooter will be worth the one-time cost. Being able to edit the name, format, and location all in one window and right after capturing a screenshot saves a ton of time and makes organizing your screenshots a breeze.
Awesome Screenshot is a simple browser extension that lets you annotate screenshots and gives you a variety of options for saving your images.
To take a screenshot, simply click the button within your browser and select what kind of screenshot you want to take. You can capture the visible part of the page, a selected area, the entire page, or choose a delayed image capture. Once your screenshot is captured, you can easily mark up images with text and shapes, blur out names and faces, or crop unwanted portions.
Once you’re done annotating, there are a variety of ways to save your images. You can send it directly to a folder in Google Drive, copy it to your clipboard, or save it temporarily to awesomescreenshot.com, where you can share the image with others. (Temporarily-saved images expire after three days.) I think the temporary option is great because you can save all your only-temporarily-needed screenshots without taking up memory on your computer. But, if you don’t care about that, you can certainly save them to your hard drive.
LightShot is a very easy-to-use screenshot tool. It gives you basic mark-up and annotation tools and the ability to upload your screenshots to the web and get their short links for sharing (or you can save the screenshots to your hard drive).
If you choose to upload your screenshots to the web, you can share your image on social media easily and immediately through the social sharing buttons provided on LightShot’s website. And one really cool feature about LightShot is the ability to search for images similar to your screenshot on Google.
There are two things in LightShot I’m not crazy about. First, once you open LightShot for a screen capture, you can’t scroll to change what you’re viewing. So whatever you want to capture needs to be visible before opening LightShot. Then, once you’ve selected what you want to capture, the editing tools automatically appear—that’s fine, but there isn’t a clear indication of how to save your screenshot.
The saving options are at the bottom of the capture, and it’s not very clear that’s how you save your screenshot. The first time I used LightShot, I thought I was blind—I kept looking for a “Capture” or “Save Image” button but couldn’t find anything. Then I realized where they were.
What are your favorite Mac screen capture tools?
When I first started taking screenshots, I used Awesome Screenshot. Now, I like to use Skitch. I really like the mark-up tools they provide, and I love being able to change the title and format of my screen capture without opening another window. I only wish I could add tags and comments like you can in WebClipper. (Hey, Evernote! Could you add that feature to Skitch? Please and thanks!)
This list is just a small number of the great screen capture tools available, but in our opinion, they’re the best. Now go become a screen capture pro!
What are your favorite screen capture tools for Mac? Let us know in a comment below.