App of the Month – Skitch

App of the Month – Skitch

If a simple screenshot app is what you’re looking for, then Skitch is the answer.

A big part of web design is getting the layout right.  Sometimes it’s easier to take a quick picture of a page and mark it up with the revisions to send to a client.  Using a Mac, taking screenshots and marking them up can be easily done right through Preview.  A lot of people don’t know that a quick Shift-CMD-3 will take a full screen snapshot or that Shift-CMD-4 will let you use crosshairs to select the part of the screen you want to capture.  If you didn’t know that, well now you do.  It’s quick and easy.  It will also litter your desktop with screenshots.

Taken with Skitch

Taken with Skitch

Skitch is an amazing little program.  Once it’s installed a small heart shaped icon shows up in the menu bar.  Click the arrow to drop down the options menu.  The top two options are the ones I use the most. Crosshair Snapshot and Fullscreen Snapshot.

  • Crosshair snapshot lets you draw a box around exactly what you want a screenshot of.
  • Fullscreen snapshot does just what it says.  You get a snapshot of the entire screen.
  • Other options include:
    • Frame Snapshot – Allows you to select content in the Skitch frame while still being able to move the page or window behind it.
    • Snap from link – Allows you to take a screenshot of a webpage with it’s url.
    • Cam Snapshot – Allows you to take a picture with your computer’s webcam.

Taken with SkitchOnce you’ve taken a snapshot Skitch will open up a window with your screenshot and all of the tools you can use for marking up the image.

Along the left side are your drawing tools:

  • Pen – Freehand drawing on the screenshot
  • Line – Draws a straight line
  • Circle – Draws a circle
  • Square – Draws a square/rectangle
  • Fill Bucket – Fills in a shape you’ve drawn
  • Text – Allows you to type in text on the screenshot
  • Arrow – Draws arrow for pointing at parts of screenshot

You can change the color and line size of text, lines, boxes, circles and arrows with the tools on the right side.  You can also change fonts if you’re using the text tool.

Naming the screenshot is done by simply typing in a new name in the box on the bottom.  In this shot it is called Skitch but that can be changed to anything you want.  By default it takes screenshots as jpg files.  You can change the file type to others including png, pdf, tif and more simply by clicking the drop-down arrow next to jpg and picking the type you want.

One of my absolute favorite parts of Skitch is the Drag Me button.  Once you have the screenshot set up how you want you can drag it anywhere you want.  Say you’re writing an email to someone and want to include a picture.  Take the snapshot with Skitch and simply drag it into your email.  If you want to save the file you can drag it directly from Skitch into a Finder window.  No having to export or go through save menus.  If you’ve changed the name and/or file type it will automatically save the file with those settings.  You can drag Skitch screenshots into pretty much any program. Pages, Keynote, iBooks Author, Word, Powerpoint, whatever.  It’s just drag, drop and you’re done.

Skitch has so many other features too.  I’ve really only scratched the surface.  If you use Evernote it integrates beautifully (since Evernote bought Skitch a couple years ago).  You can email, print and send images over bluetooth.  Images can be resized, rotated and flipped.  For a free program, it truly is amazing.  Skitch is also available for iOS and Android phones and tablets as well.

Skitch logo

Check it out yourself at and let me know what you think.  For anyone that needs to be able to take a lot of screenshots and have the ability to mark them up I highly recommend Skitch.  If you have any questions, or already use Skitch and have tips of your own, let me know.

Check back next month for the next Bend Pro Web Design App of the Month!