updated 01:35 pm EST, Tue December 16, 2008
First Look: Little Snapper
When viewing webpages or programs on your Mac, you may want to capture some of the images to view later. Fortunately, every Mac lets you capture all or part of a screen image using one of the following commands:
- Command-Shift-3: Saves a screenshot of the entire screen as a file on the desktop
- Command-Shift-4, then select an area: Saves a screenshot of an area as a file on the desktop
- Command-Shift-4, then space, then click a window: Saves a screenshot of a window as a file on the desktop
- Command-Control-Shift-3: Copies a screenshot of the screen to the clipboard
- Command-Control-Shift-4, then select an area: Copies a screenshot of an area to the clipboard
- Command-Control-Shift-4, then space, then click a window: Copies a screenshot of a window to the clipboard
Like most screencapture programs, Little Snapper lets you capture an entire screen, a window, or a selected area. Unlike most of its rivals though, the app also lets you store screenshots in a custom window. Thus you can view, tag, and organize screenshots in a separate iPhoto-like interface.
While you can rate each screenshot with one to five stars, this process isn't as intuitive as in iPhoto. Instead of right-clicking on an image to choose a rating, you must first click on an image, open an Inspector palette, and then choose a star level along with any tags you might like to apply.
Switching between views lets you see your screenshots as icons (which can be adjusted in size) or delve into the Edit view, used to draw on or otherwise modify a screenshot. Within Edit you can place arrows, type text, or blur and highlight different sections. Annotations can be added as well, with the option of hiding them to view the original screenshot.
Capturing shots of webpages is a particular strength of Little Snapper, since the program saves associated URLs. If you want to revisit a page, it can be opened in your normal browser, or else in the app's own window.
To organize screenshots, the program provides two main categories: Websnaps (captured webpages) and Screensnaps (program screenshots). For greater flexibility, you can create folders and collections. A folder lets you manually store screenshots, while a collection lets you define rules for automatically sorting screenshots based on tags, URLs or ratings.
Since the program's editing features are relatively simple, you can set external image- and source code-editing programs for opening any screenshot. Photoshop can be used to refine an image, for instance, and an HTML editor can be tied to webpage captures.
Sharing screenshots usually means sending them by e-mail or FTP. Little Snapper, luckily, makes sharing images easier with the ability to link directly with an FTP or Flickr account, or the developer's free QuickSnapper service.
Little Snapper proves to be useful by combining capture, sorting, editing, and sharing functions within a single program. For anyone who only needs the occasional screencapture, the app's tools may be overkill, and its rating feature leaves something to be desired. Despite these minor flaws, researchers, web designers, and anyone who needs to capture screenshots frequently may find Little Snapper's $39 price tag a bargain for streamlining the usual screencapture process.