Category: Screenshots/image editor
Minimum System Requirements: Mac OS X v10.5+
Review Computer: 2.2GHz 13″ MacBook Pro, 2GB RAM, NVIDIA GeForce 9400M with 256MB of DDR3 SDRAM and Mac 3.06GHz Intel Core 2 Duo, 4GB RAM
Network Feature: Yes
Processor Compatibility: Universal
Price: $19.95 for one year subscription to Skitch Plus, feature limited free version also available
Availability: Out now
I love Skitch. I’ve been using the screenshot/image editing application (in beta) for two years, and it’s become an indispensable part of my online life, allowing me to do screenshot and snap webcam photos as well as edit, annotate, upload and share them. It’s one of those applications that does the things I need to do so elegantly that I keep waiting for Apple to buy it and include it as system software.
Skitch is out of beta now as a feature-limited free version and as Skitch Plus, which adds some new perks, and removes ads from the free image hosting at Skitch.com. But I’m getting ahead of myself.
At its simplest, Skitch is a screenshot application, taking either full screen images or specific areas by drawing crosshairs. Holding down the shift key gives you a countdown (in case you need to grab a dropdown element, for example). The screengrab is then dropped into the Skitch app. And here’s where you experience the wonderful interface. You crop by dragging the edge of the image, and zoom and reduce by using the corners of the app’s frame. There’s a tab at the bottom for renaming the image (the default is the app or web page it came from), and you can also use the tab to drag the pic into another app (like posting it to Tweetdeck).
There’s a basic but useful set of drawing tools: a freehand pencil, straight line and box, paint can, eraser (which only affects the drawing/text elements, not the picture itself), text and arrow. Down the left side are the buttons for choosing screengrab or webcam shot, size and color. If you’re on Skitch Plus, this is also where you can choose the font, which I’ll get to in a second. The beauty of annotating with Skitch is that it maintains these layers, allowing you to type some text, draw an arrow, then freehand sketch, and go back and change, move, or delete any of the layers individually.
Making Font selection a paid feature is something new from the beta, and an odd choice. The other paid features, like rotating the image, adding a drop shadow, saving in multiple formats, and importing from a URL are nice, but not something you’ll miss if you don’t cough up the $20 for the year-long subscription.
That subscription also gets you ad-free viewing on your personal Skitch web page, where you can organize and share your images (and set the privacy level). Once you have your images on the website, Skitch will automatically generate code to let you post it on web sites as HTML or “Forum” code, generate a short URL, or even post directly to Facebook, Twitter, or Evernote. People who can access the image can also comment and favorite it. Paid users also get unlimited sets to organize their photos.
I can’t imagine not having Skitch on my Mac. I use it every day for taking screenshots, posting quick photos to Twitter, and doing step by step instructions. I paid for the Plus version a.) to support its development and b.) because I’m a font nerd, but even the basic version has a lot of features packed into it’s wonderful, fun-to-use interface.