Mac screen capture utilities come in three basic forms. At the high end there are utilities which capture everything on the Mac’s screen as a movie, which can then be edited like a movie. The mid-range screen capture utilities come with plenty of bells and whistles to capture sections of the screen, save the file, even manage a whole library of screen capture images.
At the low end are the free to nearly-free screen capture utilities, starting with Apple’s own keyboard shortcuts (just can’t seem to remember them all), and the built-in app, Grab (available in Applications > Utilities) which makes it a point and click operation, but with a few extras.
Also at the low end of the screen capture app spectrum is GrabIt, an inexpensive capture utility that blends the keyboard shortcut method with an option not found is some capture apps.
Many Mac users are familiar with the keyboard screen capture method. Command-Shift-3, or Command-Shift-4 captures a section of the screen to the Mac’s clipboard. Add Control to that, as in Control-Command-Shift-3 or 4 and the Mac saves the screen to a file. What you can’t do is copy whatever image you’ve copied to the Clipboard as a file. You’re required to paste it into an app, or repeat the screen capture to save the capture to a file.
GrabIt does something simple but wonderful and once you try it you’ll find out how great it is. It grabs a screenshot and instantly puts it into a floating window on the Mac’s screen so you can see what you captured.
This single option alone is worth the price of admission to GrabIt, but it does more.
For example, images can be moved, drag and drop. Double-click on a large image and it becomes a small image (great for Macs with smaller screens or cluttered screen real estate). Command-W on the image and it closes.
This simple little function falls into your screen grab workflow with ease. In a browser you can right-click on an image to copy it, and GrabIt will make it visible in the floating window. It’s much better than using TextEdit, Preview, or Stickies to capture an image and hold it until you want to move it to a graphic app.
GrabIt is somewhat reminiscent of the Snappy screen capture app (which is free and packed with features) but it doesn’t have the bells and whistles and there’s no library function to hold everything you capture on the Mac’s screen.
If you want all the features you can get for less money (as in no money), Snappy is the app to use. If all you want is the ability see what you just captured and then save it as a file, GrabIt works great.