Zapier, a leader in remote work, has released a Mac-only screenshot and annotation tool Zappy. Here’s everything you need to know about this new app and whether to use it on Apple’s built-in options.
Zappy Snappy screenshot tool
Zapier’s screen capture tool, aptly named Zappy, was originally an exclusively internal tool designed to improve speed and efficiency between the company’s remote teams. This is not surprising, given that the company employs over 300 remote workers and, to date, is one of the best performing remote companies in the world. Zapier creating a no-frills screen capture tool makes perfect sense.
Now that the vast majority of the world suddenly works from home, Zapier has made Zappy public. It is only available for Mac and you must have a Zapier account, but the program is completely free. Anyone who has a Zapier paid plan can also take advantage of the company’s hosting services, which allow you to get a screenshot to its destination a little faster.
One of the things I like about Zappy is its ease of use. I annotate a lot of screenshots on Mac and Windows 10. On Windows, I have always used Screenpresso, which I absolutely love.
On the Mac, however, there was nothing comparable until Zappy. Although Zappy does not provide all of the functionality of Screenpresso, this is not really the case. It is designed to improve efficiency, so it does what needs to be done without being too complicated to use.
The ins and outs of Zappy
To start with Zappy, you must first download it. On the landing page, just click “Download Zappy for free” and the download will start.
Once the installation process is complete, run Zappy. A small icon will appear in the upper task bar; click on it and then log into your Zapier account to begin. Create an account if you don’t already have one.
Once connected, click on the Gear icon at the top right. Select “Settings” from the drop-down menu.
The “screenshot shortcut” is the only setting here. By default, it is set to “Command + Shift + 1”, but you can modify it as you wish. To do this, click on the text box, then type the combination you want to use.
Use the shortcut you selected, then click and drag the cursor to take a screenshot. The screenshot window appears. The size of the screenshot (in pixels) will appear above the screenshot.
You can adjust the part of the screen you want to capture. To do this, click and drag the corners of the screenshot overlay. This saves you from having to redo the process if you make a mistake and don’t drag the window over everything you want to capture.
If you want to draw an arrow, click the Arrow icon in the lower left.
Zappy also offers a few other annotation options that you can use; click the down arrow next to the arrow icon to open the drop-down menu.
You can click on “Pen” to make a free drawing or on “Text” to type a quick message. You can also choose from five different colors.
When you’re ready to capture your screen, click the Camera icon.
Otherwise, if you want to record a quick video, click the Camcorder icon.
Click the gear icon if you want to adjust the quality or format of an image or video.
As easy and fun as Zappy was to use, I encountered a few big drawbacks. First of all, you can’t tell Zappy where to store your images and videos. By default, it stores them in Images> Zappy.
There is also no functionality that allows you to add a border around a screenshot. This is important if the background of the image is the same color as the background where you insert it. For example, if you take a screenshot with a white background and place it in a Word document, the image will bleed in the background.
Is Zappy for you?
Zappy is an amazing screen capture tool if you are using a Mac. It’s free, easy to use, and has most of the basic features you need in a screen capture tool. Although some important features are missing, Zappy is still in early access, so I hope Zapier will add them later.
Ultimately, Zappy makes it easy to take and annotate screenshots. It is now my favorite screen capture tool on my Mac.
Zapier, a leader in the remote-working world, has released a Mac-only screen capture and annotation tool called Zappy. Here’s everything you need to know about this new application, and if you should use it over Apple’s built-in options.
Zappy the Snappy Screen Capture Tool
Zapier’s screen-capture tool, appropriately named Zappy, was originally an internal-only tool built to improve speed and efficiency between the company’s remote teams. This isn’t surprising, considering the company employs 300+ remote workers and, to this day, is one of the most successful remote-only companies in the world. Zapier creating a no-nonsense screen-capture tool just makes sense.
Now that the vast majority of the world is suddenly working from home, Zapier has released Zappy to the public. It’s only available for Mac, and you have to have a Zapier account, but the program is completely free. Anyone who has a Zapier paid plan can also take advantage of the company’s hosting services, which allows you to get a screen capture to its destination a bit faster.
One of the things I love about Zappy is how incredibly easy it is to use. I annotate a lot of screenshots on both Mac and Windows 10. On Windows, I’ve always used Screenpresso, which I absolutely love.
On Mac, though, there was nothing comparable until Zappy. Although Zappy doesn’t provide all the features Screenpresso does, it’s not really meant to. It’s designed to improve efficiency, so it does what needs to be done without being too complicated to use.
The Ins and Outs of Zappy
To get started with Zappy, you’ll first need to download it. On the landing page, just click “Download Zappy for Free” and the download will begin.
After the installation process is complete, run Zappy. A little icon will appear in the top task bar; click it, and then sign in to your Zapier account to get started. Create an account if you don’t already have one.
After you sign in, click the Gear icon at the top right. Select “Settings” from the drop-down menu.
The “Screen Capture Shortcut” is the only setting here. By default, it’s set to “Command+Shift+1,” but you can change it to anything you want. To do so, click the text box, and then type the combination you want to use.
Use your selected shortcut, and then click and drag the cursor to take a screenshot. The screenshot window will appear. The size of the screenshot (in pixels) will appear above the screenshot.
You can adjust the portion of the screen you want to capture. To do so, just click and drag the corners of the screenshot overlay. This saves you from having to redo the process if you mess up and don’t drag the window over everything you want to capture.
If you want to draw an arrow, click the Arrow icon at the bottom left.
Zappy also has a few other annotation options you can use; click the down-arrow next to the Arrow icon to open the drop-down menu.
You can click “Pen” to do a freestyle drawing or “Text” to type a quick message. You can also choose from five different colors.
When you’re ready to capture your screen, click the Camera icon.
Alternatively, if you want to record a quick video, click the Camcorder icon.
Click the Gear icon if you want to adjust the quality or format of an image or video.
As easy and fun as Zappy was to use, I did run into a few big downsides. First, you can’t tell Zappy where to store your images and videos. By default, it stores them in Pictures > Zappy.
There also isn’t a feature that allows you to add a border around a screenshot. This is important if the background of the image is the same color as the background where you insert it. For example, if you take a screenshot with a white background and place it in a Word document, the image will bleed into the background.
Is Zappy for You?
Zappy is an amazing screen-capture tool if you use a Mac. It’s free, easy to use, and has most of the basic functions you need in a screen-capture tool. While it’s lacking a few important features, Zappy is still in Early Access, so I’m hopeful Zapier will add these later.
Ultimately, Zappy makes taking and annotating screenshots extremely easy. It’s now my go-to screen-capture tool on my Mac.
The fastest, all-in-one way to share screenshots, GIFs, and recordings with your teammates.
When you’re spread out, communication gets harder. We know: Zapier’s fully remote team of 300+ works across 17 time zones. We’ve spent 8 years finding ways to collaborate without an office.
That’s why we made Zappy, an incredibly fast screen capture tool for remote teams. It lets you communicate more effectively by sharing what you see. It’s built for speed and makes annotations way quicker than futzing with your computer’s built-in tools.
We use Zappy every day at Zapier. Now, we’re releasing it free on macOS to help folks who are suddenly remote. We’re also enabling cloud-based hosting for all paid Zapier users as a special gift while Zappy is in early access. We hope Zappy helps you better communicate with your team and we’d love your feedback at [email protected]
Mike Knoop, Head of Zapier Labs, Co-founder
Capture, annotate, and record in a snap
Zappy makes it easy to collaborate visually while working remotely.
1. Capture with a shortcut
Choose your own keyboard shortcut, then click and drag to select an area of your screen, in any app, anywhere.
2. Highlight what’s important with annotations
Place colorful text, arrows, or drawings in a couple clicks, so you can communicate visually. Use keyboard shortcuts for extra speed.
3. Press enter to save
As soon as you hit the enter key, Zappy generates your capture and saves it to your computer.
4. Upload captures instantly Paid Feature
If you have a paid Zapier account, Zappy can automatically upload captures to the cloud and copy a sharable URL to your clipboard.
Create GIFs and screen recordings quickly
Create visual walkthroughs without the hassle of editing. Include audio, annotations, and a selfie-view for extra clarity.
Free cloud hosting with a paid Zapier account
During Early Access, paid users can also upload screenshots, videos, and GIFs to the cloud.
Stitch shots together to show the full picture
Pin a screenshot to create layered images for more complex communication.
Grab past captures from anywhere
Stop digging through disorganized folders. Just click a capture to copy its link.
Use your captures anywhere
Zappy fits right in with all the tools your team relies on.
There’s more in store for Zappy. Contact us to learn about our features in the works: [email protected]
Self-host your captures on Amazon S3 (bring your own S3 credentials).
Set how long Zappy retains your captures.
Control who can see your captures and when access expires.
Connect to Zapier and trigger Zaps from Zappy.
Say it with a Screenshot. Try Zappy Today
Help your team collaborate visually and share what you see in a snap.
Keyboard shortcuts and built-in apps to capture images and videos of your screen
Your Mac comes with everything you need to take screenshots. There are easy ways to take screenshots of your entire screen, a section of your screen, or even a specific window.
The problem: these features are hidden behind keyboard shortcuts that, to say the least, aren’t obvious.
(Are you a Windows user, or wondering about mobile devices? Check our full screenshot guide for ways to take screenshots on any other device—along with tips on taking great screenshots.)
Introducing: Zappy by Zapier, a screenshot tool for macOS that helps your team share what you see in a snap. With easy-to-use annotation tools, Zappy can help you collaborate with your teammates fast. Quickly capture and share screenshots, GIFs, and recordings for free. Learn more about Zappy.
Keyboard shortcuts for Mac screenshots
To take screenshots on any Mac, you’ll need to memorize a few keyboard shortcuts. Fortunately, they’re all quite similar—and each saves a screenshot image to your Mac’s desktop by default. Here are the default Mac screenshot keyboard shortcuts:
Save screenshot of single window: Command + Shift + 4 , press the Space key, then click on the window you want to capture
Save screenshot of single window without shadow: Command + Shift + 4 , press the Space key, then hold the Alt key and click on the window you want to capture
Save screenshot of selection: Command + Shift + 4 , then select the area you want to capture with your mouse cursor.
Save screenshot of Touch Bar: Command + Shift + 6
Tip: Want to copy the screenshot to your clipboard instead of saving it to your desktop? Add Ctrl to any of these keyboard shortcuts to copy the screenshot—so, for example, CMD + Ctrl + Shift + 3 to copy a full-screen screenshot.
If you want, you can customize the screenshot keyboard shortcuts from your Mac’s keyboard preferences. Open your System Preferences, select Keyboard, then click the Shortcuts tab and select Screenshots on the left side. There you can customize any of the default shortcuts for screenshots.
How to capture delayed screenshots and videos using the Screenshot app
Want to capture your mouse with your screenshots—or capture a screenshot after a delay? The built-in Screenshot app can do that, and you’ll find it in the Other folder in Launchpad or the Applications > Utilities folder in Finder.
Open Screenshot, then click Options to set up a delay. You can also use the buttons to choose between the entire screen, a particular window, or a region of the screen.
The buttons with the small circles on them let you record a video of your screen—you can even record commentary using your microphone. You can do your entire screen or a particular section—the result will be saved as a .MOV file to your desktop.
Want your screenshots and videos automatically uploaded to the web, so you can quickly share them? Check out Zappy. It does everything Apple’s screenshot does, and more.
How to take screenshots using the MacBook Pro Touch Bar
If you have a newer MacBook Pro with a Touch Bar, you won’t have to remember keyboard shortcuts each time you take screenshots. Instead, you can add a camera icon to your Touch Bar and save anything as a screenshot with a couple taps.
First, open your Keyboard preferences and click the Customize Control Strip. button in the bottom of the window. That will show all the options you can use on your Touch Bar. Click and drag the camera icon to your Touch Bar, then save the changes to always have a one-tap way to capture anything on your screen.
As soon as you tap the camera button on your Touch Bar, your mouse cursor will switch to crosshairs to select any part of your screen to save as a screenshot. Press the spacebar on your keyboard then click a window to save a full window screenshot. Or, select any of the other screenshot options that show on the Touch Bar while taking a screenshot to take a full-screen screenshot, copy the image instead of saving it as a file, and more.
Tip: Need to take a screenshot of your Touch Bar? Press CMD + Shift + 6 to save a screenshot of your full Touch Bar to your desktop.
To review: CMD + Shift + 3 to screenshot your full screen. CMD + Shift + 4 for just a section—or tap space to capture a window.
Want other screenshot apps and tips, perhaps to screenshot your phone or work PC? Check our full screenshot guide for the details.
This article was originally published in August 2018 and has since been updated with contributions from Justin Pot.
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Matthew Guay is an editor and writer in Bangkok. When he’s not writing, he’s likely reading a new book or exploring random streets in a new city. Follow Matthew at @maguay.
- 4.6 • 102 Ratings
- Offers In-App Purchases
Handy screenshot App for macOS.
Xnip has rich image annotation tools. Easy to use.
## Scrolling Capture
It helps you to capture a full-page screenshot even if the content not showing on the current screen.
You can use scrolling capture to capture your source code, article, chat history, etc.
## Window Capturing.
Window capturing with the shadow effect. Furthermore, you can select multiple windows and capture all of them together.
## Color Picker Tool
Pick the color of any pixel on the screen and make pixel-perfect capture.
## Physical Unit
Measure objects by the screen with the physical unit size indicator of selection.
## Pin Images
Pin screenshot or any image on your screen.
Subscribe Xnip Pro to remove the watermark in the screenshot and gain access to all features in the future update. The subscription will be auto-renew. You can stop auto-renew 1 day before the end of the current period.
Ratings and Reviews
Best Mac Screenshot Tool I’ve Tried
I’ve tried a ton of tools over the years (Skitch, native macOS tool, LightShot, Nimbus, Monosnap). This one takes the cake for me. The free version is very generous with what it can do but I opted in to the paid version as I’d happily support the development of this.
The only feature that has been (rarely) finnicky is the scrolling capture, but they have very detailed help content to troubleshoot that. I only found one page (Salesforce Lightning page) where it would refuse to work.
One feature I’d love to see is the ability to edit annotations after you’ve already saved and closed the editor window. Even with the paid version and using the editor window, I don’t see an option to reopen a previously annotated file, edit the annotations and re-save it. They would like need to add and support a native Xnip file format for this.
All being said, this tool meets my use cases 95% of the time and the interface is awesome. I use this tool daily as a tech consultant and it’s clutch. I’ve been using it for about a year.
Developer Response ,
Thank you so much!
An Xnip file to save the annotation is in the plan. But it takes a big afford to accomplish. So it may come out after a very long time.
Beautiful and cleverly designed
Xnip is a beautiful and cleverly designed screenshot and annotation app, but misses a few features.
– Cross hairs that extend to the screen boundaries both horizontally and vertically to make it easier to make screenshots of things that are not square, and don’t have distinct boundaries.
– A way to organize, easily rename and edit screenshots within the app once they have been saved. Currently users are forced to go through the finders “Open With” contextual menu option and then scroll to the bottom of the list in order to annotate a screen shot once it has been saved.
exactly what I needed for studying
this is probably my first time writing a review ever.
I study a lot and always take screenshots to quickly pan back to the materials.
however, they are always a big hassel to delete, Ill spend at least 10 mins monotonmusly deleting them from the mac’s “preview” which takes forever. with this, I can take the screenshot and click the red X buttom to quickly delete It.
thank you so much. hope you consider giving me a free upgrade to the full version for this great review. haha
Data Not Linked to You
The following data may be collected but it is not linked to your identity:
Privacy practices may vary, for example, based on the features you use or your age. Learn More
English, Simplified Chinese
- App Support
- App Support
With Family Sharing set up, up to six family members can use this app.
I’m Mike, co-founder at Zapier and head of Zapier Labs. Today our Labs team is launching a public version of Zappy: a fast, free screen capture tool that we built for our remote team. At Zapier, we have 300+ teammates working from across the globe with no central office—we’ve been fully remote since day one. We’ve learned that increasing communication bandwidth is crucial when you’re working remotely.
I wanted a tool for screenshots/GIFs to supplement apps like Slack, but nothing on the market had the mix of speed and features we were looking for. So, built it internally. Zappy is a cornerstone of how we work at Zapier, nearly everyone at Zapier uses Zappy every week (voluntarily)! And we want to share it.
Why share now? People around the world just experienced a sudden shift to remote work—and we know life sans-office comes with unique challenges. We want to share our experience and make that transition a little easier.
Our goal with Zappy was to provide a screen capture experience that was so fast, people would actually want to use it to communicate. To capture something, you hit a keyboard shortcut, draw a square, and press enter. Zappy copies the image to your clipboard so you can paste it anywhere (or provides a path to your GIF/video).
You can draw annotations, record a selfie view, and stitch shots together. Captures support image, GIF, and MP4 formats. One of my favorite features is being able to grab past captures from the Mac menu bar, instead of digging through folders.
We’re working on more features, too, like self-hosted captures on S3, sharing permissions, and a Zapier integration. 🙂
Zappy is free to download and use for anyone (you’ll need a free Zapier account to log in once). And, for paid Zapier customers, you’ll get free capture hosting while it’s in early access.
I’d love to hear your feedback and ideas. I hope you find Zappy useful!
– The signup process felt disjointed. I was excited to give Zappy a try but then fell into a Zapier signup and onboarding flow with Zapier messaging, etc. I was greeted with a Zapier trial when all I really signed up for was Zappy? Anyhow, not to nitpick but the experience and value perception here could be better. I understand Zappy is an acquisition tool but think it could be more relevant, example, when I actually do take a Zappy, poke me with an automation suggestion on how i might leverage Zapier to easily share that to a slack channel..
– I honestly could not figure out how to use Zappy. I installed the tool successfully, clicked the donut in my top bar and couldn’t figure it out. I finally realized you have to click the orange donut in the drop-down to activate the tool. Suggestion, instead of your empty state CTA being a push to join a Zapier paid plan, make it an arrow pointing to the orange donut, I bet you a donut that’ll alone increase conversion on # of Zappy’s taken. Run an experiment and let me know. I bet this also represents a large friction point for your users.
– How do I delete a Zappy? I still can’t figure this one out.
– I am unable to create a shortcut. I keep pressing “press combination” but can’t seem to create a shortcut.
One thing I always try to strive towards is extreme empathy for the user, literally put yourself into the shoes of your customer and make every effort to see/experience the product through their mindset. Complexity is an unfortunate aspect of most products, the good products just do a good job of emerging users into that complexity.
Chris Hoffman is Editor-in-Chief of How-To Geek. He’s written about technology for over a decade and was a PCWorld columnist for two years. Chris has written for The New York Times, been interviewed as a technology expert on TV stations like Miami’s NBC 6, and had his work covered by news outlets like the BBC. Since 2011, Chris has written over 2,000 articles that have been read nearly one billion times—and that’s just here at How-To Geek. Read more.
Windows 10’s October 2018 Update brings a modern screenshot tool to Windows 10. A new keyboard shortcut lets you screenshot part of your screen, and add annotations.
How This New Screenshot Tool is Different
There are many ways to take screenshots on Windows 10. You can press Windows+Print Screen (some keyboards label this key “PrtScn” or “Print”) to save a screenshot as a PNG file to your Pictures\Screenshots folder, press the Print Screen key by itself to copy your entire screen (or Alt+Print Screen for just the active Window) to your clipboard so you can paste it somewhere, or launch the Snipping Tool and use it to snip parts of your screen.
In the October 2018 Update, another keyboard shortcut opens a new screenshot tool that lets you snip parts of your screen or the entire screen to your clipboard. It also adds a new “Snip & Sketch” application, originally named “Screen Sketch,” that lets you annotate these screenshots.
How to Use the New Clipping Tool
To use the new clipping tool, press Windows+Shift+S. On the April 2018 Update and earlier versions of Windows 10, this opens an interface that lets you select a section of your screen and copy just that section to your clipboard. But, on the October 2018 Update, you’ll see a new screenshot bar at the top of your screen.
The bar has four buttons. From left to right, they are Rectangular Clip, Freeform Clip, Fullscreen Clip, and Close.
To take a clip of just a rectangular section of your screen, click the “Rectangular Clip” button, and then drag to select a section of your screen.
To take a clip of a section of your screen that isn’t rectangular, click “Freeform Clip” on the bar, and then click and drag on your screen to draw the area you want to clip.
To take a screenshot of your entire screen, click the “Fullscreen Clip” button. Or, if you don’t want to take a screenshot, you can click the “Close” button or just press the Esc key on your keyboard.
The screenshot you take is copied to your clipboard instead of being saved as a file on your computer. You can paste the screenshot into any application that supports image files by clicking the “Paste” button or by pressing Ctrl+V.
If you have the October 2018 Update’s new Clipboard History feature enabled, you can press Windows+V to view a history of the screenshots you’ve taken, along with any other items you’ve copied to your clipboard.
You also can make the new screenshot tool appear when you just press the Print Screen key on your keyboard, too. To do so, head to Settings > Ease of Access > Keyboard. Enable the “Use the Print Screen key to launch screen snipping” option.
This convenient shortcut is off by default, but you can always press Windows+Shift+S to launch this tool on any Windows 10 PC after the October 2018 Update rolls out to everyone.
How to Use the New Snip & Sketch Tool
You’ll see a notification appear when you take a screenshot with the clipping tool. This notification is also available in the Action Center. To open the screenshot you just took in the Snip & Sketch application, originally named Screen Sketch, click the notification.
You can also open the Snip & Sketch tool from your Start menu, where it appears as a normal application in your list of installed apps.
Snip & Sketch offers a number of basic tools for working with screenshots. You’ll find Ballpoint Pen, Pencil, Highlighter, Eraser, Ruler, and Crop options for annotating and editing your screenshot. There are also Undo and Redo buttons.
You can take more screenshots from here by clicking the “New Snipping” icon at the left side of the toolbar, or you can click the “Open File” option to open any image file. When you’re done, you can use the “Save As” button to save your image as a file, the “Copy” button to copy it back to your clipboard for easy pasting, or the “Share” button to send it to another app.
And, because this application supports Sets tabs, you could work with multiple screenshots in the same window, with each having its own separate tab. Unfortunately, those tabs have been delayed and they didn’t make it into the final October 2018 Update.
This application is based on the Screen Sketch tool that was originally built into the Windows Ink Workspace, which was intended for Windows users with stylus pens. Snip & Sketch is still useful if you have a pen, but anyone can use it for annotations—even if you just have a mouse or touch screen.
I’m a huge proponent of productivity tools and resources. Each time I write something up promoting Chrome extensions, apps, or just tips and tricks for Chromebook users to get the most out of their devices, the feedback I receive is that you’re all very much interested as well. Today, I wanted to draw your attention to something I’ve been using lately. While Chrome OS has recently gained the ability to mark up screenshots directly through its media app, it has its limitations, and there’s currently no feature directly from Google that allows you to do so across operating systems.
Luckily, Chrome extensions come in very handy in such situations. Markup Hero is a free screenshot and annotation tool made to increase your productivity and improve communication. With it, you can take screenshots, scrolling screenshots of entire Chrome tabs, application windows, or the entire device screen with just one click. Once you do, your screenshot will open immediately so that you can use a powerful toolset to make alterations to it before sharing it out with its own unique URL.
As you can see above, Markup Hero lets you add text, shapes, images, and more to your screenshots and move each element around as much as you want. You can also crop images quickly, which is useful. I was actually a bit surprised at the amount of freedom I had with what’s on offer. For example – and this is my favorite feature – when text is typed out, you can scale it horizontally to allow it to take up one or multiple lines, or scale it diagonally to dynamically change the font size with nothing but your mouse.
The pen tool is a great way to draw attention to something in your media, as I’ve done with The Chrome Cast, our very own podcast that you should totally be listening to! (shameless plug). By choosing the dropdown next to the pen, you can also select a highlighter and there are 11 colors to choose from for each – all fairly standard nowadays. Oh, and you can change the thickness of the drawing tools, of course. Where Markup Hero shines though, is its beautifully modern and functional interface, and its rapid-fire screenshotting capabilities.
Not only can you access it directly from the extensions menu in the Chrome browser, but for those who want to make it feel more native, it can also be activated using keyboard shortcuts! Full-page screenshots, scrolling screenshots, full desktop shots, or direct access to your markups with just three key combinations. My only gripe is that you can’t change the keyboard shortcuts, but I understand that most of the keys are already being utilized by Chrome itself. Even better would be the ability to relegate a standard screenshot to a single keypress. According to its official roadmap, there’s plenty to get excited about though, so I’m going to keep an eye on this and submit my request!
Planned updates include a comment tool with mentions, advanced sharing, selected area screenshots (yes, please!), improvements to scrolling screenshots, shared collections, and much more. Markup Hero can be installed directly via the Chrome Web Store in addition to my usual recommendation of turning the site into an icon on your Chromebook so that it feels like an application. Once you snap some screenshots, you’ll find making the site a standalone web app can help you quickly access your existing media faster.
Quite honestly the most interesting and useful feature Markup Hero offers is the ability to annotate and draw directly on Google Docs, Sheets, Slides, PDFs, and images straight from Google Drive using its Marketplace integration. This means that Workspace users who are students or employees can supercharge their collaboration efforts without leaving their existing workflow. While the tool is completely free, Markup Hero can be upgraded to a ‘Superhero’ subscription for just $4 per month if you’re interested in gaining access to features like unlimited file uploads and annotations, larger file sizes (50MB as opposed to 8MB), offline mode (coming soon), and much more.
While I’m extremely impressed with this product, I do wish that the limitations on the free account were relaxed a bit. Five to ten image or screenshot uploads per month hardly feels like enough to fit the tool into your life and become attached to it before shelling out the cash for a monthly subscription. Instead, it feels like it’s just enough to tease you before you become frustrated. I initially tried Markup Hero without claiming my promo code so that I could feel out these limitations on your behalf, and for someone who takes loads of screenshots all day (maybe you don’t, and that’s okay!) I felt like I hit a brick wall within the first few minutes of using a free account. Still, it’s an incredibly well-built product, and the developers do deserve compensation for the premium features they’ve created.
The co-founder, Jeff Solomon, reached out recently to make me aware of Markup Hero and while this is not a sponsored post, Jeff did provide me with an extended trial run of the Superhero subscription as a thanks for my honest and unfiltered evaluation of the product. With that said, I want you all to have a little something as well. Geeky Gadgets is offering 60% off of a 2-year subscription to ‘Superhero’ for new users for the next 7 days. This is normally valued at $120, but you can pick it up for just $48. There’s also a 1-year subscription offer as well for just $27 instead of $60. Afterward, it will cost you just $4 per month or $48 per year if you pay upfront – not too shabby. Four bucks is almost nothing compared to the usual $10-$15 subscription cost of most things these days, and if you find that you’ll use it daily and often, it’s well worth the cost.
more from Chrome Unboxed
- Chrome 88 introduces the controversial Manifest v3 which seeks to fix the ‘extensions problem’ by Michael Perrigo
Have you ever used Markup Hero for school or work? Of all of the annotation extensions I’ve tried, it’s definitely the best one I’ve encountered, and I’m a bit upset that I hadn’t heard of it sooner! Let me know your thoughts in the comments and whether or not you’ll give this a go. With such a massive discount, it can’t hurt to see what it’s all about. Use the big blue button below to visit Geeky Gadgets. Remember, Markup Hero is completely free to use upon installing it, but with this deal, I feel like you’ll be able to assess it for yourself more fully before subscribing to a monthly cost after your 2 years expires. Enjoy!
This article or chapter is incomplete and its contents need further attention. Some information may be missing or may be wrong, spelling and grammar may have to be improved, use your judgment!
- 1 Introduction
- 2 Software
- 2.1 General purpose on-screen annotation software
- 2.2 On-screen annotation + recording software
- 2.3 Special purpose annotation software
- 3 Links
On-screen annotation or screen marker software allows to annotate whole desktop screens and its applications and save the result. It can be categorized as a combination of presentation, whiteboard, screen capturing and note taking tool.
- Screen capture tutorial (capturing screenshots and then annotate the picture is a different issue !!)
Such software is very useful for teachers who present in class a mix of software, pictures and other stuff and who don’t want to spend time preparing slides vs. preparing cool teaching activities and useful materials.
It is also a very useful screen capturing and annotation tool. People like me usually forget something when we make a screen capture. After some annotating we figure out that we should restart (or keep the one that includes missing stuff). With screen markers you can take the screenshot after the annotation.
Features such a system may have are:
- Various drawing tools such as highlight, pen, arrow, rectangle, text box and free hand
- Be able to delete and move objects, undo, erase, etc.
- Smooth on/off annotation (usually ESC or right-click)
- Capture of the whole screen and/or a region (preferably in an editable format, but here we are dreaming)
- Works with any software (including applications like CS5 or web browsers)
- Some sort of focus tools (e.g. a spotlight/laser equivalent)
- magnification of areas (lens)
- Automatic numbering
- hiding (itself and/or certain things on the screen like the icons)
With respect to features and intended use, one could distinguish several kinds of sofware.
(1) Software for preparing high-quality annotated screenshots
Below is a screenshot for Presentation marker, a commercial tool:
(2) Light-weight annotation tools for life presentations
The next screen shot shows the opposite kind of tool. Screen marker is a simple ink-based annotation tool, free and easy to use. No text, no screen capture, etc.
Teachers, for example, also may be interested in tools like ink-based collaborative annotation system (e.g. Classroom Presenter) or use whiteboard tools that allow for writing on the screen.
(3) Sofware that includes other features
E.g. screen recording or features for annotation special formats
We found it difficult to find such software and found this quite surprising. After all, one often wants to paint on the screen, both for live presentation and to create annotated screenshots. The problem is actually rather the decay of Google, i.e. they really should stop giving search rank to these hundreds of useless link and screen scrapping websites that will “hide” open source resources and websites of companies that actually do sell something that is useful. Anyhow I found two tools I can recommend. – Daniel K. Schneider 20:12, 31 March 2011 (CEST))
- Also check some electronic whiteboard software. Not as practical since their main purpose is whiteboarding.
2.1 General purpose on-screen annotation software
Presentation Marker from GoldGingko “The screen marker software allows users to mark on screen directly and zoom into certain portions for quick explanation. Moreover, it offers more additional tools – Spotlight, Curtain, Screen Digital Clock, Arrow Point, Magnification, Screen Capture etc.” Best feature rich tool I have found (see the screen shot above). For some people the tool palette may be overkill. $30 Daniel K. Schneider 11:34, 1 April 2011 (CEST).
Netop pointer (PC/Mac) Good tool. Price unknown (CHF 73.15 + VAT). The “feature” I really dislike is that I have to select a drawing tool before each gesture. I.e. I can’t go on annotating with the same tool without returning to the palette. Therefore, not recommended, however there may be a hidden option I didn’t find. A good feature that others don’t have is numbering (i.e. it inserts a sequential number in front of every inserted object)
Annotate Pro seems to have been one of the best cheap tools. See the feature list $20. I find this software more ergonomic than Netop pointer, but I am getting display errors with arrows and other geometric figures, i.e. a white rectangle interleaves with drawings. It will go away after clicking twice on the transparency button. (Win 7 64-bit Dell 1730 /Dell XT2). Not recommended for Windows 7.
ScreenMarker “s a little piece of software that lets you make annotations on your computer screen.” (Warning: difficult to know who is behind this . ). This is the easiest tool to use and it’s free. Recommended for people who just need some ink-based drawing.
Presentation Pointer “makes it easy for your audience to follow your actions on the screen.” . Also displays keystrokes and free hand drawing on the screen. Not tested.
- Screen Marker (not yet available, march 2011)
Ultimate Pen (Mac) “Ultimate Pen can be used for drawing on just about anything, it is particularly useful when working with presentation software. You may add notes, draw shapes, make comments, or add illustrations directly on the screen.” $ 20. not tested.
DemoHelper (Windows) “DemoHelper is an annotation and screen zoom tool you can use for technical presentations that include application demonstrations.” Open-source, free, single-file downloadable executable, just works.
ZoomIt (Windows) “ZoomIt is a screen zoom and annotation tool for technical presentations that include application demonstrations.” Free (but not open/source) tool from Microsoft (via SysInternals); simple single-color drawing/annotation feature enabled via hotkey (Ctrl-2 by default).
Gromit-MPX (Linux) Open-source, free tool for Linux systems, with (Wacom) pen pressure and eraser support.