Snip – Quickly Capture and Annotate Screenshots

very good
key review info
  • Application: Snip 1.2
  • Reviewed on:
  • Written by:
application features
  • Detect opened window automatically.
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A small note or highlight on an image can make the difference between a 2-second conversation and 5 minutes of laborious explanations. Snip is a small menu bar application that allows you to select the screen area you want to capture and add simple annotations in no time, using basic editing tools.

Sharing screenshots that include your own opinions on the subject is a fairly common practice, but you cannot spend too much time dealing with editing, uploading and creating links for them. Snip can help with the first part and streamline the second.

Developed by Tencent, popular in China for the QQ services, Snip is one of those very simple applications that will make your life a lot easier.

In this direction, Snip can integrate with QQMail (a service provided by the Chinese internet portal QQ) via an internet browser plug-in. The installation is optional and will only prove useful if you are a QQMail user.

On the other hand, non-Chinese speaking users that need to share their work, can use alternative solutions such as automatically saving the results to their Dropbox or Google Drive folders, or upload it manually to any other cloud service.

The Looks

Being a menu bar application, Snip will be visible only through the black icon placed in your status bar that provides access to the Capture feature and the Preferences window.

When you actually start working with it, Snip will initially change your cursor to a bigger crosshair pointer and you must use it to select the area you want to grab.

The capture/editing area can be easily resized, it will always display size indicators and it includes suggestive buttons for the annotations tools. All in all, Snips’s interface is quite intuitive and you will be able to find your way even if no extensive documentation is available.

The Works

Unsurprisingly enough, you do not need the menu bar to enable capturing: Snip comes with a keyboard shortcut for that (Control + Command + A) and you can easily change it from the Preferences window.

Things get a bit tricky when you want to customize the saving settings. By default, Snip will place the output files on your desktop (the naming is made automatically using the pattern Snip + date + number) but you can choose any other folder from your drive.

The outcome of the other saving-related options (“Auto-copy captured image to clipboard” and “Only copy captured image to clipboard”) might not be very clear at first glance. The second disables the save to folder feature, and the reason becomes obvious when you see its impact on the output mode.

When “Only copy captured image to clipboard” is checked, no actual file is generated and the capture will only be placed in the clipboard, to be pasted in a document, email and so on. If unchecked, the image will be saved as a PNG file (no other format is available) at the designated location.

On the other hand, if you save in a folder, you can enable the “Auto-copy captured image to clipboard” to also send the image to your clipboard. Notice that you may also disable the audio alert that lets you know a capture has been performed successfully.

Noteworthy in the image capture department is the fact that Snip is able to detect windows, in which case the screenshot is made with a single click.

Snip includes basic annotation tools such as rectangle, ellipse, arrow, brush and text. Naturally, you get to select the line thickness (3 levels) for the geometric items and the font size. There are six colors available for each annotation type: red, yellow, green, blue, black and white. One could consider this to be extremely limited, but I believe they get the job done.

Snip does not automatically save your work: when you are done, make sure you press the Save button at the bottom of the editing area. You should be careful when you do that though, because the clear button is placed right next to it.

An alternative solution would be to double click while your mouse is over the main area, but avoid doing that by mistake since you cannot go back to continue your work. Nonetheless, Snip includes Undo capabilities for its editing tools: Command + Z for Undo and Command + Shift + Z for Cancel Undo.

The Good

Snip is extremely easy to use, claiming a reasonable amount of your resources and eliminating the need to import screenshots to an image editing application to simply underline a word or to point to a certain area.

The Bad

Snip provides an online Help/FAQ section (you can access it HERE), but some of the issues raised by the application’s usage are not even mentioned there: for example, a simple explanation on how the saving options work would be very helpful.

Granted, the annotation tools get the job done, but they seem to be a tad too restricted: the line thickness has only three levels, you can use only six colors and even the font is limited to 7 predefined size. I believe a simple color picker and the possibility to input the text size using the keyboard should be the least one could expect from such an application.

The Truth

Snip is great when it comes to annotating screenshots fast and it eliminates the need to use an image editing application, although it does not provide extensive customization options.

In the end, Snip is one of those apps that have the perfect combination of simple, fast and straightforward to keep them in your Applications folder.

Here are some snapshots of the application in action:

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user interface 5
features 4
ease of use 4
pricing / value 5

final rating 4
Editor's review
very good

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