Open Source Screen Capture Tool

February 23, 2009

I’ve been on the hunt for an open source screen cature tool for the Mac. I finally found what I was looking for, a tool that in which you can specify the exact size of the capture window. Let me explain…

In the process of creating screenshots to accompany applications submitted to the App Store, you can include up to 5 images. Although the images can be anything you like, typically the images consist of screenshots of an application running in the iPhone simulator. When working with the simulator there are two sizes used most frequently, 320w x 460h (Apple recommends not to show the status bar across the top) and 480w x 320h (landscape mode).

Until I found Capture Me, I would use the built-in screen capture, command-shift-4, to capture screenshots. Problem is, there was no means to specify the exact image size to capture, so this approach requires either a very steady hand and a good eye, or capturing an area obviously larger than needed and cropping in Preview or another tool.

To use Capture Me, you specify the size of the area to capture and then drag a semi-transparent window over the capture area. Clicking inside the capture area creates a screenshot. You can save screenshots to the desktop (filename will be automatically generated) or have the screenshot copied to the clipboard, or both!

Capture Me also offers a screen recording feature, however, I haven’t given this a go as of yet.

Additional Features:
Here are a few things that I think would make for some nice additions to Capture Me:

#1 – Specify the location to save the file

#2 – Specify the filename for the screenshot. For example, when capturing/uploading screenshots to the App Store I use the filenames “screenshot1.jpg” “screenshot2.jpg” etc. If I could tell Capture Me to use this same format, it would save me the trouble of renaming the files.

#3 – The third feature is a little harder to describe, so let me explain how I use the tool which should help clarify what I am after. As I mentioned above, I use Capture Me to create screenshots of the iPhone simulator, what this entails is dragging Capture Me over the simulator and clicking inside the Capture Me window. In order to create the next screenshot, I need to click/drag the Capture Me window and move it to the side, click on the iPhone simulator to setup the next screenshot, then drag the Capture Me window back over the simulator for the next capture.

If I could tell the Capture Me window to move to the left/right the same width of the area I am capturing (+/- a few pixles) I could quickly capture a series of screenshots with ease. Even better if one keyboard shortcut would tell Capture Me to slide to the left/right, and one shortcut to tell Capture Me to slide it back to it’s original location.

I hope to get some time over the coming weeks and/or months to poke around the Capture Me code and see how far I can get to add the features above. If you beat me to the punch, drop me a note, and count me in as a beta tester.

Many thanks to Chimoosoft for creating, and open sourcing, Capture Me.

3 comments

I also highly recommend checkout out Skitch, which is free. It’s got great built-in features for annotations, resizing, cropping, etc. Still very simple to use. http://skitch.com/#demo

by Clint on Feb 23, 2009 at 8:48 pm. Reply #

Or just connect your device and use the built-in Xcode Organizer to take some screenshots. Then you can export them by drag & drop.

by Rafael Bugajewski on Jul 2, 2009 at 3:15 am. Reply #

For #3, try this:

cmd+shift+4, then press cmd+space – that turns the pointer into a camera that captures windows automatically – then click on the window you want. You can then go into photoshop and use “trim” (not crop) to automatically remove the black border.

by Stephen Hau on Jun 1, 2012 at 3:43 am. Reply #

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