Screen capture app that automatically names and saves to file

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by jagooch, Jul 30, 2017.

  1. jagooch macrumors regular

    jagooch

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2009
    Location:
    Denver, co
    #1
    I'm looking for a screen capture app for macOS that is similar to the free Grab IT utility , but automatically generates a file name ( say "YYYYMMDD_HHMMSS.png") for me. That way I can focus on what I'm doing and not have to stop everything to select a file save location and a unique name for each file while writing a Wiki page or whatever that uses the screenshots.
    It ideally
    * Saves desktop, window, or selected area of screen
    * generates a unique file name automatically
    * save the file in predefined location
    * Can be free or paid, either is fine.
    * Runs on macOS Sierra or higher
    * ( optional ) the developer / project isn't likely to stop supporting the app.


    And that's it!
     
  2. HenryAZ macrumors 6502

    HenryAZ

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2010
    Location:
    South Congress AZ
    #2
    You can define a save location and file format with a couple of Terminal commands:
    defaults write com.apple.screencapture type png (tiff and jpg are also valid values)
    defaults write com.apple.screencapture location "/Users/henry/Downloads/"
    defaults write com.apple.screencapture disable-shadow -bool true

    After any or all of these commands, you need to issue "killall SystemUIServer".

    To save desktop, CMD-Shift-3
    To save selected area of screen, CMD-Shift-4, and then use the mouse to select the screen area
    To save a window, CMD-Shift-4, then spacebar, then click on the window.

    The only thing not handled by the above is to generate a unique filename.
     
  3. jojoba macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2011
    #3
    I haven't tried it myself but would guess that Automator or Keyboard Maestro would be able to do that.
     
  4. superscape macrumors 6502a

    superscape

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2008
    Location:
    East Riding of Yorkshire, UK
    #4
    Hi,

    You could easily do it with a quick Terminal command like so:

    Code:
    theDate=$(date "+%Y%m%d_%H%M%S"); theSaveFolder="/Users/MyUserName/Desktop/"; screencapture -i -o "$theSaveFolder/$theDate.png"
    
    ...change the save folder location as required. As jojoba says, you could package that up in a "run shell script" in Automator - just replace all the default code in the action with the above.

    Good luck!
     
  5. Michaelgtrusa macrumors 604

    Michaelgtrusa

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2008
    Location:
    Everywhere And Nowhere
    #5
    You could also try capto http://www.globaldelight.com/capto/
     
  6. BrianBaughn macrumors 601

    BrianBaughn

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2011
    Location:
    Baltimore, Maryland
    #6
    You can also create a Folder Action with Automator to rename items.
     
  7. superscape macrumors 6502a

    superscape

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2008
    Location:
    East Riding of Yorkshire, UK
    #7
    This is true.

    I thought this was a fun use of Automator & Terminal use so I wrote it up in a bit more detail here:

    https://www.ghostotter.com/custom-screenshots-app-macos/

    Hope that helps someone!
     
  8. mpainesyd macrumors 6502

    mpainesyd

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2008
    Location:
    Sydney, Australia
    #8
  9. techwarrior macrumors 6502

    techwarrior

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2009
    Location:
    Colorado
    #9
    Snagit (techsmith.com) sells for $50, offers a free trial and stores images automatically in a cache folder in the format of 2012-11-05_17-29-17.snagproj where 2012-11-05 is obviously the date, and the rest is 24 hour clock (5:29:17 PM) in this example. Preferences allow you to set the default autosave location, file format (png, jpg, tiff, bmp, gif) and a host of output options like email, Facebook, twitter, clipboard, google drive, Evernote). There are a host of editing tools for annotations, crop, blur, etc.

    There is no auto-launch on startup option for the app, but you can drop the .app into your login items to have it always available, or simply launch the app whenever you need it. A small icon can be placed in the menu bar, and\or floating on the edge of the desktop for easy access. It captures whole desktop, windows, parts of the screen based on mouse movements and can auto-copy to clipboard in addition to autosaving the item in the cache (as .snagproj file). Past cached captures can be retrieved years later (note the date above), and subsequently saved (manually named and located) to your preferred location and format.

    Scrolling captures (long web pages for instance) are supported, and it can do delayed capture (allow you to click on a menu item to display in your capture). It also does desktop video captures allowing you to walk through an interactive session with multiple steps including narration in real time.

    These guys are in business for the long haul, I have been using them 10+ years and they have other outstanding products like Camtasia, and Relay. This is a gold standard product line with impressive corporate customers.

    The $50 price includes both a Windows and Mac license, I am using an N-2 version on High Sierra and Sierra, so compatibility doesn't seem to be a significant issue with this product.
     
  10. MrChurchyard macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2008
    #10
    That’s literally what the normal screenshotting in macOS already does.
    Cmd+Shift+3 for full screen, Cmd+Shift+4 for window or selected area (space to toggle between the two), and you can set where the screenshots are saved (default is Desktop) with the following command in the Terminal:
    defaults write com.apple.screencapture location YOURPATH
    e.g. "defaults write com.apple.screencapture location ~/Screenshots" (without quotes)
     
  11. superscape macrumors 6502a

    superscape

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2008
    Location:
    East Riding of Yorkshire, UK
    #11
    I think it's the file name format the OP isn't happy with - if I understand correctly.
     
  12. jagooch thread starter macrumors regular

    jagooch

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2009
    Location:
    Denver, co
    #12
    I'll go with SnagIt since it sounds like it does what I want, and more! The built-in tools fall a bit short of what I want but otherwise they are fine. I think that I'm to the point where I want tools that make mundane tasks easier so that I can focus on the more complex tasks.
     
  13. superscape macrumors 6502a

    superscape

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2008
    Location:
    East Riding of Yorkshire, UK
    #13
    Quite right!

    And more generally speaking, you should definitely take a look at Automator. And possibly AppleScript and/or shell scripting if you feel brave. There's a lot of stuff on macOS that will let you automate things with fairly minimal technical knowledge.
     
  14. jagooch thread starter macrumors regular

    jagooch

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2009
    Location:
    Denver, co
    #14
    I didn't realize that Greenshot had released a Mac version on January of this year. I found SnagIT overly complicated and uninstalled it. Greenshot has been my go-to app on Windows, so I fairly certain that I'll like the Mac version. I'll check back in here with my results.
     

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