Screen Capture–Skitch vs. Snipping Tool

A tool I use everyday is the Windows Snipping Tool. I wrote about Snipping Tool back in 2011. It’s a great utility belt tool for getting quick screenshots to demo or illustrate a point. There are times when you need more and Skitch (from Evernote)  fits the bill.

In this article, we’ll take a look at Snipping Tool and Skitch and when you would use one over the other.

Skitch's Capture Screen
Skitch’s Capture Screen

The screenshot above is from Skitch and the ones below are from Snipping Tool. Right away, you’ll notice the tool bar on the left and the menu options at the top with Skitch. When you open Snipping Tool, you get the small rectangle box with only 3 menu items at the top. Clicking on the ‘Options’ opens up the image on the right where you have some choices.

Both tools have an option for a full-screen capture, or to capture a rectangular/square section of a page. Only Snipping Tool has a free-form drawing option.


Snipping Tool

snipping tool options

When it comes time to save your work, here are the options for each, so Skitch has a few more options with pdf being very handy.

    Snipping Tool             Skitch
png png
jpeg jpeg
html html
gif tiff

Skitch’s Strength is in the Tool Bar

I turn to Skitch when I need to point out something (with an arrow, box, highlighter, text and more). I do a lot of how-to articles and I don’t want names, email addresses or passwords revealed. This is when I use the pixelate tool which so neatly blurs personal information. It looks very professional. I used to use Snipping Tool’s large pen feature, but it had to be used free-hand and always turned out uneven and messy looking. Skitch is superior here.

Skitch also has stamping tools. These are helpful for quickly indicating something to your readers – very nice.

skitch stamps
skitch stamps

The Skitch cropping tool is useful if you want to pull something out from your original screen capture to highlight somewhere else.

There is a text tool I’ve used, but it’s not very user-friendly (at least to me). There’s only one font and before using it, you’ll need to go to the color section and choose what color. There’s also a slider bar there that makes your color smaller or larger. This affects your font size too. You can see the illustration below where I’ve moved the slider all the way to the left, but the font is still larger than I would want.

I haven’t figured out any other way to change the font size. I have found that I can resize and make the text box larger or smaller. I had to play around quite a bit to find this. To resize or move your box, click on the text icon, then go to your text and find a border to click on. Then you’ll be able to move your box or make it larger or smaller.

If you want to change the line break in your text box, you’ll need to put your cursor inside the box and hit return to make a line break. That’s kind of cumbersome to do.

Skitch text size and color tool

 Snipping Tool for Everyday – Skitch for A More Professional Look

The above sums it up. I have the Snipping Tool right on my task bar and it’s my go-to, everyday solution. I have a Skitch shortcut on my desktop so I can quickly bring it up and use it. Both tools are indispensable for me. Give them both a try. There are other screen capture tools out there – what do you use?

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