I <3 Skitch!
You see, ever since leaving Windows back in October and moving onto the Mac platform, the one single biggest application I have missed - and really the only app I have missed! - has been Microsoft's Windows Live Writer. It truly rocks as an offline blog editor and I've been trying to find the same level of functionality ever since I moved to the Mac. I tried ecto but found it had some quirks that didn't work for me (however, I did buy both ecto and MarsEdit). I've mostly been using MarsEdit, but it has had one big glaring hole for me:my last post, about using MarsEdit, was actually posted using ecto simply because it was the easiest way to incorporate screenshots!
However, I have seen the light! In the form of this little app called Skitch!
A number of people, including Daniel Jalkut who develops MarsEdit, had encouraged me to try it out, but for a whole variety of reasons I didn't get around to it. Until tonight.
Perhaps the single greatest feature of the app for me is this little tab on the bottom of the app that says "drag me". You see, MarsEdit has this great "Media Manager" to which you can simply "drag and drop" files, but you can't easily drag-and-drop a screen capture on a Mac. Oh, you can easily take a screenshot of a region - using either the magic keystroke of Cmd+Shift+Ctrl+4 or through using the "Grab" application, but in neither case could you easily drop it into MarsEdit's Media Manager. Instead what I would do would be to paste it into ecto's WYSWIG editor.
So I wound up in this bizarre blog editing world where I would use MarsEdit for all my blogging... unless I wanted to incorporate screen captures, in which case I'd switch to ecto! A real pain-in-the-neck.
But now, with Skitch and this little "drag me" tab, I simply take the screen shot, resize it if I want, and then drag it over to MarsEdit's Media Manager.
In fact, it even solves one of my frustrations with MarsEdit's drag-and-drop. I always found it annoying that when you dragged an image from a web page, for instance, into MarsEdit, the image would get named some really long ugly temporary filename. Now, if you only use MarsEdit's Media Manager, that's not too big of a deal, but sometimes I do go into TypePad's File Manager and right now there are a ton of image files with really ugly names that are meaningless to me. Anyway, with Skitch I just enter a name into the field right above "drag me", hit Enter, and then when I do drag the file to MarsEdit, it comes across with this nice new name. VERY cool!
Skitch also comes comes with a whole range of annotation tools, so you can do stuff like what I just did to a NASDAQ 10-year chart I pulled off of CNN.com a few minutes ago. Skitch did the screen shot and then let me annotate away. The nice thing is that I can go back and edit my annotations, change them around, delete them, change colors, etc.
When I'm done, I just drag it over to MarsEdit and... ta da.. there it is!
Now, Skitch also has a "Skitch.com" service where you can host your images, and there's a handy little "webpost" button at the bottom of the user interface that will post your image. The cool part, though, is that you don't have to use Skitch.com. You can use the "webpost" button to post to flickr, .Mac or other sites via FTP, SFTP or WebDAV. Again, VERY nice!
Now I see why people were telling me I should check it out. It's the solution to my screen capture problem on the Mac... and it's free!
In fact, I'm not really sure what the business model is for the Plasq crew that made it, except perhaps that it gets them publicity and may draw people to their other products. Perhaps it's only free in the beta period and then they'll be asking people to buy it. (I probably would.) Regardless, all I can say is that I'm grateful to them for making such a cool app available!
If you are a Mac user and have not yet tried it out, do head on over to Skitch.com and check it out... it will probably change the way you work with images very quickly.