Capture and Edit Screenshots With Skitch

By default, Windows provides you with a very basic screenshot feature. This feature can be utilized by pressing the Print Screen key on your keyboard. When this key is pressed, a picture of your screen is then saved to the Windows clipboard which you can then paste into any image editing application such as Microsoft Paint or Photoshop. While useful, this feature is far from efficient and could certainly benefit from further development.

Skitch is a free utility that adds an abundance of functionality to the screenshot feature that is already inside of Windows. After acquiring the majority of its popularity as a Mac-only application, the Windows version of Skitch has a lot to live up to.

Does Skitch live up to the anticipation? Let’s take a look and find out!

Getting Started

Installing Skitch is just as easy as installing any other Windows application. Simply head over to evernote.com/skitch and click the Get Skitch for Windows button. After a short 28 MB download, launch the installer and follow the instruction until the application has been successfully installed. While many free applications often make an attempt to install toolbars and other pieces of bloatware during the installation process, the Skitch installer not consist of any speculative pieces of software.

Once installed, you may take your first screenshot by pressing ctrl+shift+5 on your keyboard. After the image is taken, it will automatically be imported into Skitch where you may begin making your desired edits to the image.

Functionality

Skitch is designed to assist you in capturing and editing screenshots, but it has also proven to be a useful tool for annotating photos. After an image is imported into Skitch, you have the ability to edit it using a small assortment of included tools. These tools consist of a text editor, highlighter, arrow generator, rectangle generator, and a few others. It’s not necessarily the next Photoshop, but it gets the job done and is an excellent solution for performing basic edits to an image.

Some ideal uses for Skitch consist of annotating photos, removing sensitive information from photos, and drawing attention to specific areas in a picture or screenshot. Outside of the previously listed and other similar uses, Skitch has very limited functionality.

The lack of preferences in Skitch can be aggravating,  resulting in a very restricted feeling while using the app. I would like to see, at very least, the ability to modify the keystroke that is used to take a screenshot as I find the default one to be rather awkward.

Perhaps one of Skitch’s most significant annoyances is the fact that it seems to be heavily reliant upon Evernote, another popular Windows application that is used for note taking and synchronization. For example, the Add to Evernote button seems to be spammed throughout the application to the extent that I find it to be somewhat imposing. On its own, Skitch is not very powerful. Even if paired with Evernote, I find Skitch’s list of features to be disturbingly short. One might suggest that it is nothing more than a small extension of Evernote. I suspect this might be due to the fact that Skitch features no native synchronization. If you plan on sharing the image with multiple devices, you will be forced to import it into Evernote. Although, irrespective of this shortcoming, Skitch is still an excellent alternative to the screenshot feature that is included in Windows.

Those who often find themselves tied to their mobile device will appreciate the fact that Skitch is available for both iOS and Android in addition to Windows and Mac OS X. Although, just as with the desktop version of Skitch, Evernote will be required if you wish to synchronize your creations with other devices. This is another example of how Skitch relies on Evernote a little too much.

Interface

The interface inside of Skitch is relatively minimal. The lack of any intrusive elements allows the app to blend in to the rest of the Windows desktop very well. I am particularly fond of the fact that the included editing tools are not resource-intensive. Because of, this that all of the manipulations that are made to an image are lag-free and a pleasure to use regardless of system specifications. This is one of the advantages of using Skitch rather than a significantly more complex image editor such as Photoshop. Many users launch Photoshop to make simple edits such as adding text or an outline to an image. Doing such a thing is a waste of system resources when the same task can be accomplished with far more simplicity using something like Skitch.

Conclusion

Overall, Skitch is a great app that is intended to be used to achieve the very simple and specific task of capturing screenshots and performing basic edits. While this application is far from flawed, it is, without a doubt, very limited in terms of functionality. In a future update, I would like to see a small set of preferences and native synchronization. Otherwise, Skitch does an excellent job at what it was designed to do and is certainly worth checking out. Although, if you wish to try Skitch for the first time, I highly recommend installing Evernote as well. Evernote is almost essential if you wish to take advantage of Skitch in its entirety.

Know of another great Windows app we have yet to review? Let us know by leaving a comment below!


Summary

A Windows screenshot and image editing utility that features a sufficient selection of editing tools but lacks customization.

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