Screenshot Annotation Tool

I love the ⌘⇧5 screen capture feature, but find the editor kludgy.

Do you have a favorite tool for annotating screenshots?

Skitch! Yes, it uses Evernote for syncing, etc., but it’s just fast for my usual uses of drawing a circle or an arrow w/ a bit of text thrown in.

I use Preview for the basics. Beyond that, I use Acorn. It supports layers, filters to pixelate areas, etc.

You probably know this, but ⌘⇧4 does a screen capture of an area or window (toggle with the space bar), using the settings you set with ⌘⇧5. Saves a few clicks.

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I like CleanShot X in the SetApp suite.



Ditto! CleanShot X pretty much covers all my needs: pin the screenshot (my favorite), highlight area, blur area, all kinds of annotation, record GIF and video, picture host and share.


I would never suggest buying it purely as an annotation tool, but OmniGraffle is great for annotating screenshots and photos. The ability to lock one end of an arrow to the spot of interest and the other end to the descriptive text makes it very easy to experiment with different locations for the text. Also, you can make the text easier to read by giving it a translucent background.


I use the screenshot function in BetterTouchTool. I hate that the stock shortcut saves a file rather than copying to clipboard.


These are great recommendations! Thanks all.

Omnigraffle offers the kind of technical look I’m going for and gets me into a program I don’t use enough. I’d never have thought to consider it.


Another shout out to Cleanshot. The scrolling capture feature is great to use with Safari.

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+1 CleanShotX. I love it and its features.

I’ve tried a bunch, and I really like ScreenTray

I’m a fan of SnagIt.

Do you know if it supports layers?

It seems that ScreenShot X does not support layers.


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It’s really great to see everyone’s favourites, but if you could also say why you like this particular app or why you dislike another, this thread would become invaluable… :smiley:

I have been using Snagit on Windows because it worked well and keeps all your screenshots in a library, tagged by the application that was in the foreground when the screenshot was taken. It is quite expensive, though, so I wanted to check for alternatives before I upgrade my 2019 license for Big Sur compatibility.

Also worth mentioning: the license is platform independent, i.e. I’m able to continue use the license I bought on Windows years ago,

Oh, and I also like that it makes it easy to upload your screenshot (or screencast) to their cloud and share a link to it. I saw that CleanShot has the same feature.


I use Snagit. Main points that keep me renewing my subscription:

  1. Can define multiple capture scenarios with combinations of: capture type (screen shot or video) and post-capture processing: e.g., open in Snagit to edit, or send to an app directly (Yoink, DEVONthink, or whatever), post-processing effects to apply, and much more. Each scenario can have a shortcut, and all appear in the Snagit menubar icon.
  2. The Panoramic capture is something i use frequently – for example to capture the whole page of a document in a browser when the document scrolls off the page.
  3. Create a template image that combines multiple images and descriptive text. This mimics very well what the long-lost Clarify app did before the owner killed off that app. Useful for explainers documents or just to remember the steps I took in doing something.
  4. Large variety of effects and tools for working with images - not at the level of OmniGraffle or any photo editor, but it’s easy to send the captured image to another app if more sophisticated post processing is needed.

A lot more, but those are the features I use numerous times each day.


CleanShotX because

  • It is within the SetApp bundle
  • It does well for the basics to capture portions, windows, or full screen
  • It floats the snapshot on top of the screen windows so that it can be dragged directly into an app



The last beta for Clarify is 64-bit. If you have a license key for Clarify, you can download and install it. It runs on Big Sur.

Not here. Downloaded 8 minutes ago on macOS 11.2.3, which refuses to install Clarify.