Software You Should Be Using


For some reason or another, Apple has made the poor decision (in my opinion) to make the default format for screenshots PNG. In the past, if one wanted to change the default format, they would have to go into the terminal and change the format by editing a system file. Lucky for those of us who may not be comfortable with the terminal, but still want to change the file format, there is SCIT. Screen Capture Image Type allows users to change the default file type of screenshots to a variety of types including GIF, JPG, and PSD.

Picture 1

Paparazzi! is a neat little app that will come in especially handy for those in the field of web-design. Paparazzi! is a quick and easy way to take a full snapshot of a web-page in the format of your choice.

Picture 2

Everyone has that one special flash animation that they can watch over and over again, and never tire of. Now you can have that special little film as your screen-saver! Never spend a day without being barraged by a repetitive loop of light and sound again!FlashSaverMaker (I know, the site is abhorrent, but the program is worth it) takes any normal .swf file, and instantly turns it into a .saver file.

Picture 3

For mobile users like me, almost nothing is as important has staying on-top of the status of my PowerBook’s battery. Enter coconutBattery, a simple utility that shows me all the info about my battery that I could ever want. I can see how many cycles I have been through, and how those cycles have affected the over-all capacity of my battery.

Picture 4



I am new with all of this design programs… one simple question. Why is it that when I receive a .jpg file I can view it alright with preview but when I try to forward it or save and email later I loose all the quality and becomes unreadable?


I have a question:
Why is it that when i save a GIF file to the desktop, i’ll always view it as a ‘still image’ (using PREVIEW) instead of the original animated image that i had intended to save?


Even though you have admitted that defeat on the part of the JPEG issue, I still feel obligated to link you to this image format guide. There is rhyme and reason to why PNG is used for screenshots.


Photoshop’s PNG export isn’t great, either; running it through pngcrush afterwords tends to work wonders.

(Thanks for the linkage, BTW!)


Confronted with the vast amount of information you have all provided, I must accept that I was wrong in my assertion that JPEG is a better format for screenshots.


JPG for screen shots a horrible choice, not because it is lossy (which it is), but because the way the math in jpeg works means that it is extremely bad at handling large blocks of pixels with identical color values. Things like, oh, windows, title bars, etc.

Jpeg is meant to handle photographs (particularly the edges of objects in photographs) and when confronted with large monchrome blocks, adds huge amounts of noise to them. PNG, in contrast, is particularly good at handling large monochrome blocks.


Because Photoshop has a save-for-web option which reduces file size while hardly reducing quality.


Why would you use Photoshop to convert a PNG file when you have Preview? Photoshop is great for heavy lifting but for simple file conversion Preview is just fine.


Hi everyone, I am trying to find something to grab the entire screen even if it isn’t in the window. I want to have a picture of one of my iMovies but if I fit it into the window it’s truncated and I can’t see the details needed. Anyone have any ideas or am I missing something that can be done with grab or snapz pro x? Thanks for any advice



In your comments on coconut battery you misuse the word effected. It should be affected. I’m sure you were sleeping in 6th grade the day that this was covered. Feel free to delete this comment as long as you correct your copy. I keep telling my young nieces that if they master the usage of there, their, they’re, your you’re, and to too two that they will be ahead of 95% of the people on the web. I guess I should add affected/effected to that list. My apologies if you are a non-native English speaker.

Gareth Potter

For anyone curious, my Chinese isn’t great, but I think the page that made reference to this article is saying that you can also use Tinkertool to change the format, which is what the author currently uses.

For what it’s worth, I believe PNG makes most sense as the default format for screenshots – lossy JPEGs have their uses, of course, but once text is involved (which is surely a near certainty), a lossless format is generally going to be preferable.


I’ve tried capture, but the results I get from it when I set it to JPG are absolutely horrible.


I’ve switched to using the Dashboard widget “Capture”…Allows different image types as well as capturing Dashboard screens.

Dan Bruno

I’m going to have to weigh in with the PNG people also. Nice that someone made an app for those who don’t like it, though.


You guys make a good argument, but I still stand by my opinion that the screenshots produced using jpg are acceptable quality, and even if the only option WAS PNG, that what would only mean I would have to open Photoshop and save for web anyway, which is a step I am glad I do not have to take.

FYI, the screenshots for this post were taken using grab and SCIT


It would be utterly ridiculous to use a lossy format for screenshots. PNG is the best possible default format. Just because you want low-quality JPGs, for whatever reason, doesn’t make it a poor decision.


I understand where you are coming from, but when I am just taking a screen shot that does not need to be great quality, I love not having to open Photoshop to convert the file.


I do think we should be able to change the default screenshot format without having to use the Terminal or a third party application but I wouldn’t call PNG a poor decision as far as the default format goes. Much better than the PDF previously used or even PICT used in the OSes before OS X. I would rather use something like Photoshop to get a jpg from a png since it does a much better job than what you get if you just capture it as a jpg (especially for anything that has text).

Comments are closed.