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Snapz Pro X 2.5 Finally Makes Nice with Mountain Lion

Months after OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion shipped, Ambrosia Software has finally updated the popular Snapz Pro X screen capture utility to be compatible with Apple’s current operating system. Snapz Pro X 2.5 has been rebuilt from scratch and is compatible with only 10.8 Mountain Lion and 10.7 Lion; it also gains support for MacBooks with Retina displays.

There aren’t many improvements to Snapz Pro X’s still image capture support. Most notably, screenshots can include full alpha masks (transparency) and optional shadows when windows are captured using the Object tool, and that tool can also capture windows that are partially obscured by other windows. On the downside, the Object tool can no longer capture menus, as it could in the previous version, nor can it capture individual icons on the Dock or the Desktop, since Mac OS X no longer treats those icons as individual windows. In both cases, the workaround is to use the Selection tool, which requires manually dragging out a rectangle and getting it positioned exactly right. The Selection tool does offer better feedback for height and width numbers, and an improved magnifying glass that even shows the hex value of the pixel in the middle. Unfortunately, the Selection tool no longer remembers positions on secondary monitors, and window borders can no longer be added automatically.

Snapz Pro X 2.5 also features a rewritten video capture engine that promises additional features and performance. Notably, Ambrosia says that recorded movies are now compatible with video applications like Final Cut Pro, and movies with both microphone and Mac audio tracks can be saved such that the two audio tracks are either mixed together or kept separate. Finally, a new preference lets you select a scratch folder to be used when recording movies.

Other changes include a preference for setting the volume of Snapz Pro X’s interface sounds, a new Save As option in the Send To menu that prompts the user with a Save dialog for each capture, and a new Help tab. Snapz Pro X 2.5 requires Mac OS X 10.7.4 or later, and costs $69 with movie capture capabilities (Snapz Pro X was previously available for only $29 if you didn’t want the movie capture capabilities; that option seems to have disappeared from Ambrosia’s Web site). It’s a free update for users of Snapz Pro X 2.x.

Frankly, this update is a bit disappointing for those of us who have long relied on Snapz Pro X for screenshots. The previous version crashed when using the Object tool under Mountain Lion, rendering it significantly less useful for professional authors working in Mountain Lion. Many fell back on Mac OS X’s internal Command-Shift-4 screenshot capabilities, which can capture menus and windows as objects, and Mac OS X’s included Grab utility, which can do timed captures, different cursors, and captures of sheet-based dialogs. Others started looking into alternative utilities, such as Global Delight’s Voila, which offers image management and editing capabilities, and Layers from Wuonm, which captures everything on screen as a layered Photoshop document.

Snapz Pro X’s newfound Mountain Lion compatibility may reduce the need for an alternative for many people, but if you’ve found another screen capture utility effective for your needs, let us know about it in the comments.


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Comments about Snapz Pro X 2.5 Finally Makes Nice with Mountain Lion
(Comments are closed.)

David Blatner  2012-11-16 20:32
Updating to the new version requires restarting the computer?! Grrr.
Adam Engst  An apple icon for a TidBITS Staffer 2012-11-19 14:31
It didn't for me, but I didn't install the audio extension that's necessary for Snapz Pro to record system audio. That's undoubtedly the reason it did for you, and there's no way around it, since that's a kernel extension.
Chap Harrison  2012-11-16 21:07
I can now save to the Clipboard as PNG, whereas before it would only save as TIFF, regardless of my File Type image setting. TIFFs, in addition to being big, cannot be opened by Windows users. So that's a plus.

Too bad about the menus, though.
Scott Rose  2012-11-16 22:18
Man, they haven't updated this program in years. I switched years ago to the MUCH MORE FULL-FEATURED and MUCH SUPERIOR ScreenFlow! ScreenFlow is amazing, and it also lets you record a video of yourself (via your iSight camera) while you are doing things on the screen. It's perfect for making training videos! It even comes with a built-in video and audio editor. It's great.
Adam Engst  An apple icon for a TidBITS Staffer 2012-11-19 14:32
Yes, I think ScreenFlow is a huge step above Snapz Pro X for movie capture. Its only downside (in comparison) is that it may be more (in terms of features and cost) than people might want.
Ronald Lanham  2012-11-17 13:09
Taking this long to update an app is pathetic.

I'm using Little Snapper and Voila now.
Joe Swann  2012-11-19 09:19
I have really enjoyed using Skitch. It has proven to be a great tool for snapping a quick screen shot and then using simple drawing tools to circle or point to something I want to call attention to. There are admittedly better tools out there, but Skitch does what I need it to do well enough that I quit using Snapz Pro and quit looking for other options.
Kirby Krieger  2012-11-26 21:04
I was a long-time, heavy, completely satisfied user of Skitch (I am a top contributor to one of the Apple forums), but Evernote has turned it into an app I have no use for. (Sad. I found it brilliantly designed and a pleasure to use.)

Does anyone have a suggestion for the simplest (slickest, most friction-free) app for taking screen snaps, annotating them with text, arrows, and free-form drawing, resizing when needed, and making them available on the Web?

Brian S.  2012-11-26 20:01
Yesterday a friend sent me a screencast created with Snap Z Pro. It was only 3 minutes long ( and sans audio ), but still over twice the size ( after zipping ) as my 10 minute screen cast ( with audio ) created in ScreenFlick. Since some of our screencast recipients have metered internet connections, the size is really important. ScreenFlick's default settings do a 2-pass compression on export. I don't have Snap Z Pro to see if it has that option
Ian Barnett  2012-11-26 21:39
Voila 83% off in the App Store ATM.
Kirby Krieger  2012-11-26 22:05
Thank you! 😊

Worth trying, imho.
Morley Chalmers  An apple icon for a TidBITS Contributor 2012-11-26 22:08
An additional issue. The old interface allowed the user to name the screenshot on the fly. The new one doesn't. There's apparently a workaround involving launching the full app, then using the Send menu to get a dialogue box to give it a name.

Thanks to your article I've discovered Shift-Command-4. Simpler. Lets me name the file AFTER rather than all in one go. But it will do the job. Sad. I've been using Snapz Pro X for many years.
Jochen Wolters  2012-11-28 11:28
Go to the "Snapz Pro X" tab, and select "Save As…" in the "Send to:" popup menu. Now, every time you take a screenshot, Snapz Pro X will open a standard OS X Save File dialog box, in which you can name the file.

Unfortunately, that also means the demise of yet another useful Snapz Pro X feature: The dedicated rename dialog in previous versions of the utility interpreted underscores as delimiters when using Alt-[Left|Right]-Arrow for jumping between words. Not so in the standard Save File dialog box.

Why does this matter? Snapz Pro X remembers the previously entered name for a new screenshot. If you use a prefix like "Snapz_", and a screenshot is called, say, "Snapz_Woah", you could easily adjust the name by hitting Shift-Alt-Left arrow, which would jump to just right of the underscore with the remainder of the name selected. Start typing, and you could efficiently rename screenshots while preserving the prefix.

In the standard Save dialog box, the underscore does not work as a delimiter, so you have to manually navigate to right-of-underscore, or just retype the prefix every single time.

That's not a big deal for one or two screenshots. But when documenting an application in depth, you're missing the previous functionality with every screenshot you make.

Overall, I completely agree with Adam: This update is a disappointment for loyal users of Snapz Pro X. And, yes, like someone else pointed out, taking this long to update the app is an embarassment for Ambrosia.
J Johnson  2012-11-27 09:23
Frankly, I miss the window border options (black hairline, normal, etc.) that the previous version of Snapz Pro had.
Adam Engst  An apple icon for a TidBITS Staffer 2012-11-27 09:40
Yes, so do we. Our style for TidBITS is generally to border screenshots that would otherwise be all white and blend into our white background.
Diane Ross  2012-12-04 14:32
I find it very slow. After evoking the shortcut, it's slow to show up. Then selecting to save is slow and waiting for the window to show up to name is slow. I'm very disappointed in this release. I've used SnapProX for years and I'm ready to find a replacement after this release.