How to Use Zappy, a New Screenshot and Annotation Tool for Mac

Zappy promotional imageZapier

Zapier, a leader in remote work, has released a Mac-only screenshot and annotation tool Zappy. Here’s everything you need to know about this new app and whether to use it on Apple’s built-in options.

Zappy Snappy screenshot tool

Zapier’s screen capture tool, aptly named Zappy, was originally an exclusively internal tool designed to improve speed and efficiency between the company’s remote teams. This is not surprising, given that the company employs over 300 remote workers and, to date, is one of the best performing remote companies in the world. Zapier creating a no-frills screen capture tool makes perfect sense.

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Now that the vast majority of the world suddenly works from home, Zapier has made Zappy public. It is only available for Mac and you must have a Zapier account, but the program is completely free. Anyone who has a Zapier paid plan can also take advantage of the company’s hosting services, which allow you to get a screenshot to its destination a little faster.

One of the things I like about Zappy is its ease of use. I annotate a lot of screenshots on Mac and Windows 10. On Windows, I have always used Screenpresso, which I absolutely love.

On the Mac, however, there was nothing comparable until Zappy. Although Zappy does not provide all of the functionality of Screenpresso, this is not really the case. It is designed to improve efficiency, so it does what needs to be done without being too complicated to use.

RELATED: How to take a screenshot of an entire web page

The ins and outs of Zappy

To start with Zappy, you must first download it. On the landing page, just click “Download Zappy for free” and the download will start.

Download Zappy

Once the installation process is complete, run Zappy. A small icon will appear in the upper task bar; click on it and then log into your Zapier account to begin. Create an account if you don’t already have one.

connect to Zapier

Once connected, click on the Gear icon at the top right. Select “Settings” from the drop-down menu.

Settings icon

The “screenshot shortcut” is the only setting here. By default, it is set to “Command + Shift + 1”, but you can modify it as you wish. To do this, click on the text box, then type the combination you want to use.

shortcut key

Use the shortcut you selected, then click and drag the cursor to take a screenshot. The screenshot window appears. The size of the screenshot (in pixels) will appear above the screenshot.

screen capture pixel size

You can adjust the part of the screen you want to capture. To do this, click and drag the corners of the screenshot overlay. This saves you from having to redo the process if you make a mistake and don’t drag the window over everything you want to capture.

click and drag the border

If you want to draw an arrow, click the Arrow icon in the lower left.

select the arrow icon

Zappy also offers a few other annotation options that you can use; click the down arrow next to the arrow icon to open the drop-down menu.

You can click on “Pen” to make a free drawing or on “Text” to type a quick message. You can also choose from five different colors.

annotation options

When you’re ready to capture your screen, click the Camera icon.

camera icon

Otherwise, if you want to record a quick video, click the Camcorder icon.

camcorder icon

Click the gear icon if you want to adjust the quality or format of an image or video.

format and quality menu

As easy and fun as Zappy was to use, I encountered a few big drawbacks. First of all, you can’t tell Zappy where to store your images and videos. By default, it stores them in Images> Zappy.

There is also no functionality that allows you to add a border around a screenshot. This is important if the background of the image is the same color as the background where you insert it. For example, if you take a screenshot with a white background and place it in a Word document, the image will bleed in the background.

Is Zappy for you?

Zappy is an amazing screen capture tool if you are using a Mac. It’s free, easy to use, and has most of the basic features you need in a screen capture tool. Although some important features are missing, Zappy is still in early access, so I hope Zapier will add them later.

Ultimately, Zappy makes it easy to take and annotate screenshots. It is now my favorite screen capture tool on my Mac.

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