An Amazing Screenshot Editor & Annotation Tool.

I am proud to be able to present you with another Gizmo’s Freeware Exclusive. We always get excited when a previously commercial software becomes freeware, but especially so when it is truly an excellent product, and we will be the first ones to announce it to the world!

I can’t tell you how many times I have looked for a program like SnapDraw. As a graphics designer, whenever I used one of the many screenshot editor and annotation tools I have found before, I always ended up feeling disappointed in the results. The resulting graphics always looked so plain and boring. I kept asking, “Why can’t someone make a screenshot annotation tool that produces graphics that look like they were drawn by a designer”? Happily a few days ago, one of my fellow editors, alerted me to CrossGL SnapDraw by MicroInvention Ltd.

SnapDraw is a screenshot capture - editor - annotation tool, and it was exactly what I had been waiting for. The results are fabulous. Its screenshot capture abilities are about the same as you would find in any basic screenshot tool, nothing extraordinary there. But stop the show, because when it comes to editing your screenshots, or doing annotation, you will be hard pressed to find anything better.

 

SnapDraw Screenshot

It may take a little while to figure out how to use all the various tools, such as the need to select a tool style from the library, before actually using the tool in the tool bar. Also, after you add a shape--arrow, speech bubble, etc. -- you can then modify its attributes. Still, once you become familiar with the process, you will be able to quickly produce some truly beautiful image markup. You can easily give your screenshot a nice reflection, rotate it to give it a 3D perspective look, add all kinds of lines and shapes, and even auto-numbering callouts. It also features a nice set of magnifiers, including some quite unique ones like computer monitors, and Polaroid style photo frames.

As an additional bonus, SnapDraw, includes a Tool Designer which allows you to create your own custom shapes. Admittedly at first I was lost on how to make it work. The Tools Designer uses what I would call a procedural method, like stacking effect layers on top of each other to combine the various elements into the final shape. It was a bit confusing at first, but after I loaded a few pre-made shapes and saw how they were constructed, I was able to create several shapes of my own. Very cool!

You will find it has a lot of other options and features, and I will let you discover these for yourself. I can say one thing for sure, you will definitely be seeing SnapDraw being put to use here on our site.

SnapDraw Homepage: http://www.crossgl.com/asc_overview.htm
Download Page:http://www.crossgl.com/asc_download.htm  (16.5MB)

Many thanks to Gizmo's Freeware editor Jason (BuBBy) for organizing this and to the developer Milan for generously releasing his product as freeware.

Have Fun!

Ritho

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Comments

by anon123 (not verified) on 7. October 2011 - 17:05  (81058)

Hello,

When I press the Capture Key (Ctrl+ Prnt Scrn), it does not open the image under 'image composition', which is what I have selected. I tried playing around changing the key to Ctrl+Shift+ Prnt Scrn and also 'adding it to existing image composition' but none of the combinations work to open the image in the editor. Am I doing something wrong?

by insecure (not verified) on 27. August 2011 - 15:59  (78449)

I couldn't snapshot a rectangular area or region using SnapDraw, which I can easily do it with PicPick & Gadwin PrintScreen. Anyone face the same problem?

by Ritho on 27. August 2011 - 17:12  (78457)

You are right. You can't, but just capture full screen, and then click the shot drag the blue lines around the region you want, and click the crop key. It is a few more steps I know.

by jaska (not verified) on 26. August 2011 - 18:50  (78399)

Well, well... They have paid special attention to security issues and especially say under the download link:

"Is it safe to press the 'Run' button as long, as the publisher is MicroInvention Ltd., which means the file was digitally signed by us and delivered to you without any modifications..."

And guess what? The file downloaded from their site is not signed... At least xp tells so

by Ritho on 26. August 2011 - 19:13  (78400)

Please see my comment 5 or so down. Since the product has passed from a commercial product to a freeware product, the certificate has probably expired.

by jacksonfly (not verified) on 23. August 2011 - 18:26  (78214)

Can SnapDraw make torn edges?

by Ritho on 24. August 2011 - 6:27  (78230)

There is nothing built-in unfortunately. You still can do it quite easily by adding a png of a torn edge with a shadow over-top of the screenshot like below. You can download the torn edge png file I made here as well. You could put it into a image editor and rotate it to make torn edges for bottom or left sides etc. You could also crop the png to make larger torn edges.

TornEdge.png

Download SnapDrawTornEdge.png (Use right-click and save as.)

by scoob-puma (not verified) on 23. August 2011 - 0:18  (78168)

Excellent find and thanks for sharing Gizmo!
Your site is an invaluable resource for those us who are on limited incomes, as well as those who are frugal:)

by j spence (not verified) on 22. August 2011 - 15:37  (78151)

Ritho - I went to the other download link and I get the same msg when I run the installer - "unknown publisher". The install instructions say that the "publisher is MicroInvention Ltd.".

by Ritho on 22. August 2011 - 17:25  (78153)

This Windows message pops up with any products that do not have digitally signed security certificates. Which is the case with 90% or more of most freeware. Why? Well a developer must pay for a certificate from a CA (Certificate authority) like Verisign. Around $400 per year or more. It may be fine when a product is making a developer money, but it is hard to expect them to get a certificate when it is freeware.

It is nothing to worry about. If you have any concerns about any installer, it is always a good idea to upload it to VirusTotal.com and run it against 42 different antivirus engines. This I already did for our readers before I posted the link and if you want to see the results click here

by j spence (not verified) on 22. August 2011 - 14:48  (78149)

I downloaded the installer and it says unknown author - this differs from what the website say.

by Jojo Yee on 22. August 2011 - 14:45  (78148)

Wow, it turns freeware, and I would say this is the first freeware product I've come across that supports capturing transparent windows with rounded corners and shadow.

I've been looking for freeware to work like this and now this is the one. In this regard, it's one of the great screen capture tools to me.

by John . (not verified) on 22. August 2011 - 13:36  (78145)

Don't forget to get the tool library add-in here...
http://www.crossgl.com/asc_toolslib.htm

by dcwi (not verified) on 22. August 2011 - 21:59  (78164)

The tool library add-in cannot be added to the free version so far as I can tell. The screens shown at the web site illustrating how to access the tool library are not found in the free edition.

by Ritho on 23. August 2011 - 5:37  (78179)

The screenshots located here http://www.crossgl.com/asc_toolslib.htm work perfectly for adding the tool library. I am guessing you missed the first step. Down the left side are four tabs. (1.Browse 2.Scene 3. Editing 4. Tool Library) Make sure to click on the tool library tab first, then the folder icon in the screenshots on the website becomes visible. Then follow the rest of the steps.

By the way there technically is no "Free Version," which would make sound as if there is a paid version. This is the full commercial product only with the registration requirement removed.

Ritho

by pcm (not verified) on 20. August 2011 - 21:19  (78057)

Thank you for sharing, very useful indeed.

by DesElms on 20. August 2011 - 16:05  (78041)

For what it's worth, as of Sat 20 Aug 2011 at 9:04 AM PDT, the CrossGL SnapDraw web pages now reflect that it's free.

There's a freeware (basically, an older) version of Ashampoo's "Magical Snap" (if memory serves, I believe it's version 2) floating around out there which approaches the editing task in a more creative manner than most tools of its kind. I'd have to play with it again to see if it's capable of what CrossGL SnapDraw would appear to be capable of, but I know that several nice editing features are in it... worth checking-out.

Also, it seems to me that I've been able to achieve much the same at least SORT of results using the editor in PicPick. That being the case, and given PicPick's other terribly useful features, a person using PicPick, it would seem to me, would have to want really bad whatever CrossGL SnapDraw does which PicPick doesn't in order to toss PicPick by the wayside in favor of CrossGL SnapDraw (since, as with anti-malware, one should typically only have one screen capture utility at a time running in the system tray).

But, in fairness, I haven't used CrossGL SnapDraw yet, and so I should probably reserve judgement for the moment. All I know is that from what I'm reading on the CrossGL SnapDraw web pages, it's awfully darned nice. I can see why the author of this page's article in chief likes it. But given the steps described to achieve desired results, I'm hard pressed to imagine why I, for one, would want to give-up PicPick for it.

But I'll check it out and see what I think. I, for one, am grateful for being told about it here. Thanks!

_________________________________
Gregg L. DesElms
Napa, California USA

by George on 22. August 2011 - 18:08  (78155)

After checking out SnapDraw I agree with Ritho. Both products have their place. The design features are incredible, however, I exprienced difficulties getting used to the GUI and behaviours. I would judge the usability lower than that of PicPick. That might be based on the many cool features but if you try to drag a simple rectangle and then crop the area you will see what I mean. I was not able to achieve this simple feature. Accessing a useful help was a failure too. The learning curve is not very steep in my opinion. PicPick fails in the great designs but I stick with it anyways because I get a result much faster.

by Ritho on 22. August 2011 - 19:08  (78159)

I also found cropping to be a bit unintuitive. You select the image by clicking on it, then inside the red dotted bounding box is another blue bounding box, which you must drag each side to the position you want to crop. After selecting the area, click the crop icon (furthest right on top toolbar.)

by Ritho on 20. August 2011 - 16:42  (78046)

When it comes to screenshot capture programs, I would agree it is hard to beat Picpick. But its annotation tools are not nearly as advanced as SnapDraw's tools. If all you want to do is draw some plain looking circles, arrows, or add some simple text, Picpick is fine. But if someone wants to create website graphics with screenshots that really look high quality, SnapDraw will out-do Picpick by far. I used to load my screenshots into Photoshop or Paintshop Pro in-order to get the results I wanted. Snapdraw allows me to to the same thing, but much easier and faster. Like I said, Snapdraw produces graphics that satisfies the tastes of an artist/designer. It may not be everyones cup of tea. In my opinion, both programs have their place.

by Anonymous44 (not verified) on 20. August 2011 - 9:59  (78024)

Is there a portable version of this tool?

by Ritho on 20. August 2011 - 11:13  (78028)

Not that I know of, but it may work fine if you just copy its folder to a usb stick.

by NetPotion on 19. August 2011 - 14:55  (77957)

This is an awesome find! Thanks 8)

by 26Dolphins on 19. August 2011 - 11:38  (77941)

Hi,
I'm a bit puzzled. I looked high and low on their site and all I could find is a 30 days evaluation installer which comes with some "minor restrictions" as they state.
The installer is the same as the one you linked to.

Am I missing something here?

Thanks.

by Ritho on 19. August 2011 - 11:52  (77944)

This is because they just released it as freeware, and have not even had time to update their site. If you download the installer I linked to (SnapDraw-Free-Installer.exe) you will find all previous restrictions have been lifted, and it is no longer limited to a 30 day trial.

Ritho

by Ritho on 20. August 2011 - 6:52  (78013)

The website has now been updated, so there should no longer be any problem with the links.

by 26Dolphins on 19. August 2011 - 14:09  (77953)

Thanks, missed the "Free" part in the installer name, sorry.

by Michael Connor (not verified) on 19. August 2011 - 11:51  (77943)

The free version is at the the bottom of the features page, Scroll down to the bottom;

http://www.crossgl.com/asc_features.htm

Regards....Mike Connor

by Ritho on 19. August 2011 - 11:56  (77946)

No it is not the same installer. That is just the link to the trial version. Please use the Link given above for now.

Ritho

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