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