Screenink is an app for Mac and Windows that lets you capture screenshots of your full screen or any defined area of it. Unlike conventional screenshot apps that limit a custom area to fit in a rectangle or square shape, Screenink lets you draw out a custom shape on your screen and capture all content within it. It also gives you an on-screen protractor and ruler that allows you to measure both the length, width, and angle of anything on your screen. You can draw shapes, enter text, and use the app’s very own color picker to select a color from the screen. The app adds an always-on-top toolbar to the screen and a pencil-like icon to the Menu Bar that allow you use its many tools. It supports keyboard shortcuts as well for quickly performing its functions. Screenink’s Mac app is available for $0.99 in the Mac App Store, while the Windows version costs $2.00.
Considering how feature-rich Screenink is, you might want to take a few minutes to familiarize yourself with its tools and how they work. Your cursor can take on two different modes: the normal mouse mode that will allow you to move windows around and bring up app menus, and the Select mode that lets you select an area on your screen with one of its several selection tools, while keeping any drawing tool that you may have selected still active. For example, if you draw using the freehand tool and then use the the select tool, it will let you draw out a selected area on your screen with the freehand drawing still visible.
The pen, highlighter, eraser, line, shapes, and text tools do exactly what their names say. You’ll notice that the shapes tool is particularly rich in options. To view the different shapes you can draw and select the color for your drawing, select the Shapes tool and then click the two squares that appear just below the dial. A popup with three tabs will appear, allowing you to select the shape you want to draw. You can change the color of this tool from the ‘Stroke’ tab. Colors can be selected from the suggestions, a color palette, or the app’s built-in color picker.
The dial lets you manage the size of the brush for the pen and eraser tools, though it won’t effect the shapes tool. To capture a part of the screen, open the color picker, magnify your desktop, or view the rulers or protractor, click the button at the very bottom of the toolbar (the one represented by three dots) and it will expand to reveal buttons for the aforementioned functions.
Screenink lets you create blank images or images that are screenshots of the desktop. These are called ‘pages’ and you can view the entire gallery of these pages by clicking the grid-like button (which kind of looks like the Windows logo). To create a new page, click the page button and select a solid color background.
To view the gallery of pages, which will include all screenshots that you capture, click the gallery button. You can select any one of the pages and when you start drawing on your screen, you will be drawing on that particular page. The page itself will never be superimposed on the screen.
Click the arrow button below the screen button to select the format that Screenink will save the image in. Click the little options arrow to select if you want to save all pages, or only the current page. The screen button lets you draw on your screen live.
The last button houses some of Screenink’s most useful tools; the camera buttons allow you to capture a rectangle area or a custom area on the screen. All screenshots can be added as pages, saved, or copied to the clipboard from the little toolbar that appears next to its outline.
The color picker tool will let you pick a color from anywhere on the screen and copy its value to your clipboard. The Zoom tool activates a zoom window that you can resize and move around anywhere on the screen. You can zoom in and out, and view your whole screen zoomed in at that level.
The ruler tools lets you add multiple rulers to your screen for measuring on-screen elements. The rulers can be vertical or horizontal. Click the ruler tool to add one ruler, and then the plus sign at the top of this ruler to add more. You can define the units these rulers measure i.e. pixels, inches, centimeter, picas, or points. Click the small menu button at the top-right of the ruler to view options for customizing it.
The protractor tool adds a protractor set to 90 degrees at the center of your screen. You can change the center of origin as well as the angle by clicking and dragging the rays.
As you can see, Screenink isn’t just your run-of-the-mill screenshot app; it’s much more than that, and more powerful than Skitch. At $0.99 or $2.99 (for Mac and Windows respectively), it’s a bargain. Its potential is virtually unlimited, and you’d be hard put trying to find an app in this genre that does half as much as Screenink.