Get to Know ScreenFloat 2 – Part III: Floating Shots, Color Picker, Visibility

Let’s take a tour through ScreenFloat and see how it can power up your screenshots, too.

ScreenFloat powers up your screenshots by allowing you to take screenshots and recordings that float above everything else, keeping certain information always in sight. Its Shots Browser stores your shots and helps you organize, name, tag, rate, favorite and find them. Everything syncs across your Macs.
Extract, view and copy detected text, faces and barcodes. Edit, annotate, markup and redact your shots effortlessly and non-destructively. Pick colors any time. And more.

Posts in this Series

Part IAn Overview
Part IITake Screenshots and Record your Screen
Part IIIFloating Shots, Color Picker, Visibility
Part IVThe Shots Browser, Exporting, Printing
Part VEditing, Markup, Annotations
Part VIFloating Shots’ Double-Click Workflows
Part VIIiCloud Sync, Tags Browser, Spotlight
Part VIIIShortcuts and Widgets

Part III – Floating Shots, Color Picker, Visibility

Floating Shots are one of the core features of ScreenFloat. Read on to learn how to get the most out of them and use them to your advantage.

Table of Contents

Floating Shot Visibility
Text-, Face- and Barcode Detection
Color Picker
Editing, Annotations, Markup
Drag and Drop Sharing
The “Action” Menu
Double-Click Workflows

Floating Shots

Shots you capture will float on your screen above everything else. Think of it as Picture-in-Picture for your screenshots. They will also be automatically stored in your Shots Browser, which we’ll talk about further down.

It’s great for keeping a reference to anything on your screen visible at all times. In the video above, it’s a QR code, but it could be anything else, like banking information, a code sample, or a reference image.

Floating Shot Visibility

You can move floating shots around and resize them like any other window.
Floating shots can be closed or hidden. The difference is simple:
When you close a shot, it disappears and can be accessed again in the Shots Browser.
When you hide a shot, it also disappears, but can be quickly recalled by un-hiding it.

This is perfect for situations where shots might cover parts of your screen you need to get to without moving stuff around, or when you know you don’t need them right now, but will soon, or repeatedly, even.
You can hide and unhide all currently floating shots by pressing ^ ⌥ ⌘ H on your keyboard, or from ScreenFloat’s icon in your menu bar.

Hide a single shot by hovering over its close button, or by right-clicking it.

Hovering over the close button reveals more options

Consequently, you can unhide individual shots by selecting them from ScreenFloat’s icon in your menu bar, under Unhide Floating Shots.

Hidden Shots are grouped together by the timestamp they were hidden at so that you can have different “sets” of active floating shots.

Move your mouse cursor over a floating shot and scroll up and down to change its opacity – very useful for revealing what’s underneath, for example, when trying to compare two versions of something.
Speaking of which, you can make floating shots temporarily ignore all mouse input so you can click and drag through them – perfect for drawing through a shot, for instance.

Changing a floating shot’s opacity, and making it ignore mouse input.

Activate ScreenFloat’s “Work mode” so that when you move your mouse cursor over a floating shot, it disappears, and reappears when you exit. Alternatively, you can just hold down the command key (⌘) on your keyboard to temporarily toggle this setting.

Set up a floating shot to appear everywhere, in the current space only, or only when the current app is active – very useful for captures you only require whenever you’re working in a certain app.

Changing a floating shot’s visibility to “Currently Active App”, so it’ll only be visible when the Finder is active.
Text-, Face- and Barcode Detection

ScreenFloat detects text, faces and barcodes in every shot you take, allowing you to easily extract, view, copy and (non-destructively) redact information with just a simple right-click.

A few things to note in the video above:
Copying text: You can choose to copy single lines of text by right-clicking onto it directly, copy all text by right-clicking anywhere, or append-copy specific lines of text, which allows you to paste them all in a single paste operation
“Quicksmart” Redaction: Right-click on a text line, face, or barcode and select Redact to non-destructively redact them. Naturally, you can easily redact all text / all faces / all barcodes, too.
Barcodes: ScreenFloat supports a large variety of barcodes and QR codes’ contents, like calendar events, vCards, links, text, and more. You can QuickLook them, copy them or in the case of vCards and calendar events save them to the according app or your disk.

Extracting/copying/viewing text and barcodes is also available in paused screen recordings (still images).

Color Picker

Floating shots come with a handy color picker. Option (⌥) – click-and-drag anywhere on a floating shot and the picker will pop up.

Release the mouse button when you’re at the color you want to pick. A menu will appear, allowing you to copy the color’s hex-, RGB-, float-, or hsl values, or a sample color image. You can even drag it onto a target in another app, making it easy to use the color right away.
Recently picked colors are saved for you to access from the picker menu itself, or ScreenFloat’s widgets (which we’ll talk about in a later installment of this blog series).

If you’re using a Magic Mouse, you can adjust the color picker’s “crosshair” on the fly by scrolling up or down while you’re picking colors. If not, you can adjust the size in ScreenFloat’s settings.

Editing, Annotations, Markup

We’ll talk about this in more detail in the next installment of this series, but for now, here’s a short overview of the changes you can make to shots and recordings:

– Crop and Fold
– Resize/Scale
– Rotate
– Reduce the shot’s resolution (from a “retina” dpi of 144 or more to 72 dpi)
– Annotate/Markup: Freedraw, lines, ovals, rectangles, arrows, stars, checkmarks, x-marks, text, highlight and redact (block, pixelate, blur). Markup is non-destructive, so you can always come back later and make changes, or remove them. If you’re using Sidecar with an iPad, ScreenFloat supports the Apple Pencil’s double-tap to switch through the different tools.

Screen Recordings
– Crop
– Resize/Scale
– Rotate
– Trim
– Remove audio tracks

Drag and Drop Sharing

Probably nothing is more important than being able to share screenshots and recordings. That’s why in ScreenFloat, it’s extra easy, and extra powerful at the same time.

Just drag that little document icon of a floating shot and you’ll be able to drag the shot as-is anywhere you wish.

If you prefer a certain file format, however, or if you want to reduce the shot’s resolution or dimensions before dragging it somewhere, click that document icon instead, and all sorts of options will become available to you:

Here are the drag-sharing options available to you, shown in the video above:
– Change the file format (PNG, JPEG, TIFF, PDF, HEIC)
– Reduce the resolution (from 144+ “retina” dpi to 72 dpi)
– Resize the image (by longest/shortest side, or width/height)
– Whether markup and annotations should be included, or just the original image should be shared
– Whether notes and tags should be included as file metadata

Clicking any of the file format options will also let you set it as your default for quick-dragging, should you prefer, say, JPEG over PNG files for sharing.

The “Action” Menu

Right-click any floating shot, or click on the little gear icon in the top right to access the “Action” menu. It contains everything you need for working with your shots.

Some of these we’ll talk about in more detail in a future installment of this series, so for now, let’s go over all of them and see what they do.

Detected Data (not shown in the screenshot above)
When you right-click onto a text line, a face or barcode directly, you’ll have the option to view, copy or redact it easily with this (see above)

– Copy: Allows you to copy the PNG/MOV file of the shot, or in case of screenshots, the image data in different formats
– Extract Still Image From Video (recordings only; not shown in the screenshot above): Extract the current frame from the video into a new shot, or copy it to the clipboard
– Open Copy With: Open a copy of the shot with a compatible app
– Share: Your standard share menu, with the additional option of uploading the shot to iCloud and sharing a link to it, instead of a potentially large file.
– Detected Data: Offers you to view, copy and redact all or individual text lines, barcodes and faces.
– Export…: Export the shot to a folder of your choice, into different file formats, quality, and more

– Edit Info…: Edit the title, notes and tags of the shot (useful in the Shots Browser)
– Resize…: Resize/scale the shot, and/or reduce its resolution
– Rotate: Rotate the shot (counter-)clockwise
– Trim (recordings only; not shown in the screenshot above): Trim the video’s beginning and end
– Remove Audio (recordings only; not shown in the screenshot above): Remove the video’s audio tracks
– Annotate…: Add annotations, redactions and markup to the shot (coming in the next installment)
– Re-capture and Delete…: Allows you to re-capture the area of this shot was captured in, then deletes the original

– Add to Favorites: Favorite the shot (useful in the Shots Browser)
– Add to: Add the shot to an existing or new folder in the Shots Browser
– Rating: Rate the shot from between 0-5 stars (useful in the Shots Browser)
– Show in Shots Browser: Opens the Shots Browser and selects and reveals this shot
– Settings…: Open ScreenFloat’s settings

– Ignore Mouse Clicks: makes the shot temporarily ignore mouse input (see above)
– Visibility: Make this shot appear everywhere, only in the current space, or only when the current app is active (see above)
– Hide Shot: Hides this shot, so it disappears, but you can recall it quickly from ScreenFloat’s menu bar icon (see above)
– Close Shot: Closes the Shot to the Shots Browser

While the “Action” menu is shown, press option (⌥) and/or shift (⇧), fn or command (⌘) to reveal alternate options for many of these entries.

Double-Click Workflows

For things you find yourself doing repeatedly, you can use double-click workflows.
For instance, if you find yourself always reducing a shot’s resolution before you mail it to somebody, set up a double-click workflow for it, to automate the process. Now you only have to double-click the floating shot and its resolution will be reduced, and then attached to a new eMail, all in one fell swoop.

Double-clicking the floating shot rotates it clockwise and then opens a new mail message with it, thanks to a custom double-click workflow.

We’ll talk more about these workflows in a future installment of this series – there are a lot of options available.

Up Next

The next part of this series – Part IV: The Shots Browser – takes a detailed look at the Shots Browser and how it can help you keep organized. Definitely take a look, there’s a lot of neat stuff there!


ScreenFloat Website (+ free trial)
ScreenFloat on the Mac App Store (one-time purchase, free for existing customers)
ScreenFloat Usage Tips

Eternal Storms Software Productivity Apps Bundle (Yoink, ScreenFloat and Transloader at ~25% off)
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Thank you for your time. I do hope you enjoy ScreenFloat!