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 IHello ScreenFloat
Part IICapture – Take Screenshots and Record Your Screen
Part IIIFloat – Picture-in-Picture for your Screenshots and Recordings
Part IVEdit – OCR, Annotate, Crop, Fold, Resize, Rotate, Trim, Cut and Mute
Part VShare – Drag and Drop, Link Sharing, Export
Part VIStore – The Shots Browser, iCloud Sync, Tags Browser
Part VIIIntegrate – Widgets, Siri Shortcuts, AppleScript, Workflows, Spotlight

Part VI: Store – The Shots Browser, iCloud Sync, Tags Browser

Every shot you capture with or import to ScreenFloat is stored in the Shots Browser, and optionally synced across your Macs over iCloud. Read on to learn how the Shots Browser helps you organize and collect, name, tag, rate, favorite and find your shots, and keep your Desktop clutter-free in the process.

Table of Contents


The Shots Browser

Open the Shots Browser with its keyboard shortcut (by default, ⇧ ⌘ 1), or from the app’s icon in the menu bar. It will open up in any app or space you’re in so it won’t take you away from what you’re doing at any given time.

Your Shots at a Glance

In the Shots Browser, you can access your Shots (center), folders (left panel), and detailed information about selected shots (right panel).

Your shots are sorted by their creation date (newest first) by default, with the option to change it to date last used, favorites first (by date favorited), rating, titles, file sizes, dimensions and kind (image or video).


You can see a preview image (1), title (2), type and dimensions or duration (3), its rating, favorite status and whether it’s floating (4).

Pinch on your Magic Trackpad, or use the slider at the bottom left to adjust the size of the previews.

Double-click a shot (or press enter when shots are selected) to make them float, or press the space bar to use Quick Look. 0-5 will rate them. Press f to (un-)favorite them. Right-click selected shots to reveal more options, or to edit/annotate them. Shots you don’t want shown under All Shots can be hidden, so they only appear in the “Hidden Shots” folder, and folders you have set up to include hidden shots.
You can click into a title to rename the shot quickly, or you can open…

The Info Panel

In the Info panel, you can edit the selected shots’ title, tags, notes and rating (1), see their metadata (2), as well as access and re-scan the shot’s detected text (3).

Tags will auto-complete as you type them, weighted by whether they’re favorites or not. Click the loupe button to reveal the Tag Browser (which we’ll talk about in a future installment of this series), or long-click/right-click it to get a list of all your tags to select from.

Notes are useful to add additional information, like the source of a screenshot – for example, a link.

Under Information (2) you can view the shot’s metadata: Its dimensions, duration (if it’s a screen recording), file size, the creation date, what application it was captured in, and what device it was captured on.

Detected Text (3) will show all of the text ScreenFloat detected in the shot – including a barcode’s contents. Here, you can select and copy it.
Click the refresh button to re-detect faces, or re-detect text in the shot, with custom preprocessing filters if you wish.

Custom preprocessing is useful in cases where ScreenFloat’s default settings don’t yield the results you’re looking for:

Using custom preprocessing filters to help ScreenFloat in detecting text. In this case, we’re applying a grayscale and color invert filter, along with language correction and Threshold Otsu to get the results we want.

You can also edit detected lines, and omit lines you don’t want detected at all.

Categories, Folders and Smart Folders

Having tons of shots will eventually require some sort of organization. That’s where folders are helpful.

Categories
First of all, ScreenFloat comes with a bunch of helpful pre-defined categories:

Most of them can be adjusted to your preferences. For instance, if you use the High Rating category, right-click it and you’ll be able to specify what a “high rating” is to you – only five stars? Or four and up?

The Hidden Shots category shows all shots you have hidden from your library. It is not shown by default, can be activated as seen in the screenshot above, and can be protected with a privacy setting (see Settings and Privacy).

The Trash is where all your trashed shots will be kept for a while, until they’re deleted automatically (by default, that’s 14 days, but again, you can adjust this to your liking from 1 day to never. It, too, can be protected with the Privacy setting.

Folders
Folders are your tool to manually collect shots. Create a new folder by clicking the + button next to “Folders” in the navigation panel, or by dragging selected shots over to the Folders section directly.

In a folder, you can sort shots manually, or by other criteria we discussed above.
Right-click a folder to be able to rename it, duplicate it, export all shots it contains (which you can also do by dragging the folder to Finder, for example), set it up to show or not show shots hidden from your library, or delete the folder, with the option to deep-delete the shots it contains, too.

Smart Folders
Smart Folders are populated with Shots automatically, based on rules you set up.
Rules can be created with the following shot data:

  • Title
  • Tags
  • Notes
  • Rating
  • Favorite status
  • The app the shot was taken in
  • The source of the shot
    (screen capture, import, share extension, from shortcuts, from clipboard, from selected text, from text on clipboard, from a video shot’s still image, continuity camera)
  • Shot Kind
    (image or video)
  • File Size
  • Origin
    (which Mac the shot was captured on)
  • Whether it was annotated
  • Annotation Text content
  • Whether text was detected in the shot
  • Detected text content
  • Whether the shot contains faces
  • Whether the shot contains barcodes
  • The number of tags
  • Whether the shot is currently floating
  • Whether the shot is currently floating, but hidden
  • Creation date
  • Date favorited
  • Date last used
  • Date last closed
  • Date trashed
  • Whether it’s in one or more folders
  • Whether it was duplicated
  • Additionally, you can specify whether you want hidden or trashed shots included or not.

As an example, you could set up a Smart Folder that collects shots that you took in your browser, which have detected text that contains “http”, to have easy access to all links you have captured.

Double- or right-click a Smart Folder to edit its rules.

Drag folders and smart folders around to change the order they’re listed in.

Speaking of Smart Folders, let’s talk about:

Finding Shots

The same rules you already know from Smart Folders can be used to find shots in the Shots Browser.
Click on the loupe button in the Shots Browser to show the search panel, then Advanced… to edit your rules.
If you just need to do a quick search without elaborate rules, enter some text and results appear straight away, with the option to filter the text search further down to titles, notes, tags, detected texts, or text annotations.

Hold down the option (⌥) key, and the Done button will change to Save, so you can save your search as a Smart Folder.

You can also find your Shots system-wide using Spotlight, which we’ll talk about more in a future installment of this series.

Importing

Import images and videos by dragging them from other apps (like files from Finder) onto the ScreenFloat’s app icon, the Shots Browser directly, or to ScreenFloat’s icon in your menu bar:

You can also “Open With” files from Finder with ScreenFloat to import them:

Settings and Privacy

There are a couple of settings for the Shots Browser we should take a look at.

Folder shots count
With this enabled, you’ll see the number of shots in your folders.

Status bar
Enables the status bar at the bottom of the Shots Browser. It shows you the number of shots, how many are selected, or, when searching, how many results there are. Also allows you to manually sync.

Spotlight: Index shots
Enables system-wide Spotlight search of your shots. More on that in a future installment of this series.

Privacy: Use Touch ID or password
With this enabled, (smart) folders that contain trashed or hidden shots will require authentication before displaying their contents.

Automatically Empty Trash
The interval in which the trash should be emptied automatically. Can be set from 1 day to Never.
This can also be changed by right-clicking the Trash in the Shots Browser.

Library Location
By default, ScreenFloat stores its library in your User folder under ~/Library/Group Containers/G78RJ6NLJU.group.at.EternalStorms.ScreenFloat/Library/Application Support/ .
With this, you can move it to a different location. Requires a relaunch.

Repair Tool

ScreenFloat can attempt to repair itself in certain cases: It checks for duplicate app-supplied Smart folders, like “All Shots”, or “Trash”, or “Favorites”) and removes them, looks for no-longer referenced image- and video files and restores them for you to decide what to do with them, sanitizes tags and source-application values, and checks your Smart folder rules for integrity and validity (where, if ScreenFloat discovers issues, you’ll be able to forward that info to me so I can figure out what’s going on).


iCloud Sync

Have your ScreenFloat library with you everywhere, by syncing everything using your iCloud account.

If you choose to use iCloud sync, ScreenFloat synchronizes all your shots by default. But you can fine-tune it to your liking.
You can specify whether to synchronize all shots, image shots only, or video shots only.
Additionally, you can set a file size limit to make ScreenFloat only synchronize shots that have a file size smaller than the limit you set.

Limits only apply to shots going up to iCloud, not coming down from iCloud: If you have a file size limit set to 2 MB, images and videos larger than that will not sync up, but shots in iCloud larger than that will sync down to your Mac. Or, if you choose on one Mac to only synchronize image shots, it means video shots will not be synced up from that Mac to iCloud, but they will sync down from iCloud.
Once a shot has been synced, it is no longer subject to these limits. Basically, if you start synchronizing with no restrictions, and later change your mind to only sync image shots and no video shots, video shots already synced up to iCloud will continue to sync changes and will not be deleted from iCloud unless you manually delete the shot.

Shots that are excluded from sync because of a limit you have set up can be force-synced in the Shots Browser by right-clicking them:

You can manually start a sync in the Shots Browser, by clicking the little refresh button at the far right of the status bar:

This is also where you’ll be informed about any errors that might occur, in addition to the Settings’ iCloud panel.

What gets synchronized in detail:

  • Your shots, their annotations, and metadata (title, notes, detected text/faces/barcodes, etc)
  • Your tags and their metadata (favorite status)
  • Your folders and smart folders
  • Minimal information about the devices you synchronize, to enable filtering by device in smart folders and search.

You can read my Privacy Policy here. The gist: I see nothing, and I want to see nothing. Whenever any of my apps use your internet connection, it’s to realize a feature in the app, not to send me any usage data, tracking data or anything else like that.


The Tags Browser

Using ScreenFloat 1, I always longed for a way to see all my tags and to organize them more precisely. That’s why in ScreenFloat 2, there’s the Tags Browser, which lets you (and me) do exactly that.

You can rename tags, in case you discover a typo.
You can merge tags, if you’ve accidentally created similar ones. Shots will automatically update to the merged-into tag.
You can delete tags, if you no longer need them. They will be removed from all shots they were assigned to.
You can favorite tags which will help in discovering in the tag menus, or when auto-completing tags in the Shots Browser’s Info panel.

It’s also neat to be able to Reveal Shots tagged with one or more selected tags right from the Tags Browser in the Shots Browser.

It shows you the number of shots tagged with each tag, which helps weed out shots and tags you might no longer need.


Up Next

The next part of this series – Part VII: Integrate – Widgets, Siri Shortcuts, AppleScript, Workflows, Spotlight – takes a detailed look at how ScreenFloat integrates with macOS to make capturing and accessing your shots easy, comfortable, and automated.

Links

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)
Contact & Connect


Thank you for your time. I do hope you enjoy ScreenFloat!

Read more

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 IHello ScreenFloat
Part IICapture – Take Screenshots and Record Your Screen
Part IIIFloat – Picture-in-Picture for your Screenshots and Recordings
Part IVEdit – OCR, Annotate, Crop, Fold, Resize, Rotate, Trim, Cut and Mute
Part VShare – Drag and Drop, Link Sharing, Export
Part VIStore – The Shots Browser, iCloud Sync, Tags Browser
Part VIIIntegrate – Widgets, Siri Shortcuts, AppleScript, Workflows, Spotlight

Part III: Float – Picture-in-Picture for your Screenshots and Recordings

A floating screenshot or recording can help you remember something, copy information over from one app to another, or have reference material visible. It’s also the fastest way to markup, redact, and extract information from shots.

Table of Contents


Floating Shots

Shots you take with ScreenFloat float above other windows and apps, and follow you around fullscreen apps and spaces by default:

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.


OCR, Data Detection, QuickSmart-Redaction

Shots you capture with ScreenFloat are analyzed for text, barcodes and faces. That makes it very easy to copy the un-copyable, and make redactions very quickly and effortlessly (and you can also find your shots based on this data in the Shots Browser and Spotlight).

Copying Text

To copy all text in a floating shot, click on the gear icon at its top right and select Detected Data > Detected Text > Copy All Text.

Notice, as you hover over that menu item, how each line of text is highlighted to show what exactly will be copied.

As you can see, you can also copy individual lines from that menu, but for that, there’s also an easier way:
Right-click the line you’d like to copy directly, and an according menu item will be presented:

Sometimes, you don’t want to copy just one line, or all text – you want to copy different, non-consecutive lines out of the shot, without having to go back and forth between copying and pasting.
This is what ScreenFloat’s Append-Copy is for:
Right-click the lines you want to copy, hold down the option (⌥) key on your keyboard and select Append-Copy to copy multiple lines so you can paste them all together at once:

Copying multiple, non-consecutive lines out of a shot for one, smooth paste operation.
Viewing Barcodes

ScreenFloat can handle all sorts of barcode content, like vCards, Calendar Events, URLs, and more.
Like Text, Barcodes appear in the Detected Data submenu, for you to access all of them at once:

Like text, you can right-click specific barcodes for direct access so you can Quick Look them, etc.

Convenience Feature: When you only capture a barcode, ScreenFloat will figure you’re interested in its contents, so it pops up the relevant menu automatically:

QuickSmart-Redactions

There’s a chance you might want to remove sensitive information before sharing a screenshot. One way to do that would be to Annotate the image in ScreenFloat and redact manually.
But there’s a quicker way. A smarter way. The QuickSmart way (see what I did there?) !

Right-click a line of text, a barcode, or a face, and you’ll have the option to redact it right there:

QuickSmart-Redacting a QR code, two lines of text, and a face.

Redactions are non-destructive and can always be changed or removed. You can do so by choosing Annotate from the menu.

The kind of redaction used (color-block-out, pixellate, blur) depends on the default you have set for the Redaction tool in Annotations. By default, it’s color-block-out (because it’s the safest method). To change it to pixellate, like I have, choose Annotate and double-click the Redaction tool. Select your preferred method in the popover, making it the new default for redactions you make manually in Annotate, as well as QuickSmart redactions.

Copying text or viewing barcodes is also available in paused screen recordings. Redactions/Annotations are only available for screenshots at this time.


Floating Shot Visibility

Move and resize floating shots just like you would any other window: drag them around your screen to move, grab a corner or edge and drag it inwards or outwards to resize.

Floating shots can also be closed, by pressing the x button at the top left. The shot will remain in your Shots Browser, where you can access and re-float it at any time.

Hiding and Unhiding Shots

Shots can also be hidden. This closes the shot, too, but keeps it around so you can quickly show it again without having to go through the Shots Browser. With a keyboard shortcut (by default control (^) – option (⌥) – command (⌘) – H), or from ScreenFloat’s menu bar icon, you can toggle all currently visible floating shots between hidden and unhidden.

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 shots right now, but will soon, or repeatedly, even.

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

Hover your mouse cursor over the close button to reveal more options

Unhide individual shots from ScreenFloat’s menu bar icon:

Pin Shots to Spaces

If you don’t want a shot to follow you around as you move between spaces and fullscreen apps, you can pin to the current space: right-click it and select Visibility > In Current Space. Now it will remain on that space, until you set it to follow you again, or if you relaunch ScreenFloat.

Pin Shots to a Apps

Shots you require to be visible only in a certain app can be pinned to that app.
This will automatically hide the shot if the selected app is not frontmost, and show it when it is:

Changing a floating shot’s visibility to “Currently Active App”, so it’ll only be visible when the Finder is active.
Opacity Scrolling, Ignore Mouse Clicks

Scroll up and down on a floating shot 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, making it ignore mouse input, and drawing through it.

To make the shot accept mouse input again, click on its info panel at the bottom.

If you have a couple of floating shots ignoring mouse clicks, that info panel at the bottom could be distracting. Click on the chevron and select Hide Info Panel, to hide it for all currently floating mouse-click-ignoring shots.

With the info panel gone, you might wonder how to make Shots accept mouse clicks again: click ScreenFloat’s icon in your menu bar and select Stop Ignoring Mouse Clicks:

Work Mode

If you find your floating shots get in your way too often, you can use ScreenFloat’s “Work mode”, which you can activate in Settings > Floating Shots.
With it enabled, floating shots temporarily disappear when you move your mouse cursor over them, and reappear as you move away.

Alternatively to having Work Mode always active, temporarily toggle it by holding down the command (⌘) key on your keyboard as you mouse over.


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.

Picking a color from a floating shot, dragging the resulting color onto a selected line of text to change its color.

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.


Edit and Annotate Shots

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:

Screenshots

  • Crop and “Fold”
  • Rotate
  • Resize/Scale
  • 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
    • Smart numbered lists
    • Highlight
    • 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
  • Rotate
  • Resize/Scale
  • Trim
  • Cut video
  • Remove (individual or all) 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.

Drag the little document icon of a floating shot and you’ll be able to drag the shot as-is anywhere you wish. Alternatively, you can long-press-and-drag, if you prefer (or if the document icon is off-screen).

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

  • 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 in the dragged file, or just the original image should be shared
  • Whether notes and tags should be included as EXIF and Finder metadata

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

We’ll talk more about sharing options in a future part of this series.


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)

Share

  • Copy: Allows you to copy the PNG/MOV file of the shot, or in case of screenshots, the image data in different formats
    • Note: Hold down option (⌥) to change this to Duplicate, allowing you to duplicate the floating shot
  • 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

  • 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 Video (recordings only; not shown in the screenshot above): Trim the video’s beginning and end
  • Cut Video (recordings only; not shown in the screenshot above): Cut the video, or its individual audio tracks
  • Remove Audio (recordings only; not shown in the screenshot above): Remove the video’s audio tracks (all, or individually)
  • 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
    • Note: Hold down option (⌥) to change this to Capture Shot Again, which allows you to capture that shot’s screen area again without deletion

Organize

  • Add to Favorites: Favorite the shot (useful in the Shots Browser, Widgets)
  • 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, Widgets)
  • Show in Shots Browser: Opens the Shots Browser and selects and reveals this shot
  • Settings…: Open ScreenFloat’s settings

Visibility

  • 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

Note: Hold down the option (⌥) modifier on your keyboard to make the visibility setting apply to all floating shots, or option (⌥) and function (fn) to make them apply to all floating shots on that screen.


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: Edit – OCR, Annotate, Crop, Fold, Resize, Rotate, Trim, Cut and Mute – takes a detailed look at all the Editing, Markup and Redaction options available.

Links

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)
Contact & Connect


Thank you for your time. I do hope you enjoy ScreenFloat!

Read more

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 IHello ScreenFloat
Part IICapture – Take Screenshots and Record Your Screen
Part IIIFloat – Picture-in-Picture for your Screenshots and Recordings
Part IVEdit – OCR, Annotate, Crop, Fold, Resize, Rotate, Trim, Cut and Mute
Part VShare – Drag and Drop, Link Sharing, Export
Part VIStore – The Shots Browser, iCloud Sync, Tags Browser
Part VIIIntegrate – Widgets, Siri Shortcuts, AppleScript, Workflows, Spotlight

Part II: Capture – Take Screenshots and Recording your Screen

At the heart of ScreenFloat are its screen capturing abilities. Read on to learn how to take screenshots, take screenshots with a timer, and record your screen.

Table of Contents


Capture Screenshots and Recordings

With ScreenFloat, you can capture screenshots (by default, ⌘ ⇧ 2), recordings (by default, ⌥ ⇧ 2), and timed screenshots (by default, ^ ⇧ 2).

While the keyboard shortcuts are very handy, you can also start captures from ScreenFloat’s menu bar icon:

Speaking of the menu bar icon, you can also do this:
– option (⌥) – click onto ScreenFloat’s menu bar icon to take a screenshot
– option (⌥) – shift (⇧) – click onto ScreenFloat’s menu bar icon to start a screen recording
– option (⌥) – click onto ScreenFloat’s menu bar and then drag away to set up a timer for your screenshot between 3 and 15 seconds

All captures are selective, which means after you start a capture, you can select an area of your screen you’d like screenshot or record.

Any shot you take with ScreenFloat is stored in the Shots Browser for easy access.

Images and videos can be imported from other apps (like an image file in Finder, or an image from a webpage in Safari) – you can find out more about that in the Store section of this article series.

During the Capture

ScreenFloat uses macOS’ built-in screen capturing capabilities, which means you can make use of the following tricks while you select the area of your screen you’d like to capture:

Hold down the option (⌥) key while dragging the selection rectangle to select an area around a center point
Hold down the space bar while dragging the selection rectangle to move it around
Hold down the shift (⇧) key to only change one side of your selection rectangle
Press the space bar once after starting the capture to select windows.
By default, windows are captured without their shadows, a setting you can change in Settings > Capturing > Images > Remove shadows from captured windows.

Once you capture a shot by releasing the mouse button, the floating shot will appear.

Copy Text and Barcodes Right Away (OCR)

If you just want to quickly copy some non-copyable text or barcode content, here’s a neat trick:
Hold down control (^) and command (⌘) when releasing the mouse button, and any captured text will be copied to your clipboard right away.
If you want to copy the image data to your clipboard right away, hold down control (^) when releasing the mouse button.


Screen Recording Options

ScreenFloat offers a couple of options when you record a video of your screen:
+ Highlight your mouse cursor
+ Highlight mouse clicks
+ Highlight modifier and key strokes *

A recording captured with ScreenFloat, showing mouse-, mouse click- and keyboard highlights.

In addition to that, you can
+ Record audio input (using your default microphone)
+ Record system audio

To stop the recording, press the keyboard shortcut again, or select Stop Recording from ScreenFloat’s menu bar icon.
Audio can be removed from recordings at any time, all at once, or individually (only system- or microphone audio). You can trim, crop, resize and cut your recordings.

Screen recordings auto-trim away how you end the recording in ScreenFloat, which means that you pressing the keyboard shortcut to end the recording, or selecting “Stop Recording” from the menu bar icon, will not be part of the final video.

Easily extract still images from your video shots with a right-click.

Highlights Customization

Make your mouse cursor’s position more prominent, highlight mouse clicks (left, right, and other), and show an overlay for key strokes * – all customizable in ScreenFloat’s settings.

Change the mouse cursor highlight’s color and strength;
Change the highlight colors for left clicks, right clicks and other-button clicks, as well as the highlight’s strength;
Change the key stroke highlight’s text color, background color, its placement (top left, top center, top right, middle left, middle center, middle right, bottom left, bottom center, bottom right), whether to show caps lock and function key presses, or if every key press should be highlighted.

*Privacy note on key stroke highlights: Keyboard input monitoring begins and ends with video recordings and does not operate at any other time when ScreenFloat is running. Key strokes are neither stored, nor logged, and certainly not transmitted. Input monitoring is exclusively used to display key presses in your video recordings. You can grant and revoke input monitoring permissions any time in System Settings > Privacy & Security > Input Monitoring. Please refer to my privacy policy for further info.


Timed Screenshots

In addition to screenshots and screen recordings, you can also take timed screenshots, where the selected area will be captured after a countdown. Press ^ ⇧ 2 to start the countdown, and press it again to cancel it if you change your mind.

This can be handy when trying to capture a menu item in a submenu, or for anything else that needs further preparation and can’t be captured instantly with a normal screenshot.

The default interval is 5 seconds, but you can change it in Settings > Keyboard Shortcuts > Capture Shot With Timer > … .

As explained at the beginning of this article, you can also option (⌥)-drag from ScreenFloat’s menu bar item to select a range between 3 and 15 seconds.

Re-Capture Previously Captured Areas

Sometimes you’ll want to re-frame a shot slightly, or just capture an area again.
It’s easily done with ScreenFloat. Just press and hold any of the capture keyboard shortcuts, and you’ll be able to re-frame the previously selected area.

Press-and-hold any “capture” keyboard shortcut to re-capture the previously selected area

You can also select an aspect ratio when re-capturing by right-clicking:

And save areas you find yourself capturing repeatedly for quick access:

Lastly, you can re-use the frames of previously captured shots, by right-clicking onto them and selecting “Re-capture and Delete…”, which will bring up that shot’s area again for you to capture (and will only delete the original shot if you actually capture anew), or, if you hold down the option (⌥) key, you can select “Capture Shot Again…”, which will do the same, without the deletion part.


Up Next

The next part of this series – Part III: Float – Picture-in-Picture for your Screenshots and Recordings – takes a detailed look at all the advantages that floating shots have. Definitely take a look, there’s a lot of neat stuff there!

Links

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)
Contact & Connect


Thank you for your time. I do hope you enjoy ScreenFloat!

Read more

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

ScreenFloat – your Screenshot and Recording Allrounder

Posts in this Series

Part IHello ScreenFloat
Part IICapture – Take Screenshots and Record Your Screen
Part IIIFloat – Picture-in-Picture for your Screenshots and Recordings
Part IVEdit – OCR, Annotate, Crop, Fold, Resize, Rotate, Trim, Cut and Mute
Part VShare – Drag and Drop, Link Sharing, Export
Part VIStore – The Shots Browser, iCloud Sync, Tags Browser
Part VIIIntegrate – Widgets, Siri Shortcuts, AppleScript, Workflows, Spotlight

Part I – Hello ScreenFloat

ScreenFloat is a versatile screen capture utility that powers up your screenshots and recordings in numerous ways:

  • Capture screenshots, timed screenshots, recordings (with system and mic audio), your clipboard’s contents, or import photos, scans and sketches from your iOS devices (or files from Finder and other apps).
  • Float shots, so they’re always visible, like Picture-in-Picture. It’s a great memory aid, perfect for reference material, and gives quick and easy access to ScreenFloat’s OCR capabilities and other features, like the color picker and quicksmart-redaction. Create powerful workflows you run on floating shots with a simple double-click.
  • Edit your shots. Add annotations and markup, crop, “fold”, rotate, resize, de-retinize, trim, mute and cut them. Quicksmart-redact text, barcodes and faces, or copy text and barcode content to your clipboard.
  • Share effortlessly, by dragging the floating shot to other apps. Change formatting, sizing and quality options on-the-fly, and even decide if annotations should or should not be included. Create shareable and embeddable links for your shots with iCloud, ImageKit.io or Cloudinary.com.
  • Store, organize and collect your shots in the Shots Browser, and keep your Desktop clutter-free. Name, tag, rate, favorite and find them. Synchronize your shots over iCloud.
  • Integrate with macOS and other apps, using ScreenFloat’s Shortcuts, url scheme, and its AppleScript integration. Use Spotlight to find shots system-wide. Widgets make your shots, tags, folders and picked colors accessible system-wide.

Table of Contents


Getting Started

When you first launch ScreenFloat, you’ll be greeted by its setup screen that helps you set up keyboard shortcuts, iCloud sync, Spotlight indexing, and also – if you used ScreenFloat 1.x – upgrades your existing shots library to the new v2 format, analyzing your shots for texts, barcodes and faces along the way. (Depending on the number of shots you have, this might take a little while)

ScreenFloat is an app that runs in the background. More specifically, in your menu bar: you will not find it in your Dock, nor the app switcher (although you can, of course, drag ScreenFloat to your Dock manually).
You can access ScreenFloat any time via its icon in the right portion of your menu bar:

Using its keyboard shortcuts, menu bar icon, or widgets, ScreenFloat is always ready for you to capture your screen, or browse your Shots in the Shots Browser.


Capturing, Importing

ScreenFloat offers three types of captures: Screenshots, Screen Recordings, and Timed Screenshots.

Screenshots

To take a screenshot, use the according keyboard shortcut (by default, command (⌘) – shift (⇧) – 2), or select it from the menu bar icon. You can then select the portion of the screen you’d like to capture.

Recordings

Screen recordings can be started in the same fashion – by pressing its keyboard shortcut (by default, shift (⇧) – option (⌥) – 2), or via the menu bar icon. You have several recording options available to you – whether to highlight the mouse cursor, clicks, and key presses. You can also record your Mac’s audio output (speakers) and input (microphone).

Timed Screenshots

A timed shot is like a screenshot, only that it is taken with a delay. It can be very useful when you need to take a screenshot of something that takes extra steps to get to. You can take one by pressing its keyboard shortcut (by default, control (^) – option (⌥) – 2), or the menu bar icon.

Previously captured areas can easily be re-captured by press-and-holding the relevant keyboard shortcut.

You can copy the shot to your clipboard instead of making it float by holding the control key (^) on your keyboard when you release the mouse button for the capture.
Consequently, you can copy captured text to your clipboard right away after a capture, by holding the control (^) and command (⌘) keys pressed.


Floating Shots

Shots and recordings you capture with ScreenFloat float by default. Floating shots float above other windows, and follow you around your apps and spaces, so the shot is always in sight. That can be very helpful when trying to remember something, copying info from one app to another, or as reference material.

While floating shots follow you around by default, there are more options available to you. You can pin floating shots to a space or fullscreen-app, so they will stay contained in that space, or only have them be visible when a specific application is frontmost.
When a shot is in the way, you can hide and unhide it (or all of them), or you can use “Work mode”, which hides floating shots as you mouse over them, and shows them again when the mouse exits.
You can change a floating shot’s opacity by scrolling up and down within it, and you can even make it ignore mouse clicks, so you can click through them (great for artists, for example).

Naturally, you can also close floating shots. They are stored in the Shots Browser, from where you can make them float again with a double-click.

Floating shots can be resized like any other window, by dragging any of its corners or edges.
A right-click or click onto the gear button gives you access to all editing, OCR and management features.

Option-right-click-drag onto a floating shot to use the color picker.

Set up powerful workflows you can run on your floating shots with a simple double-click.
You always resize a shot and reduce its dpi before you attach it to a new Mail? There’s a double-click workflow for that (and more):


Editing, OCR, Redaction, Annotation

ScreenFloat offers a wide range of editing options:
Resize, de-retinize, crop, fold, rotate, trim, cut and mute (you can remove all audio, or the system- and microphone tracks individually).
Annotate, redact and markup your shots with ease.

Every shot you take or import is analyzed for text, barcodes and faces, allowing you to easily copy and view that information, or quicksmart-redact it.

Redacting a line of text and a face in a floating shot, and Quick Look’ing a barcode.

Detected data is indexed, so you can find shots by a certain phrase they depict, or barcode content, within the Shots Browser, and Spotlight.

ScreenFloat lets you annotate, redact and markup your shots to your heart’s content.
Freedraw, rectangles, circles, lines, arrows, stars, checkmarks, x-marks, Text, Smart Numbered Lists, Highlights and Redactions are available to you.

Cutting your video recordings allows you to remove middle sections of your recordings entirely, or just parts of individual audio tracks:


Share

It couldn’t be easier to drag a shot to other apps. Start a drag from the floating shot’s document button, or by long-pressing the shot, or open the on-the-fly options menu and change the format, resolution, dimensions, and whether annotations and metadata should be included.

(You can also Export your shots for even more control).

Link Sharing

A file is too large to send, or you want to send multiple shots at once? Use iCloud Link Sharing to create a download-link, valid for 30 days.
You want to embed an image or video in a Markdown document, or a website? Use ScreenFloat’s ImageKit.io or Cloudinary.com integration to create permanent, shareable and embeddable links:

You want to share your Shot a different way? Use ScreenFloat’s Run AppleScript or Run Shortcut double-click action to upload the double-clicked shot to a service of your choice with an AppleScript or Siri Shortcut.


Store

Anything you capture with ScreenFloat, or import into it, is stored in the Shots Browser, where you can collect, organize, categorize and synchronize your Shots.

Give shots a name, tag, rate and favorite them. Move them into folders, or use Smart Folders to collect shots that match the rules you specify. An extensive list of detailed options is available, like whether the shot contains a barcode, or you have annotated it with a certain text phrase, to name just two.

You can synchronize your library (that means your shots, your folders, your tags, and metadata) via iCloud across your Macs, making your shots available everywhere your Macs are.

And you decide what gets synced – all shots, only images, or only recordings. Or only shots up to a certain file size.

To manage your tags, ScreenFloat has a Tags Browser, where you can rename tags, favorite, merge or delete them.


Integrate

ScreenFloat comes with a wide array of widgets and Siri Shortcuts, so its features are readily available to across macOS.

Control ScreenFloat from your Desktop or Control Center, or access your recent captures, picked colors, and more, with its Widgets:

Automate capturing and importing with Siri Shortcuts:

… or with ScreenFloat’s URL scheme.
Find shots with Spotlight, and run AppleScripts and Shortcuts with your shots using a double-click action.
Build custom workflows, executable on your floating shots with a simple double-click.


Up Next

The next part of this series – Part II: Capture – Take Screenshots and Record your Screen – takes a detailed look at all the capturing options ScreenFloat offers you. Definitely take a look, there’s a lot of neat stuff there!

Links

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)
Contact & Connect


Thank you for your time. I do hope you enjoy ScreenFloat!

Read more