Friday, November 8, 2013

The best way to capture an entire web page as an image in OS X

I don’t always find it necessary to capture entire web pages as images, but when I do, there’s one surefire go-to tool that I use — Awesome Screenshot. A browser extension available for Safari, Chrome, and Firefox, Awesome Screenshot is the best way to quickly capture, annotate, and save a full image of a web page.
I find this extension extra handy when comparing Geekbench scores side by side. In fact, I used it in our latest Geekbench comparison of the Nexus 5 and iPhone 5s.
Of course, it has many other uses; people like to use it for archiving web pages, cropping, sharing annotated images, blurring out sensitive data, etc. The best thing about Awesome Screenshot is that it runs right in your browser, so it reduces the amount time that you need for a dedicated image editor.

In order to use Awesome Screenshot, you have to be running one the supported browsers. That means that, as mentioned, you need to be a Safari, Chrome, or (Sebastien jumps for joy) Firefox user.
Next, it’s just a matter of installing the extension. You can use your browser’s built in extension manager, or you can go directly to the Awesome Screenshot home page, and download it from there. The extension’s download page is smart enough to detect whatever browser you’re currently using, so all you have to do is click the blue button that says “Get Awesome Screenshot” to get started.
In this example, I’ll showcase using Awesome Screenshot with the Safari browser, though the basic premise is the same regardless of your browser of choice. You should notice a new Awesome Screenshot button in your browser’s toolbar. For Safari users, it should appear just to the left of the address bar.
Clicking the Awesome Screenshot button will present two options: Capture Visible Part of Page, or Capture Entire Page. The most enticing option here, for me at least, is the Capture Entire Page. That’s because capturing the visible part of the page is very easy to do using built in OS level shortcut commands. You can use ⌘ + Shift + 4, or ⌘ + Shift + 3 to quickly take a screenshot. Granted, you don’t get the annotation that Awesome Screenshot offers, so it’s still worth using in that manner.
But the Capture Entire Page option is a wonderful way to grab the contents of an entire web page in image form with no compromises. It’s quick, efficient, and best of all, super easy to do. For me, it’s by far the best way to quickly grab a screenshot of an entire web page.
Awesome Screenshot Annotate
After you’ve taken your screenshot, a landing area appears to annotate the page. You may then save your screenshot locally as a PNG, or upload it to Awesome Screenshot’s servers for sharing.
I’ve been using Awesome Screenshot for what seems like forever, and it’s by far the easiest way for me to grab full web page screenshots quickly without the assistance of outside apps. Best of all, it’s a free extension available for any of the popular browsers.
What do you use to satisfy your screenshot needs? Do you use Awesome Screenshot? Share your thoughts and experiences below.

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