Clarify

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Screenshot 2016 09 30 at 11 50 20 AM

I have used different apps over the years to take screenshots on my Macs, including the built in macOS version. One of those apps was called ScreenSteps. Well, ScreenSteps has been upgraded and released as Clarify by Blue Mango Learning Systems. It really is a well-thought-out app.

Clarify Main Window

Clarify is more than a screenshot app. It really is more of a screenshot/presentation app. The idea is to take a series of screenshots that are steps in a certain process. You can take one-off screenshots of course, but the strength of this is to demonstrate a process to other people. Here is the main window:

ClarifyMainWindows

These screenshots may be a little difficult to read on some devices. If you right-click on the image and choose “Open in New Tab” it will be a little bigger. Suffice it to say, Clarify has all the bells and whistles found in most screenshot apps and then some! As you take screenshots, they are listed as steps in the left sidebar. The main editing controls are along the top of the window. If you drag out on those handles surrounding the image, you increase the size of the background. Do you see that little arrow on the lower-right side of the window? If you want just one of your screenshots in a document all you have to do is click on the arrow associated to the image and drag it into your document window. However, Clarify is really designed to produce procedures or processes. It is set up to save a whole process which is kind of cool if you are trying to teach someone.  

Clarify In Action

To activate Clarify you can use the drop down menubar item (more on that in a bit) or the default keyboard command, Command ⌘ + Shift ⇧ + 2. When you do you get a window like this:

ClarifyScreenshotWindow

It darkens the remainder of the screen, but highlights the forward most window. It presents a target icon in the upper left corner of the window. All you do is grab the target icon and drag across the area you wish to copy. When you do you get a screenshot that is placed in the main Clarify app. It does not open the app automatically. You have to bring up the app on your screen, and the image will be there. Here is what Clarify does after you select the image:

ClarifyCamera

It shows you the size of the image which is handy. Click the camera icon and your image is saved.

Clarify Menus

As I said previously, Clarify can be activated using a keyboard combination or from a drop-down in the menubar:

ClarifyMenus

It also has a Capture Delay which is kind of handy:

ClarifyCaptureDelay

My overall observations about Clarify are very positive. It is an improvement over ScreenSteps. The app is laid out nicely; it is very intuitive. It just works great. The only downside to this app that I can think of is it has to be open to work. In other words, there is no background process running to enable you to take a screenshot and work on it later. The Clarify app needs to be booted up. That is no big deal. I just set it to “Open At Login.”   

Conclusion

Clarify is too sophisticated to cover in one article. In my next article I will cover the Preferences area and some of it’s other bells and whistles. By the way, Clarify costs $14.99 to upgrade from a ScreenSteps license and $29.99 for a new version. If you do a lot of screenshots like I do, it is worth the money. 

 

 

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