04 Nov 2012

Replacing Skitch with Cloud and Alfred

Recently, I was sad to discover that Evernote's purchase of Skitch has finally resulted in the dreaded “discontinuation of service” for the truly great Skitch.com service. While searching for a replacement, I briefly contemplated downgrading Skitch and setting up my own server for images. After a little more thought, though, I remembered how terrible the uptime was on the last personal service I ran, and decided to go with something hosted instead. Cloud is a neat service that provides super easy upload of text, audio, files, and even images. The screenshot integration, though, is what got me to take a serious look.

By combining CloudApp's upload hotkey with an Alfred extension that extracts direct image links, I was able to recreate my Skitch Pro workflow pretty closely. It doesn't provide the nice “scribble on your screenshot” functionality that the Skitch app does, but the workflow I settled on means I can use the new Skitch for that without having to upload to Evernote.

So, without further ado, here's the setup:

  1. Install the Cloud Mac app. It's on the Mac App Store or free to download at cl.ly.
  2. Create a Cloud account (the paid accounts can even use a custom subdomain for links, if you like.)
  3. Using the Keyboard sytem preference pane, change the keyboard shortcut ⌘⇧4 to copy the screenshot to the clipboard instead of saving it to a file on your desktop. Or just always use ⌘⇧⌃4 to take a screenshot.
  4. Set a keyboard shortcut to upload the clipboard in CloudApp. I use the default, ⌘⌃C.
  5. Install this Alfred extension.

Now you're set! To share a screenshot, push take your screenshot, hit ⌥⌃C and then run the Alfred action. Now you can paste a direct link to the image into Campfire or wherever you like.