November 10, 2005


Nearly every platform provides a way to get screen shots. Sometimes you want to get a screengrab of a web page that is too long or large to actually display on your screen: enter Paparazzi and url2bmp. Paparazzi is a free Mac OS X.2+ utility leveraging WebKit to output screengrabs of entire web pages as viewed through Safari, and url2bmp does the same with IE on Windows 95+.

Paparazzi lets you arbitrarily choose window dimensions, though most would select a standard 800x600 or 1024x768 screen res, you can crop the grab so that only the first screen-full is captured. A grab delay may be set to allow plug-in content to load or to offset a slow or congested network connection. A preview pane shows what you end up with before saving.

Supported file formats include JPG, PDF, PNG and TIFF. The PDF version preserves system text. You can choose to save the entire grab, a scaled thumbnail, or both.

Because of the close tie to Safari, Paparazzi can grab whichever url is currently being displayed in Safari. I've created a simple bookmarklet that reverses that -- when on a page you want to grab, selecting the bookmarklet will open Paparazzi and start grabbing. To use, simply drag the Paparazzi-Grab link to your Bookmarks bar, navigate to a site to test and click on the link to try it out.

Designed to meet the same challenge as Paparazzi, url2bmp, which, despite it's name, also outputs JPG, PNG and TIFF formats and relies on a PC IE engine version 4.01 or better. It's slightly less featured, for instance there's no cropping capability, but has the screen res and delay features you need to get the job done.

Posted by Lewis Francis at November 10, 2005 6:02 PM

Firefox users can use Andy Mutton's ScreenGrab! extension by context-clicking on a screen you want to nab -- ScreenGrab! scrolls your page, taking pictures and stitching the results together.

Posted by: Lewis Francis at February 4, 2006 9:39 PM
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