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I need to visit hundreds of websites and take screen captures of certain regions of the screen. The region is always the same aspect ratio. My process now, is to take a full screenshot, bring it into Photoshop and make my selection using a fixed aspect ratio and finally saving the image. It takes a while, considering I have to do this hundreds of times.

I've seen OSX utilities for taking screen captures (including the built-in OSX ones) but I'm looking specifically for one where I can capture just a area/selection of the screen AND (ahead of time) tell it what aspect ratio I want that area/selection to be. I simply want to press a button, move or select the area (which is already fixed at the desired aspect ratio) and then type in a filename to save it.

Does anything like this exist?

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There are two options to make this whole thing a lot easier for you - they are tools that specifically take screenshots of webpages with you having to go through the rigmarole of visiting the site, taking a screenshot and then editing it in Photoshop or the like.

webkit2png is a command-line tool, and probably the most automatable if you are comfortable with the command-line.

Paparazzi is a GUI tool that does much the same thing.

Both a free.

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There's a little app called SimpleCap (free) that is perfect for this. I came across it a few months ago at the tail end of a very long search for screenshot tools, and have been using it on a daily basis ever since.

It gives you the option to take shots of the full screen, windows, custom selections, applications, menus and even dashboard widgets. It lets you choose the image format, enable image treatments, set up preset selection sizes, export to other apps, set a countdown/timer, and it even has some light file management functionality. It can do more than many of the premium apps, and is one of those tools that you'll continue to find new uses for down the road.

Having demoed literally dozens of apps in this category, I'm surprised this one isn't more well known.

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Now i've tried it: XScope contains a tool named "frames". You can place a frame on your screen, resize it to your desired size and aspect ratio and take as many screenshots as you like without losing the frame or its position/aspect ratio.

It'll save those screenshots to your desktop appending a number, so it's not exactly what you're looking for, but i think it's close.


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IF you don't want to get anything new, you can make a macro in Photoshop to crop the image down to the size you want it, then batch run it on all the screenshots you've taken.

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The area I want to crop is going to differ for each screenshot. So this unfortunately wouldn't work without manual intervention. – Jake Wilson Dec 6 '11 at 23:13
Oh, okay. Does OSX not have anything like the Windows 7 Snipping Tool? – SaintWacko Dec 6 '11 at 23:36

I am aware of two screen capture programs that allow users to specify an aspect ratio for their screenshots: SnapzPro X (by Ambrosia, $69 as of March 2013) and Jing (by TechSmith, free). With SnapzPro X, you can select any aspect ratio. In Jing, you have two options: hold the key while selecting a capture area to lock to a 4:3 aspect ratio. Pressing on the key while selecting a capture area locks on a 16:9 aspect ratio. Here is link to Jing's tutorial that explains this feature:

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