Workflow favorite: GrabUp + PHP Directory Lister

Select a portion of your screen, upload to image hosting service, copy unique URI, paste in an email or instant messenger conversation. We have all exercised the same redundant process of sharing screenshots. Right? Some people utilize dedicated screenshot applications like LittleSnapper or Skitch to manage screens locally which also integrate features like uploading via FTP or direct to Flickr.

I didn’t understand the fascination or value of a simple dedicated screenshot utility like GrabUp until I tried it. Using GrabUp on a daily basis helped me realize that yes, there really is a niche user who wants to share screenshots that are a) too insignificant to capture and upload using a full blown application like LittleSnapper and b) meant to be quickly shared – no description, no fancy UI / layout.

Super simple: Capture screen, paste URI

GrabUp is available in two flavors: Free & Pro. The sole difference between the two is that [Free] users host their screenshots on GrabUp servers (visible advertisements) and [Pro] users use their own host.

GrabUp Preferences Screenshot

Installation is a breeze. GrabUp is a utility best run at startup. New users will want to make a conscious effort to remember that GrabUp works in parallel with the standard OSX’s screenshot commands. See this overview for the built-in keyboard shortcuts for capturing your screen in OSX. Any time you capture all of or a portion of your screen, GrabUp will automatically upload the file and copy the URI to your clipboard [to paste into an email or chat window].

Simple directory list with PHP Directory Lister

Pro users who wish to retain some semblance of organization within their screenshots directory might want to check out PHP Directory Lister by Greg J.

PHP Directory Lister

Upload the file to your screenshot directory and enjoy clean file presentation complete with filetype icons, time stamps, download links, ThickBox support, and audio / video file playback.


The obvious downside of GrabUp are the cryptic filenames. Paul S. reviewed GrabUp and mentioned that it would be nice to be able to name a file before it is uploaded. While I too agree that a future update should allow for naming files, I wonder if the extra step would take away from the simplicity of the utility. What do you think?

Discuss - 9 Comments

  1. Michael says:

    It would be nice if GrabUp did what Skitch did – essentially name the file whatever the title in the app is. So if I was chatting with you it would be like "Adium – Derek Punsalan.png" or browsing it might by " – Workflow fav…" etc.

    I’m still in love with Skitch. Until Grabup fixes the naming issue and allows uploads to my WebDAV storage server, I’m sticking with Skitch.

    (plus sometimes I like to draw on things)

    • Derek says:

      Applying the title of the app to the filename would work if you grabbed an entire window, but not for a crosshairs selection. I’d settle for something similar like "Application – [date]" for an entire app capture, or "Selection – [date]" if it is only a portion of the screen.

  2. Astorg says:

    Hm. Can’t see the point of it. It’s very lightweight, and the free version is, well, free. But LittleSnapper is a far superior app. And Skitch is free…

    • Derek says:

      I use LittleSnapper for collecting screenshots. More specifically of UI elements that are worth saving or referencing. I don’t like collecting meaningless grabs that I might capture for the sake of showing someone via email or IM. LS is fantastic app, but GrabUp has fewer steps to go from selecting part of the screen and pasting a URI. It may not be for everyone, but GrabUp does away with anything that isn’t necessary for sharing a screenshot quickly.

  3. Kai says:

    I’ve been using GrabUp for a while now, I love it. I don’t need any of the extra crap that LittleSnapper and Skitch have. It’s simple and get’s the job done… in a snap.

    I think it would be awesome if the developers implemented support for uploading to services like Photobucket, Flickr or Imageshack.

  4. Astorg says:

    @Derek: Yeah, I guess LittleSnapper is best for stuff you want to display on a webpage or blog (it’s actually pretty quick too), while GrabUp would be great for sharing on IM, except I probably do that like twice a year.

  5. elliottcable says:

    I wrote a little tool expressly with the purpose of shortening Grabup URLs for pasting. It expanded into a cool little clipboard controller, but it still works for Grabup shortening wonderfully. You might wanna check it out:

  6. So basically it should just make the titles human readable while still random to some extent. A simple change they could make with no drawbacks.

  7. I use Jing because I’m a PC. I like it because it’s totally free and I can reassign my “Print Screen” key to take a Jing screenshot, which is what I’m used to hitting for screencapping. I know about 6 billion people that use Grabup though. Seems useful.