Discover more from Wonder Tools
Wonder Tools | A tiny tool with big impact
I use Zight weekly to save visuals. It's a small but valuable part of my toolkit.
Zight makes it easy to save, annotate and share screenshots, screen recordings and gifs. You can use it to record visual notes about anything you’re working on. If you spend much of your time on a computer, it’s helpful to have an efficient way of saving and annotating important things that come across your screen. Read on for more on how Zight can be useful, its limitations, and alternatives.
What you can do with Zight
Like a Swiss Army Knife for saving anything on your screen, Zight — which used to be called CloudApp — packs multiple features into a single tool.
Save a screenshot Press a keyboard shortcut to capture an image of anything on your screen.
Make a screen recording Choose whether to record only what’s on your screen or yourself talking to your webcam, or both.
Record a gif Instead of saving a video file, you can save a screen recording as a gif. You can paste the gif into an email, a Google Doc, or Slack, whereas videos won’t play in an email or a GDoc.
Share any file Unlike other screenshot tools, Zight lets you upload any file. That makes it easy to share a link to anything on your computer even if it’s not easy to screenshot.
How to make the most of Zight
Share links instead of attachments As soon as you save something with Zight, the link is automatically added to your clipboard. You can then share that link by email, in Slack, in a doc, or anywhere else. No need to send an attachment — just share a link to a page with the hosted file. If you prefer, you can paste the gif itself instead of the link.
Annotate screenshots Highlight, annotate or blur part of an image. That lets you protect privacy or point out something notable.
Initiate a discussion When you share a link to a screenshot, screen recording or file, others can add comments you can reply to.
Organize collections Gather screenshots, recordings, files or gifs related to a project in a named collection. You can share that batch of material with a friend or colleague, or use it privately to track your own notes and ideas.
4 projects to use Zight for
1. Gather ideas. Grab screenshots from sites you like for trip planning, an upcoming home renovation or a website redesign. 🧳
2. Explain something. Record a short video to show a colleague or friend how something works. 🎙️
3. Organize project materials. Create a Zight collection of screenshots, screen recordings and files related to a professional goal. 📦
4. Share feedback. Annotate an image with typed phrases and arrows or by circling elements to fix. Or make a screen recording. Discussing the relevant material you’re showing on screen can be more efficient and effective than writing out lengthy comments. 🗣️
Zight is free for teachers, students and nonprofits.
Everyone else can use it on a limited basis for free for up to 25 items and recordings of up to 90 seconds.
A $10/monthly pro plan removes limits on screenshots and recordings.
Windows, Mac, Chrome & iOS
Caveats and alternatives
Zight’s screen recording tool is simple to use but lacks advanced features. If you’re creating training videos or want to add text to your video consider a more advanced screen recording tool, like Screenpal (formerly Screencast-o-matic). It’s free for Windows, Mac or Chromebook videos under 15 minutes or $3/month ($2/month for educators) for unlimited recordings.
Screen Studio ($89) is another new screen recording option for Mac users. It has features I like for tech demos — like auto zooming to show details on screen. And it adds automatic captions for you, something Zight can’t yet do. But it doesn’t capture screenshots, and doesn’t have all the pro features of Screenflow ($169), though it’s easier to use.
MacOS & Windows have free built-in screenshot capabilities. These might be good enough if you only occasionally need a screenshot.
Mac Press command-shift-and-4 together and then choose the part of the screen you want to save. Or press command-shift-and 3 to snap a still image of your entire screen. You can open the resulting image with Mac’s built-in Preview app to annotate it, though the annotation toolbar is clunky.
Windows 10 Press the Windows Logo Key and the PrtScn key. Or if your device doesn’t have the PrtScn button, press Fn + Windows logo key + Space Bar. On Windows 11, use Microsoft’s snipping tool.
To annotate a screenshot you can use Annotely, which is free and works on any browser —mobile or desktop, on any operating system.
You can also use Screely for annotations or to polish up your screenshots by adding a background and subtle shadows.
Zight’s $10/monthly cost may appear hefty if you’re ineligible for free access, particularly given free and low-cost alternatives. If you use it frequently with teammates, clients and colleagues, though, its value may justify the expense.
Eagle is great for making, saving and organizing screenshots that you store on your own computer. Here’s my past post about it. (Zight saves your material online instead, though you can easily download anything you save).
Benefits: Advanced features for tagging and filtering make it a great organizational tool and it’s a $30 one-time lifetime cost, no subscription fee.
Limitations: No cloud storage, so you can’t easily share links to screenshots, and Eagle doesn’t yet have screen or gif recording features.