hands on with voila

September 11, 2009 | 7 Comments

There aren’t many days where I don’t capture an image off my screen for some kind of purpose. Usually it’s an image or design that I want to remember for future inspiration, or a screen capture of an image to include in a blog post. When Global Delight contacted me and asked me to review Voila, their screen capture program, I was interested. And when they said they wanted to give away a free license to one of my blog readers, I was hooked! (Read on to find out how you can be entered in the giveaway.)

Voila serves two functions. It offers a robust screen capture utility, and it helps organize the images you do capture for future reference. The organizer includes the ability to drop the images in collections, or create smart collections — these are standard features we’ve come to expect, and they are implemented well. Along with that, there is built in functionality to publish any image to the web via FTP or Flickr.

But it’s the screen capture features that make Voila worth a look. There are six different ways images can be captured:

A few of these do just what you would expect, but a couple deserve extra attention. The Selection capture tool will let you create custom shapes to capture, which can then be exported as a .png image with a transparent background. (This is helpful if you want to use an image on your blog with a colored background, and you don’t want a white box around it.) The Web capture tool lets you capture an entire webpage, beyond what you can see on the screen. You can see an example of this in the image of the application window above.

Once an image is captured, there are a few handy tools and effects you can use to modify the image. My favorite is the blur tool that lets you hide information that might be personal before posting the image to a blog.

Voila is $39.95 (or $63.95 for a family pack) and is available directly from the Global Delight website. However, we are giving away a free license, courtesy of Global Delight. Here are three ways you can enter the giveaway:

  • Leave a comment on this post.
  • Email me with “Voila giveaway” in the subject line.
  • Retweet this.

All entries must be received by 12:01am on Monday, September 21. The winner will be contacted that day via email and/or the @creativityist Twitter account.

  • Sounds like a cool app.

  • I agree with Marlow – sounds fun to play with…

  • better / more functional than SnapzProX?

  • John

    Voila is more flexible for images, but won’t capture movies like SnapzPro.

  • Gary Z.

    The Flickr integration caught my eye. Im currently using Flickr to keep my design inspiration websnaps at my disposal when doing freelance, contract work. Thanks for the review and headsup!

  • I use Grab and Paparazzi on a regular basis to do screen captures of Web interfaces. Paparazzi usually does a decent job of capturing an entire web layout and has options for cropping and scaling — but it doesn’t always display content presented dynamically with JavaScript, with Flash, or video. Grab (which comes bundled with OSX) has the ability to capture an entire screen, a specific window, or a selected area.

    From what you described in your article, Voila would make my workflow easier by enabling me to do complete common actions within one interface. I would really love to be able to blur out portions of an interface in order to obscure private information — or even to set focus on a specific area. Does the tool allow for non-destructive editing (i.e., I could capture one screenshot and present one non-blurred portion, and show focus on say a login box, and then show where a help dialog/box was)?

    I also could really use the content management/organization features. It looks like it supports sorting into folders. Can meta-data be added to (e.g., tagging images)?

    I enjoyed this post and the one on workflow one or two posts back. I’ve added you to my favorite RSS feeds. Keep up the great work!

  • Hey John, thanks for that excellent review of Voila. Glad you enjoyed using Voila and I am sure you will find greater use for it. Do subscribe to our feed for more interesting updates on Voila and our other softwares! http://bit.ly/ySz26
    Do send us your suggestions and feedback, we would love to hear from you.