Voila 3.0 A better way to do screencaptures

Posted: June 26, 2010 in Mac OSX, software
Tags: , , ,

The default screen capture program preinstalled on Macs is fine, but I like a bit more control and function which is why when I came across a program from Global Delight “Voila” a while back it instantly became my go-to-app for screencaptures and minor manipulation of images. The program got an overhaul recently and I took the discounted plunge since I already had the previous version and updated it.

It wasn’t a drastic overhaul, more of an update than an upgrade it seems, but a few new features have been added. (Its kinda funny I had to use the Apple default screen capture program Grab to get a screengrab of the Voila software.  It, like me perhaps, really doesn’t like having its picture taken.) One of the new features is the ability to record pretty much anything on your screen, not just still images anymore, but movies as well. Sweet.

Voila Version 2

One thing that jumped out at me was the colours.  I’m just not digging them.  Did the developer watch Hildi on Trading Spaces too often? That purple has to go.  I think the ability to “skin” the app or have a few default themes would be nice, but thats just my opinion and has nothing to do with the functionality of the program.

Also, it doesn’t seem to want to remember the screen settings when it comes to location and size on the desktop.  I have to click the little green button to expand it each time I launch the program.  I noticed the same issue in Version 2, if i switched between using the two versions the size and location always reverted to the smaller squarer default.  It’s a small thing, but i had hoped it would be fixed by Version 3, surely i can’t be the only one that has noticed it.

Voila Version 3

When it comes to grabbing screenshots, Voila does it well. I have it autoload on startup and keep an icon in the menu bar that allows for quick access and use – which it gets a lot of.  As you can see from the two screenshots, a couple more options have been added in Version 3.  As I mentioned earlier Record Fullscreen and Record Selection are two of the new features.  They, like most of the functions in Voila are self-explanatory.  Capturing is one thing it does well, but for me, the real selling point is the ease in which you can manipulate the captured images, which in working on my blog I do very often.  Some of the tools and effects are so well done and so easy to use that i’ve not opened Photoshop for months.  The Blur tool for instance is especially handy for getting rid of personal info on screenshots (or other images you import) before posting them. Take a look through previous posts and the images used on my site, there are plenty of examples of the Blur tool.

I mention other images because that is another thing that makes this app so handy and versatile, the ability to bring in other images whether through importing or dragging and dropping. In many ways, its become my catchall folder of images that I need a quick spot to throw things into for later use and editing.

image editing tools

image editing tools

image effects

It’s not going to stop you from needing a real photo editing program, but will work for a lot of your simple tweaks and does so quickly and with little to no learning curve, which is alot more than can be said of PhotoShop – even the Elements Version.  IMO Software is meant to make your life easier and simplify the creative process which is something Voila shines at.

One thing I wish it did have would be quick keys that work regardless of what program you have running in the foreground.  If it worked in Dashboard for instance, or as i mentioned, if it worked on itself. Although that might cause a rift in the space/time continuum.

Fast. Simple. Effective.  What more could you want?  Okay, if it was free that would be even better, but I don’t mind paying for a program that does what it is supposed to do and does it well.

tcg

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Comments
  1. Team Voila says:

    Hey tcg,

    Thanks for the great review on Voila. Just a few clarifications:
    1> You can capture the Voila window by pressing the Option Key and hitting the Object Capture button in Voila.
    2> The Voila window size gets saved only if the window size is smaller than 75% of screen resolution. If the Application window size is larger than 75% of the screen resolution then on relaunching the window size will be reset to 75% of the screen resolution. This was done so that there are no issues if the user has chosen a lower screen resolution (the window will appear blown up)
    3> You do have an option of assigning shortcut keys according to your comfort, in the preferences.
    Hope this helped 🙂

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  2. Guru says:

    Hey

    Thanks for the review and good to see Voila in action on this website 🙂 Thought of clarifying some items: One can capture Voila interface as well. You need to hold the ‘Option’ key and then select the type of capture and that’s it! Voila interface stays on the desktop. Another point is about the app window size: Voila window size is dependent on the screen resolution. Higher the screen resolution, higher the default window size. That said, you have the option to alter the app window size. Please refer Voila Help and FAQ within the app to some of these queries. You can always mail our support team for any information.

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  3. […] to the RSS feed for updates on this topic.Powered by WP Greet Box WordPress PluginAfter my last post about updating to Voila 3, I  got a couple of emails from the developers of Voila, Global Delight, […]

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