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I've captured a screenshot and I want to share it (on stackoverflow actually :), but I need to blur/hide out a couple words in the screenshot. Is a there tool to quickly do this?

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up vote 26 down vote accepted

You can use Preview in two ways:

  • Use the Annotation tool to draw a filled rectangle over the area you want to hide. You can select the fill color.

  • Use the Selection tool to select the area you want to hide and then cut it. The area will be replaced by a gray area (or whatever color is set as window background in Preferences/General).

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Although these methods do not blur the area, they address the intentions of the OP. – lhf Nov 28 '12 at 1:57
Your right lhf, I updated my question to be clearer the goal was to hide the text, blurring is just one way to do it. – studgeek Dec 10 '12 at 17:37

Skitch can do this quickly. See?

enter image description here

Just click the blur button in the side bar and draw over your image to obscure things.

enter image description here

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Thanks, this looks like a good tool to know. I voted this up, but went with the Preview answer because its native. – studgeek Dec 10 '12 at 17:38
@studgeek I love native solutions, but the speed difference for me makes Skitch a must have for this. I'm able to get the snap, get the redaction and get the output to the desktop / wherever it needs to be used so much faster with Skitch. – bmike Jan 6 '14 at 22:43
For sensitive content, skitch is a REALLY BAD idea. If you're blurring an image, generally you don't want the image distributed to a large crowd. Skitch uploads saved images to Evernote. Cloud services are a really bad idea for sensitive content. – Arion May 4 '15 at 18:38
@Arion easily disabled in Skitch's preferences. See the Sharing pane, uncheck Automatically Share and Copy Link after creating new Skitch Notes. You can also remove all accounts. Having an Evernote account is not required to use Skitch (I don't and it works fine for me). – Ian C. May 4 '15 at 20:36
Nice! I switched Sync -> Save New Skitch Notes to Evernote to Manual. – Arion May 4 '15 at 23:04

Check out

It has an "intelligent" text blurring tool that changes the amount of blurring based on the font size of the text being blurred.

It's an online web app and it's free.

Here is a link to

enter image description here

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I was preparing to install a whole app to blur 1 image, 1 time. This answer was very fast instead. – Bluu Sep 7 '14 at 18:13
This works, but for real sensitive data, it's probably a bad idea. – Vic Jang May 14 at 21:08

Sketch 3. Brilliant app. Set fill to saturation, opacity 14, black background, background blur 2px. Save it as a style.

enter image description here

Here's the settings:

enter image description here

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AWESOME! 6moretogo. – Michelle Apr 30 at 19:19

I was looking for a quick solution using the preview tool as well and blocking out or cutting text won't work (since I need to give the notion that text goes there). I ended up just downloading and using GIMP because of it's flexibility as a tool.

There are two ways to blur:

1) Simply use the blur tool and drag over the text. If you want to be cleaner, you can use the rectangle selection tool first and then use blur so you get sharper edges.

enter image description here

2) There is also an option in the toolbar to blur selection as well (so it's more evenly blurred) - I would recommend a high (15x15) gaussian blur (Filters -> Blur -> Gaussian Blur... from the menu). Select the area you want to blur first and then use the appropriate blur filter.

enter image description here

Again, I know it's not as simple and direct as some of the other tools, but GIMP just offers a lot of other features built pretty well. In my case, I downloaded it and used it for blurring of text since I know I'll be using it for other capabilities in the future. Preview fits a lot of great simple annotations, I was surprised it didn't have this built in.

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I use - small webpage-tool for redacting images in a browser.

UPD: TheBro21, that's a one task tool, their home page is a tutorial in 3 sentences: 3 steps

and as a result: result

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Your reccome dation is appreciated. But please add a tutorial to how to use reducked. – TheBro21 Jun 15 '15 at 7:41

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