I'm looking for an app that lets me capture a rectangle, puts it up to an image bin, and puts a link to the image into my clipboard.

Dropbox does this, with one problem: it doesn't link to the image. It links to a page containing the image, but it isn't trivial to extract the image from the link.

The reason I want a link to the image is because I use IRC, and most good IRC clients are smart enough that if I enter the URL for an image, the other users of the channel Will see the image. However, if it is linking to a page containing the image then that is no good: they will just see a web link and they will have to click it, and it will open up a new browser window, and that annoys people.

I've also checked out Jing which is very nice, only it suffers the same problem.

EDIT: I started writing a script https://stackoverflow.com/questions/21371254/osx-automatically-upload-screenshot-to-imagebin-and-put-url-in-clipboard

So far it uploads file, puts a link into the clipboard and make some noise. Can anyone finish it off?

  • You could add a Folder Action using Automator to launch the script when a file is added to a particular folder. I believe this will only work if the Finder is involved in adding the file, but I tested that I could trigger a script when screenshots are added to the Screenshots directory of Dropbox. It won't work, however, if the Screenshots directory is a symlink to somewhere else (as per my answer below). In that case, it appears the Unix filesystem circumvents Finder's knowledge of what is happening. – ithos67 Jan 27 '14 at 17:31
  • I missed the 5-minute comment-edit cutoff, but I was wrong in the previous comment: You can use a symlink into your Public folder and combine my comment above with my answer below. – ithos67 Jan 27 '14 at 17:38


Unless there's been an update recently, this software did have some minor usability bugs the last time I checked it, but it does actually satisfy your requirements.

Basically, it still uses the built-in screenshot capabilities of command-shift-3 and command-shift-4, and the hosting capability of Dropbox, but it drops the files into your Public folder and gives you a direct link to the image.

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There is an app for that on the App Store:

I use it quite often and also Skitch and Dropbox can be convinced to do similar tricks.

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If you have ssh access to some server, you might use a script like this:

f=$(date +%Y%m%d%H%M%S).png
screencapture -i ~/Sites/upload/$f
printf %s http://example.com/$f|pbcopy
scp ~/Sites/upload/$f user@host:public_html

To make scp not require a password, run ssh-keygen, accept the defaults in every step, and then run ssh user@host 'mkdir -p ~/.ssh/;chmod 700 ~/.ssh/;cat>>~/.ssh/authorized_keys;chmod 600 ~/.ssh/authorized_keys'<~/.ssh/id_rsa.pub.

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  • This is a great idea! I am planning to create a server on my spare MacBook anyway... It might be easier to poll ~/Desktop for new images every second, then I can leverage SHIFT+CMD+F3 – P i Jan 26 '14 at 13:27
  • Might I suggest swapping ~ for $HOME. – Danijel-James W Jan 27 '14 at 6:21

Although not quite "automatic", you could create a symbolic link from ~/Dropbox/Screenshots to a subdirectory in your ~/Dropbox/Public folder. This will redirect your screenshots into your Public folder hierarchy.

When you right click to get public URLs from inside your Public folder, the URLs are direct (to the images in this case) rather than to a page containing the image.

In this case, your screenshot will go directly to Dropbox, but the URL automatically copied to the clipboard won't be the one you want to use. You'll have to grab the correct URL yourself.

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