Capture Selective Screenshots in Yoink with Automator (Updated October 14, 2015)

I recently had a very interesting conversation with a customer of Yoink, Bogdan V. He wanted to make Yoink detect screenshots he created so they would show up in Yoink’s window.

Automator to the Rescue

I had the idea of using Automatorto create the screenshot and send it to Yoink. After experimenting around a little bit, I sent Bogdan a very rudimentary workflow (that could, if saved as an OS X Service, also be launched with a keyboard shortcut) and he immediately turned it into something awesome.

The Automator Workflow

This is the script of the workflow Bogdan came up with:

Automator Workflow Screenshot

You can download the Automator Workflow here (~59KB) (tested on OS X Yosemite 10.10.1).

Setting up the Service

  1. Download the Automator Workflow
  2. Unzip it and double-click on the resulting screencapture.workflow file
  3. In the dialog, select Install (except if you’d like to edit the script, then click on Open with Automator)
  4. It will be installed in your ~/Library/Services/ folder: Automator Service Path
  5. To confirm installation, in Finder, click on Finder in your menu bar, select Services and find Capture Screenshot to Yoink in the list: Service in Menu
  6. In your ~/Documents/ folder, create a folder titled Yoink (where captured screenshots will reside)

You have now successfully installed the Service to capture screenshots to Yoink. What you can do now is create a keyboard shortcut for it so you can more easily access this

Create a Keyboard Shortcut

  1. Launch System Preferences
  2. Click on Keyboard -> Shortcuts -> Services
  3. Find Capture Screenshot to Yoink in the list, under General:Screenshot System Preferences Keyboard Shortcuts
  4. Click on add shortcut and enter the shortcut you’d like to use to activate the service.

That’s It

That’s all there is to it. Now you can create screenshots that are then immediately available in Yoink for you to drag around.
If you find it useful, be sure to let me know on twitter (@eternalstorms) or by eMail – I’d appreciate the feedback!
Take care!

Update (October 14, 2015)

I got a bit of feedback on this – especially feedback from Pietro S. and Jeremy M. pushed me to update this post with a bit more information.
  • To make the Automator Script capture the entire display instead of just a selected portion, replace the line ‘ do shell script “screencapture -i ” & filePath ‘ with ‘do shell script “screencapture “ & filePath ‘ (removing the -i option to cause the selection)
  • Jeremy was so kind to provide an updated Automator Workflow that appended a date and timestamp to the screenshot’s filename; add two actions before the actual script (“Get Value of Variable”) with the variables Date and Timestamp and import them into the script – as in this screenshot:
    Screenshot of Automator, appending date and time to the filename
  • To use this Automator Workflow with the standard keyboard shortcut command-shift-4, you first have to deactivate the standard action in System Preferences -> Keyboard -> Shortcuts -> Screen Shots, or assign it a different keyboard shortcut: Screenshot of System Preferences

A ‘thank you’ goes to Jeremy and Pietro for the updated workflows.