Looking Forward to Window Clippings 3: Actions

One of the things that received a major overhaul in Window Clippings 3 is the actions infrastructure.

Previous versions were restricted to a single action sequence. Although a given action could appear multiple times it could not have distinct settings. The actions themselves were also limited in their ability to change the captured image. For example you could not resize the image to produce a thumbnail.

Window Clippings 3 addresses these issues and much more. For starters there is no longer just a single action sequence. In fact you can have as many as you wish and they are called “outputs”. Simply click the “Add output” button and a new output will be added that you can add actions to. You can also rename outputs which can be quite useful as the output name can be used by the new file naming feature (I’ll talk more about that in a future post). Each output is given the raw image produced by Window Clippings and proceeds to pass it from one action to another.

Let’s look at a concrete example. Sometimes when I’m talking about Window Clippings I’d like to highlight the fact that an alpha channel is present in an image. To do this I’d like to show a checkerboard pattern behind the image. So I configured Window Clippings with two outputs that I named “Alpha output” and “Original output”:

Actions

The “Alpha output” includes two actions. The first converts the image’s alpha channel to a checkerboard pattern and the second saves the image to disk, resulting in a completely opaque image. The “Original output” includes just one action. It saves the original screenshot directly to disk with the actual alpha channel. This results in two images that I can use in various ways.

Naturally actions can also be renamed, moved up and down, and removed from the sequence. Adding a new action is as simple as clicking the “Add action” button and picking from the popup menu.

AddAction

I’ve worked hard to keep the user interface for Window Clippings 3 as simple and clean as possible but there is actually a lot of subtle hidden power. Next time I’ll show you how you can edit actions.

Check out the previous highlights:

2 thoughts on “Looking Forward to Window Clippings 3: Actions

  1. John Schroedl

    Will an Action be run on the main thread so that it can show a UI?

    Ex. it might be nice to have an “Annotate” Action where I could interactively drag/add some arrows or boxes — simple stuff I might otherwise need to fire up Paint.NET for but I don’t want to go through all that and just want it part of the ‘pipeline’.

    John

    Reply
    1. Kenny Kerr Post author

      There is no “main UI thread”, in the way that you’re thinking about it.

      There is however no reason why you couldn’t run a command that would wait while the user interactively edits an image. If you can express your “action” as a command line (e.g. “annotate.exe filename.png”) then Window Clippings 3 will support it out of the box with the “Run command” action as long as the annotate.exe process exits when the image is finished being edited.

      Reply

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