How to capture screenshots and automatically insert them into WordPress posts

 

Making WordPress image uploads faster and easier

I’ve often thought that the process of uploading images to WordPress posts was time consuming – particularly when it comes to making list-type posts that contain 10 to 20 images. So I decided to look for a solution that would enable me to capture images as I surf the web, automatically upload them to my hosting account, leaving me with the simple task of pasting a url in my WordPress post.

In the above video, I show you how to reduce the number of steps in the image upload process from this:

1. Download image to hard drive
2. Click “Add Media” button in your WordPress post
3. Find the image on your hard drive
4. Upload the image then click “Insert” into post

To this:

1. Highlight an image online
2. Paste image url into my WordPress post

Introducing Monosnap

I found an app that allows me to achieve this process and it’s called Monosnap. Before discovering Monosnap, I researched a range of free screen capture apps, and although there are some brilliant options out there, most still took 3 or 4 steps to generate the image url.

Monosnap is a free sreen capture app available for Windows, Mac, iPhone and iPad that allows you to capture screenshots (photos) and screencasts (videos). It also has image editing features too and some nifty little options such as,

  • create pngs or jpegs: many screen capture apps restrict images to png format which leads to heavy file sizes and slows your site down.
  • adjust the output quality of images: again, this allows you to bring the image file size down to a minimum.
  • assign your own keyboard hotkeys: this makes initiating the app so much easier.
  • upload images to server via FTP: this was one of the crucial criteria for my project.
  • generate shortened urls: this makes Monosnap a great option for posting images to social media accounts, particularly Twitter, where word space is minimal.

Installing Monosnap

The app is very lightweight, easy to download and install. Once installed, it appears as a lightning icon in the mac tool bar at the top of the screen and its larger cousin sits nicely in the dock down below.

Monosnap icon
From there, the next step is to configure options in the “preferences” panel. At this point, most people will probably be happy using the allocated free server space that Monosnap provides when you sign up for their account. But for me, I wanted complete control over all the images captured and used on my blog, so I set up the FTP (File Transfer Protocol) option to get Monosnap to send my captured images straight to a chosen folder on my 3rd party web hosting server.

If you want to know how to set the FTP option up, read on, otherwise you can skip this section and head straight to the Monosnap website and start using the app.

Setting up the FTP option

This is a fairly simple process. You need a few pieces of information to make this work.

  • 1. Your server’s IP address: most mainstream hosting companies use Cpanel. To find your server IP address, just login to Cpanel and typically you will see it on the left hand sidebar. If not, then have a look around for a “server information” option. Here’s what it looks like on my hosting account Cpanel:
  • 2. Your hosting account username and password: that should be straightforward.
  • 3. Path to folder: Setup a folder on your server to house the screen grabs. To do this you need to go into Cpanel. Select “File Manager” and open up your server files. Navigate to your WordPress installation folder and then create a new folder and call it something like “screencaptures” or “grabs” or “images” or whatever you want. In my case, the path to the folder looks like this: public_html/wpliving/grabs. You’re should begin with “public_html” too.
  • 4. Base url: This is the full url path to the folder. So in my case it’s: http://www.wpliving.net/grabs.

So now you have this information, you can easily configure the FTP options in Monosnap. Here’s what it looks like:

options

That’s it! Once the FTP is working, you’ll be able to capture and link to images in matter of seconds. Thanks to Monosnap, my WordPress post writing time has decreased dramatically and it has turned what was once a fairly tedious process into something that’s actually quite fun. So give Monosnap a try and let me know what you think in the comments below. If you have any problems or questions about this app, don’t hesitate to ask.

Written by Will Ellington

Originally from the UK, I currently live in Osaka, Japan, where I work in higher education. I’ve been a WordPress user since 2004 and have developed numerous projects with it over the years. Wpliving is a place to share things i've learnt along the way, and to explore innovations in WordPress too.

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