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Six Colors

by Jason Snell & Dan Moren

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By Dan Moren

Napkin 1.5 update fills in the outline (or not)

Note: This story has not been updated for several years.


As a tech writer, I do a lot of image markup, especially involving screenshots. In general, Flying Meat’s Acorn is my image editor of choice, but I also really like Aged & Distilled’s Napkin, for its particular focus on common markup options, like callouts, shapes, and arrows.1 The company just released a big version 1.5 update to the app, which is available for $40 from the Mac App Store.

Funny story: Last week, I wanted to find a way to highlight a portion of the image I used in my story about Wi-Fi troubleshooting, so I fired up Napkin. Unfortunately, what I wanted to do–make a rectangular outline around part of an image–proved to not be possible, as the shape tool only let you create objects that were filled. The very next day, and without any mention of this shortcoming to anybody, I got my hands on a preview version of Napkin 1.5, which adds that exact feature. Either a true instance of serendipity, or the Aged & Distilled folks are keeping their eye on me. Spoooooooky.

There are a lot of other improvements in Napkin 1.5, including blurring and pixelation–a must for posting screenshots, which all too often unavoidably include personal information–third-party sharing support, cropping, and more. Let’s face it: my screenshot markup needs aren’t diminishing anytime soon, and Napkin’s updates mean that it’s a lot more likely to be the first choice in my arsenal.

  1. In the interest of full disclosure, Aged & Distilled’s two principals, Guy English and Chris Parrish, are both friends. I spoke all four years of the Çingleton conference that Guy helped run, he and I do a regular podcast on The Incomparable, and he’s guested on my other shows. 

[Dan Moren is the East Coast Bureau Chief of Six Colors. You can find him on Mastodon at or reach him by email at His latest novel, the supernatural detective story All Souls Lost, is out now.]

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