Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How does Relephant work?

A: Good question!

First, we use a type of artificial intelligence called computer vision to extract the text from your screenshots. Once we've got the text, we can categorize it, so that you can easily find what you need.

This is similar to how Google categorizes websites: to know which webpages are the best results for your search term.

With computer vision, we can also identify objects in your screenshots. For example, if you screenshotted a photo of an elephant, Relephant will retrieve that screenshot when you search for "elephant".

Finally, we allow you to search for synonyms. For example, "hiring" and "recruiting" are closely related terms. If you search for screenshots related to "hiring", and Relephant has indexed text about "recruiting", we'll return those results to you as well.

Happy screenshotting!

Q: Does Relephant work on mobile?

A: The mobile app is under construction! It'll be done in a few weeks.

In the meantime, you can import screenshots from any device by following the instructions here.

Q: Can I add other screenshots and photos to Relephant?

A: Yes! You can import screenshots by dragging items up to the Relephant icon in the menu bar.

You can drag files or whole folders.

Note that it can take a few minutes to process large batches of screenshots, so they may be slow to show up in your search results. <TODO: this will need UI updating>

Q: I don't see any screenshots!

In this case, on the main search page, you don't see any screenshots.

A: If you see something like this on the main search page, it means we haven't stored any of your screenshots.

Did you recently upload them?  It can take a few minutes for Relephant to work its magic on your screenshots.

First, take a moment to review the import instructions, and double-check that you've imported them properly.

Next, try uploading a single screenshot at a time. If that doesn't solve the problem, email us here!

Q: New screenshots aren't appearing in Relephant!

A: Let's run through a few possibilities to track this down!

  1. Make sure you're saving new screenshots to disk – not just to clipboard. Review the keyboard shortcuts to take a screenshot here.
  2. Check if new screenshots are being saved properly in the Relephant screenshots folder, not another location. Follow the instructions here to find the Relephant screenshots folder on your computer.
  3. If there's nothing in that folder, make sure you've granted Relephant the necessary permissions. Then take another screenshot, and check again.

If that doesn't solve the problem, email us here!

Q: What permissions does Relephant need?

A: Relephant needs a few types of permissions. We'll explain them here, and show you how to enable them.

1. Accessibility Permissions
Relephant needs this in order to access new screenshots. To make sure that Accessibility Preferences are enabled, click here <TODO>.

When we ask for these permissions, the OS X dialogue looks like this:


In System Preferences, click the lock in the bottom left corner, and enter your credentials. Ensure that the check box next to Relephant is checked.


Now, Relephant can access new screenshots as you take them!

2. Browser Permissions
With this permission, Relephant can bookmark the web pages associated with your screenshots. This lets you search for screenshots by website!

When we ask for these permissions, the OS X dialogue looks like this:

In this case, we are using the Google Chrome web browser


Then click OK and follow the prompt to enable access. <TODO: new photo once app is fixed>

Questions on our Privacy & Security policies? Read up on them here.

Q: Are screenshots still being saved to my computer?

After setting up Relephant, you may notice that new screenshots are no longer saving to your Desktop.

A: They're still on your computer! We keep them organized for you in a special folder.

The easiest way to find the folder is to open up Finder and search for "Relephant".

Click on the first folder you see, and then click into Screenshots:

Q: What are the keyboard shortcuts to take a screenshot on a Mac?

A: Ah, the fundamentals! We only have a Mac desktop app at the moment, so that's all we'll cover.

To start, there are two big distinctions: saving to clipboard and saving to disk. To use Relephant, you need to save to disk.

You can capture the entire screen, a window, or just a portion of the screen.

Capture the entire screen

Press and hold these three keys together: Shift, Command, and 3.

Capture a region

Press and hold these three keys together: Shift, Command, and 4.

Capture an entire window

Press and hold these keys together: Shift, Command, 4, and Space bar.

The pointer changes to a camera icon, and you can click to capture an entire window.

That's it! For more info, check out Apple's official documentation.