Capture Beautiful Screenshots With SnagIt

Over the years, Microsoft has bundled several useful utility apps with their flagship Windows operating systems. Sadly, screen capturing is not one of them. Sure, you can press “Prnt Scrn” and paste it in Paint as you’ve always done, but it doesn’t work for most of us. The same applies to the half-cooked Snipping tool, shipped along with certain flavors of Windows 7.

At AppStorm, our work involves a lot of images and screenshots. We need a powerful tool to satisfy our huge appetite. Are you like us, who is in dire need for the ultimate tool to satisfy your taste buds? Look no beyond! Today, I’m going to introduce you to SnagIt, the most sought after screen recording platform.

What is SnagIt

SnagIt is the Flagship product from TechSmith, creators of the popular CamTasia Studio. It’s the most sought after screen recording platform in the market today. Many rate it as the ultimate screen capturing tool. Let’s see if there is any truth to this claim.

Getting Started

Home Screen

Home Screen

Once you grab your 30 day trial copy, head over to their website to watch a one minute intro to get started. There are several profiles available on the home screen, choose one and hit ‘Capture’. And there goes your screenshot. As an added bonus, SnagIt takes over PrntScrn and is quite useful for grabbing a quick snap.

Editor

Editor

Yeah! A quick snap of Office 13.

After capturing the image, the photo opens up in a beautifully crafted editor, fully packed with features. The Image tab houses several image styles, and special effects. My favorite is ‘Spotlight & Magnify’ which allows us to add focus to a specific region of the image.

Another interesting feature that I find useful is the Filters. It lets us create highly professional effects right from the editor, without having to open us Photoshop.

Batch Editing

Batch editing

Batch editing

One of the sweetest little feature bundled is batch editing. Just add the files, select a preset and done. As an occupational hazard, we deal with hundreds of images of various sizes every day. It’d be maddening, having to resize these images individually by hand. Thankfully, with the batch editor it’s essentially a click away. Phew!

Text Snipping

Sometimes, we might need to copy some text from a web page. But it can get tedious, especially with multi column layouts. Enter SnagIt! Just select Text from the Home screen, instead of images and watch SnagIt do wonders.

The only issue is, it makes life a lot easier for copycats to ripoff websites, but again it’s a moral issue, rather than the tool itself being bad.

Profiles

One thing that pulls me towards SnagIt is its flexibility. What setting we use for one webpage might be useless for another. But it really gets on my nerve if I’ve to keep changing the settings across. If you’re dealing with a large number of images, sometimes we may not even be able to pull up the same effect again. Thankfully, SnagIt allows us to save several profiles with settings. Top it with a hotkey individually to speed things up.

Profiles

Profiles

And the best part is all these profiles can be backed up and imported again for later use or for a fresh installation. A Dropbox style cloud sync would’ve been a Wow feature, though. Just saying!

Output Accessories

Another important feature that I’ve seen in SnagIt is the sheer volume of plugins available to it. Just grab the output accessories from their website and share it across your favorite social networks.

Video Recording

In addition to text and image snipping, SnagIt allows you to record your screen as a video. I can’t think of a better way than this to create a quick demo for my clients, and it makes our lives a lot easier with the native Screencast.com and YouTube integration.

Usability

Ever since the design overhaul(version 10), the home screen looks much neater. All your profiles are available right there for. It doesn’t take much time to get used to the application as well. All you’ve to do is to choose the required options and hit Capture.

As already mentioned in the ‘Profiles’ section, we can create, multiple profiles based on your needs, especially when it involves multiple settings. If I find myself inserting my images to a Word Document very often, all I choose my favorite image capturing mode and post it to word doc. Once assigned to a hotkey, my image is captured and inserted into a document with the touch of a key.

I also liked the way the editor was designed. All the options are neatly split into several tabs, without confusing the user. The history bar at the bottom to access all the images captured so far, is a nice touch.

Other thoughts

SnagIt is a pretty solid platform, but it’s not oblivious to common issues. Sometimes, the screenshots might include any personal data like email address and phone numbers. It’s a common practice to blur these regions, to hide it from prying eyes. Though we’ve an option to do this in SnagIt, it takes 2 steps to get there.

First you’ve to select the region from the Draw tab, then get to the Image tab and select blur. Wouldn’t it be a lot easier if we can choose the region from the Blur option? This is the case with other effects too.

But this is a very minor issue, and only a fraction of the total user base will even notice this.

That’s All for Today…

Considering Redmond’s experience with PhotoDraw and the level of access they have towards the ecosystem, it wouldn’t be unfair to expect Microsoft to come up with something in the future. But for now, we’ve to rely on these third party apps. At 63MB, the application is a bit bloated for basic users, but if you’re looking for a professional tool that helps you to improve your productivity, this one is for you. But all that you’re looking for is a basic tool without having to worry about the features, you can take a look at other free alternatives like Shotty.

How was your experience with SnagIt? Have you used any other tools to capture your screen? Do you think Microsoft should launch an app on their own for basic users. Join us in the discussion below and share your thoughts. Thanks for reading!


Summary

Capture your screen in a breeze with SnagIt

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  • http://www.softwarecasa.com/snagit.html Peter – Snagit Guide

    Thanks for a great overview of Snagit.

    Microsoft do have a screen capture utility included since Vista. It is called snipping tool and is available under accessories. Although the editing tools are very basic you can at least capture an area and not only the whole screen. But there the functionality pretty much ends.

    I do recommend Snagit because of the versatile capturing abilities and even more for the editing part of the software. It is just awesome.

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