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I've been using SnagIt since 2006 and felt it was about time I shared my thoughts on this fabulous utility which I don't think I'd be able to do without on my PC.
WHAT IS IT?
SnagIt is a screen capture application created and distributed by the TechSmith Corporation (a US software company). SnagIt has been around since the early 90s although personally I've been using it only since 2006 or so. Some people refer to the main feature of SnagIt as a "screen dump" or "screen shot" or just "screen print" - whichever YOU use, hopefully this will convince you of the advantages of this software program.
WHAT DOES IT DO?
Ever wanted to copy something off your screen and save as an image file without using the Print Screen feature on your keyboard? SnagIt allows you to capture specific areas of your screen without having to crop the bits you don't want. All you do with your SnagIt application is open it, click the "Capture" button and then click and drag your mouse over the specific area you want to "capture". Once you've selected your desired area, you will now see a new screen entitled "SnagIt Capture Preview" where you see your captured screen dump on the screen. You will now be able to do a variety of things such as saving your screen dump with a variety of formats such as:
Most of the items I save with SnagIt I tend to save a JPG files so I can open separately within paint.net (or similar app) and make any further changes if necessary.
As well as being able to screen capture static parts of your screen there are other more in-depth features that SnagIt has such as the ability to screen capture a scrolling screen. When you use the "Print Screen" feature you only get what's visible on your current screen, SnagIt is cleverer than that in that you can enable different profiles (or options to capture) such as Region (the most basic SnagIt function as already mentioned above, i.e. capturing a rectangular selected region on the screen), Window (captures the "window" on the desktop), Full Screen (captures the entire desktop), Scrolling Window (captures a scrolling window from top to bottom) and Web Page (this allows you to capture the scrolling window as well as keeping the web links available within the image that you've captured).
There are other more complex profiles such as:
* Scrolling window to PDF
* Menu with time delay
* Images from Web page
* Text from window
* Record screen video
Within each Profile you are also able to change the Profile's settings including colour depth, colour correction, image resolution, etc. I find leaving the default settings as they are have never caused me any particular issues so I tend not to try to fiddle around with the defaults, after all, as they say: "If it aint broke, don't try to fix it"!
WHY USE IT?
There can be many reasons for wanting to use an application like SnagIt but for me one of the main reasons is that I sometimes write and edit processes and training materials in my work and the easiest way to write training materials so they'll be easily understood is to include examples. When you're creating training materials to describe how to use a particular software package, for example, it's handy to include what icon someone would need to click on for a particular feature or what popup window appears if you select a feature.
The fabulously robust profile system allows you do so much more with your screen capture needs from capturing a single region screen capture (the most commonly used) to organising and editing your actual captures for ease of use and reference.
I could go on here and list various other reasons for using this utility but would not want you to fall asleep, I hope I've covered the main areas of what you can do with this very handy tool.
EASE OF INSTALLATION
As with most software products these days, the installation was very easy and self-explanatory. On screen instructions for set up are user-friendly and shouldn't even confuse the least technical amongst you.
As I installed this software several years ago, I cannot remember exactly how long it took but having upgraded my laptop about 2 or 3 years ago, I recall finding it very easy to re-install on my new machine without any trouble at all.
HOW IS IT RATED?
My rating of SnagIt is simply 5 out of 5. I simply can't fault it. But if you don't believe me; have a look at technical reviews online for best screen capture software (and this doesn't include free applications). SnagIt pretty much comes 1st in all of those lists.
Here are some of the places that rate it number one:
http://lifehacker.com/5218155/five-best-screen-capture-tools (check the poll results at bottom of article)
Or just type into Google "best screen capture software" and your number one result will come up with www.techsmith.com/Snagit
The best things in life are sadly not always free, and SnagIt definitely isn't free. You can find 1 month trial versions all over the internet, might I suggest using a reputable site such as download.cnet.com or from the techsmith.com website itself for a 30 day trial to see if it's something you feel you would find useful. At the time of writing SnagIt is retailing at just under £37 with upgrades costing around £18.50. I must admit that I haven't bothered upgrading for quite a few years now as the version I use (8.0.1) suits my needs fine and I don't really want to spend just under £20 to upgrade at this time.