So over the past few years I’ve mixed between both Windows and Mac for daily work drivers and home use. I have a standard app for browsing the web, I have a standard app for writing documents, and I have a standard app for writing code however one thing that has always bugged me is that on Windows I either used Greenshot or the built in Snipping tool to take screenshots, and on Mac I just used the native app, but both of them I found frustrating to use, step forth Snagit!
Before I start, I’d like to thank a good friend of mine Michael Armstrong who pointed me in the direction of Snagit If you’re reading this mate, thanks for generating me yet more blog posts! 😉
So why get a third party tool, and a paid one at that? Its a perfectly good question. For me I use screenshotting tools for a few reasons – either showing something to a colleague or family member, to save something for this blog or as part of a demonstration or guide for others to follow.
So what does Snagit bring that the other don’t? So most tools will either screenshot the whole screen or a region. Within Snagit you can capture images in the following ways:
- Region: Exactly the same as other tools, except it gives you a magnified view, to allow you to be pixel perfect
- Window: Sounds like it could be the same as other tools, but actually is smart enough to snap to edges of applications, or taskbars, etc. Much more intelligent
- Fullscreen: Takes a screenshot of all of your screen, including multiple monitors if you’re lucky enough to have more than 1
- Scrolling Window: This is superb. You can choose a webpage, select it and then use the arrows for it to capture the contents of a full webpage, it stiches it together and hands it on a silver platter to you (the silver platter thing might be a bit of a white lie, but its awesome!)
- Panoramic: Select a region on your screen, scroll left-to-right, up-and-down, it sews it all together
- Grab Text: Take a screenshot of any text, on any application and it will OCR (optical character recognition) it, meaning you have text that you can copy and paste yourself. Great for those pesky documents saved as images!
- Object: Locks to individual shapes on a page such as a button on a webpage, an icon on your taskbar and so on
- Others such as multiple region, menu (for capture mouse-over menus), freehand, etc.
Once you’ve got your snapshot, it comes with a basic editing tool which allows you to highlight areas with shapes, or put arrows, or speech bubbles. It comes with a selection of icons which are useful too – perfect for putting guides together for your team or what not.
You can cut bits out of the screenshot, blur text, add text, magnify certain areas – all things perfect for a handy guide or tutorial.
One thing that I’ve been starting to do a lot more recently is doing video guides for team members – perfect for knowledge handover or consolidating someone’s learning. I have always found a simple YouTube video far easier to follow than a 10 page document with screenshots, not to mention the amount of time it takes to put them together.
Snagit comes good here too, allowing you to a Window or a particular region of your screen to capture video, it allows you to turn on recording of your microphone at the same time. It also allows you to switch betwen the screen and your webcam if you wish to record intros and outros to your videos. Once you’ve finished recording you get a basic editor that allows you to trim unwanted bits of the video out – I’ve used it to trim the intro or outro to mine.
This is often the critical part of both image and video creation, and the ease in which Snagit allows you to export is what makes the product so essential in my arsenal. Images can be copied and pasted wherever or shared as a file either locally (file or FTP) or straight into your cloud storage platform of choice. At the time of writing, Dropbox, Box, Sharepoint, Google Drive, OneDrive, Slack are all supported, likewise social media platforms such as Twitter are included too.
Video wise, all the above platforms are supported, with the addition of YouTube too, and it doesn’t take time to render these files, that is already done.
Having read the above back, I realise it almost sounds like a paid / sponsored review. Believe me, nobody is paying me to write this drivel! But its very rare I come across a piece of software that works cross platform and so well at what it does. Yes it costs actual money, but honestly – it does exactly what is advertised, and it does it well – thats why I spent my (semi)hard-earned cash on it.