My Flypaper Mind Brenden Schaaf's opinions, ideas, comments, rantings, & minutiae

29Apr/090

My favorite new application is Snagit

snagitSnagit isn't new...but it is new to me.  And by the way, I do have more ideas than just those that are technology or software-related, but for now these are on my mind so that is what I'm writing about.  I will run out of this kind of material soon, so if this bores you there is relief on the horizon (until I discover some new bit of software or a new gadget, that is).

I first heard about Snagit screen capturing software at the Management & Business Advisers Conference sponsored by the MNCPA in June 2008.  I downloaded a trial copy right after that and purchased a bundle containing Snagit and sister-app Camstasia within a week.  How Snagit flew under my radar up to that point is beyond me, but now that I've discovered it I want to share with you what a great application I think it is.

For starters, Snagit is something I use every day.  I first thought of it as a tool for creating software user guides since it so easily allows me to capture my screen or a portion of my screen so that I can, for example, paste an image into Word showing how to access/use a certain menu.  This has always (well, maybe not always but for many years at least) been possible in Windows by doing "Alt-Print Screen" and then choosing "paste" in Word, but Snagit extends the functionality tremendously and is even easier to use than this 2-step method.  This is one piece of software for which you will not need a manual (but there is plenty of support available should you need it).  The main thing I have used the support/learning tools for is to grab some nifty add-ons like stamps I can use to tweak images or additional outputs I can use to save steps transferring images I have snagged into other software.

Besides that obvious use, some things that I use Snagit for include grabbing images like the logos posted in this blog, error messages I can send to IT for troubleshooting, webpages when I buy something online and I want a copy of the order, or charts that I can paste into PowerPoint instead of embedding an Excel object. I'm sure the list of uses will grow and grow because every day I wonder how I lived without this software (I even had a copy purchased for my work computer because I really missed not having it there when I would habitually go to use it ).

Not only can you save a screen capture, but Snagit comes with some simple-to-use editing tools allowing you to markup images easily and professionally.  See, for example, the balloons I put on some images in the posts I did earlier about PDF software.  This makes your images so much more powerful and, as I said, adding/cropping/highlighting/emailing/printing/saving/etc. is all very easy to do.

So consider downloading a copy of Snagit and give it a shot for the trial period.  I bet you will be surprised at how much you come to rely on it.  After the trial period I think it runs about $50 to buy a license, though as I mentioned there are bundles with other TechSmith software that might be worth considering.  I'm sure I'll be doing a post on one or more of those soon!!

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