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Review: Snagit 11 for Windows

Snagit is a feature-rich screen image capture product that actually might be worth considering, if you have a bit of money to burn.

When you need to explain a problem that you are having in a better way, or when you are looking to make a thorough step-by-step user guide, being able to take good screenshots and desktop capture videos is often the key to getting the right message across without confusing anyone else further. Many of us stick to the standard "Print Screen" and paste into Paint action, as it gets the job done sufficiently well. But what if you are tired of doing custom and precise cropping or perhaps you want to add some additional clarification to screen shots, such as arrows pointing to objects and circles highlighting areas? TechSmith has a feature-rich screen image capture product that actually might be worth considering, if you have a bit of money to burn, called Snagit.

Snagit

The main window for Snagit

  • Title: Snagit
  • Company: TechSmith Corp.
  • Product URL: http://www.techsmith.com/Snagit.html
  • Supported OS: Windows XP, Vista and 7
  • Price: $49.99
  • Rating: 3 out of 5
  • Bottom Line: For screen-capture work, this product does do the job well, with nifty tricks to boot. But for the asking price, you'd be hard-pressed to find alternatives that are either much cheaper or entirely free.

Upon first glance at the Snagit main window, there is a dizzying array of options to choose from. Whether you need a few screenshots done or want to go the full blown video screencast route, Snagit has you covered. You can assign hotkeys on your keyboard to various functions of the software, which will make on-the-fly screenshot jobs quick and easy.

What I found pretty neat about Snagit was the ability to dynamically select items (or parts of items) on the screen with your yellow selector, simply by hovering. You can also select an irregular piece of the screen simply by clicking and dragging the desired area before letting go of the mouse. Once an action has been taken, you are then presented with a window containing the final output, which you can then manipulate to your heart's content, adding symbols, shapes and other effects.

The yellow selector in capture mode is nice for picking out screen elements individually

Snagit also has an extension called OneClick which is able to run in the background and hide into any edge of your screen. This will place a menu in the location of your choosing that contains essential functions for screen-capture work. This menu is designed to automatically hide to the edge of the screen and you can bring it back up simply by moving your mouse cursor to the part of the screen with the hotspot. This is convenient in that Snagit will not get in the way of your work, but whenever you need to take advantage of the software, you can bring the menu forward with ease.

Yes, Snagit can do video recordings of your desktop too!

Bottom line

Although Snagit is a feature-rich application which seems to work nicely for both screenshots and video capture, the $49.99 price tag seems a bit much for what this product can do. With a bit of Google searching, free alternatives such as HyperCam for video and Greenshot for images are around and perfectly capable of performing the same functions as Snagit. They might not handle the tasks with as much finesse as Snagit, but unless you can get this app expensed at your workplace as a productivity enhancer, the slightly better integration and uniformity isn't really worth nearly half a Benjamin in my estimation.

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About

An avid technology writer and an IT guru, Matthew is here to help bring the best in software, hardware and the web to the collective consciousness of TechRepublic's readership. In addition to writing for TechRepublic, Matthew currently works as a Cus...

14 comments
medcaremso
medcaremso

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wwgorman
wwgorman

I have used "Capture" since the days of Windows 95 which has been updated through the years and is compatible with Win 7 Pro 64 bit. I don't know the pricing currently but I believe it is a lot less expensive than the $50 for Snag It.

Woodman79
Woodman79

Snagit's great but found v11 is not compatible with Outlook'03 (yes we are still on '03 :-(....). Seems to reduce colour causing the captured image to look rubbish once the email is sent. Great simple free capture tool is Quick Cam 32. So simple, no frills-at all, but does the job well. Mac OS built in capture features are very good too but no post editing like Snagit.

charlac
charlac

This updated version of Snag-it appears to be somewhat similar to Greenshot, though Greenshot does not do irregular shape selection or video recording. However, Greenshot is free. Greenshot also has the flexibility once you have captured the image - you can add transparent highlighting, text notes, and various shapes, all of which can be manipulated after placement. The only "inconvenience" with it is that you have to copy your finished shot to the clipboard before you can save or paste it into its final destination. However, if you want to simply grab a screenshot without manipulating it, you can set a preference to copy it directly to the clipboard and bypass the extra editing, much like Snag-it 10. What can I say? I like freebies.

petergillberg
petergillberg

There is no question about Snagit, it's the best screen capture out there and I am not alone with this opinion. What really disturbs me is how you publish a review that doesn't even skim the surface of software. It seems you aren't aware of the editing capabilities of the software ata ll when you compare it to those other products. Did you even try it or just read about it? Sorry for all the harsh words, but calling it a review when you have hardly looked at the software isn't an acceptable practice in my world.

rasilon
rasilon

Snag-It is the best screen capture program, period. I think that the $50 cost is chump change for what it does. I could, possibly, find several apps that accomplish what it does, but I really think that the fact that it's all in one easy to use and powerful "suite" makes it well worth the cost. Hank Arnold (MVP)

19kings
19kings

I use Snagit as it works on both the Mac and the Win 7 on the VM on the Mac

Mark W. Kaelin
Mark W. Kaelin

What application do you use to create screen captures? What sold you on it?

Matt Nawrocki
Matt Nawrocki

I love the interactivity aspect of the system. I might have to give this a review one of these days. Thanks for the suggestion phuongdv!

Matt Nawrocki
Matt Nawrocki

I did not know this was an issue. Thanks for highlighting this Woodman79.

Matt Nawrocki
Matt Nawrocki

But I am willing to spend money on software, so long as it's reasonable, especially when compared against the competition. I'd spend upwards of $20 on this title, but I think $50 is a bit too steep for my taste.

QPEL
QPEL

It's a screen capture program. How much usage of a screen capture program does someone really need to go through to constitute having "truly" used it? Incidentally, in the age of phone apps that are about the price of a coffee, doesn't $20, much less $50, seem like a little much for a feature-replacement program of a function that already exists (in a substantially more limited form) in Windows to begin with?

Matt Nawrocki
Matt Nawrocki

I use Snagit every time I go into the office at my day job. It is indeed nice for what it is, but as a more budget-consious reviewer, I did dock it one star on price. If it was more reasonably priced, like perhaps $20, I would have given this app a 4 out of 5. In case you are wondering why this isn't a perfect 5 out of 5, I should note that there were a few bugs here and there that I encountered when running this program on Windows 8, which is pretty much the next flagship OS for Microsoft. Nothing too noteworthy, but simple things like the snapshot selector freezing here and there at random, which I'm sure will be addressed in a future update. Finally, did you actually read my article carefully? I mention the nifty edit features you get right after you take a snapshot for adding symbols and shapes as well as the ability to accurately select parts of a screenshot without the manual cropping mess, which are the kinds of things TechRepublic readers are interested in, given the business time-saving bent. I understand your argument about merely scraping the surface. But as a reviewer looking at this from the standpoint of doing regular screenshots and basic video capture, digging through menus or whatnot is the last thing a screenshot taker is going to want to do, hence why I mentioned the hotkeys mode. Extra features that aren't obvious or real time-savers like the DirectX capture mode are not meant for my target audience, which is not looking to play games at work. There is a need to just get the job done without poking around the main app. I understand that. So yes... in summary, I actually do use this product and I am indeed entitled to my opinion in this regard. I'm sorry you didn't find my review up to your standards however.