Are you in charge of creating your own training materials? If so, you must be able to capture screen shots and include those graphic images in your documentation. Fortunately, the folks at TechSmith Corporation have a product that makes it easy to capture and edit screen shots—SnagIt.

Picture this
SnagIt is a dream come true for technical writers and trainers. When you’re creating any kind of document to help end users understand how a program or a process works, a picture literally is worth a thousand words. Why describe a dialog box when you can show it?

Using SnagIt is easy. You decide whether you want to capture the whole screen, the current window, or a region—which is a custom area you select with the mouse. For example, while I was writing this article, I created the screen shot shown in Figure A. I opened SnagIt, selected Region from the Input menu, and pressed the “hot” key—[Ctrl][Shift]P. Then I clicked the mouse above the title of the column I was writing and selected a rectangle that included the SnagIt window.

Figure A: SnagIt makes it easy to capture some or all of a screen.

Other bells and whistles
SnagIt does much more than simply capture screen shots. The file formats it supports include GIF, JPEG, TIF, PCX, PNG, BMP and AVI. And, unlike Windows’ [PrintScreen] button, SnagIt lets you capture the mouse pointer if you want to include it in the screen shot. The program offers a number of options for customizing image colors and sizes that will save you and your file a trip through Paint or PaintShop Pro.

Getting SnagIt
You can download an evaluation copy of SnagIt from the TechSmith site, but once it spoils you, you’ll probably want to spend the $39.95 to get the fully-functional version. When you buy and register the product, you’ll also get a complimentary copy of DubIt, a product that makes it easy to add an audio track to a video clip. For more information about SnagIt and to download an evaluation copy, follow this link to TechSmith . Tell the company TechRepublic sent you.
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