Snagit best for screen capture on Macs

Collecting a screenshot using a Mac is easy, but capturing video, scrolling windows, and performing other screen capture tasks is more challenging. Fortunately, Snagit can help.


Capturing a screenshot using a Mac is simple. Just press the [command], [shift], and [3] keys simultaneously. OS X makes an image of your screen and places the image on your desktop. OS X even makes it easy to capture only part of your screen. Press the [command], [shift], and [4] keys simultaneously, drag the crosshair pointer that appears to highlight the area you wish to capture, then release the mouse. OS X places the resulting image on the desktop. But what does a Mac user do to capture scrolling windows, video, a specifically sized area, and other similar tasks? I recommend Mac users turn to Snagit.

Elegant simplicity

The most effective tools are often the easiest to wield. TechSmith's Snagit is a good example. The $49.95 program, for which a fully functioning free trial is available, replicates the simple screen captures OS X's native Grab makes possible. Snagit excels at capturing specific portions of a screen, scrolling windows that commonly elude lesser applications, and video -- often used to generate basic how-to and tutorial information.

A lover of documentation, it's possible I haven't before encountered a better-supported program. Snagit includes a short one-minute how-to video. The accompanying Getting Started Guide is first-rate. Most users will begin being able to capture screens, windows, and video using Snagit's Capture Window. There's also an active menu that parks itself on the right edge of the user's desktop that helps leverage the program's impressive range of additional features, including capturing scrolling windows and adding special effects (such as borders and shadows). These advanced features are also easy to use.

Like many utilities, Mac users can configure Snagit's preferences to load the program automatically. Users can also specify whether Snagit's Capture Windows appears, a Menu Bar icon displays, or both. Because the Snagit software key works on both Windows and Mac (running OS X Mountain Lion -- version 10.8 -- or newer), Mac users can ensure they'll be able to complete their work regardless of which of the two platforms they're using.

Whereas some screen capture applications sometimes require a third-party tool to convert resulting images to the desired file format, Snagit doesn't suffer such limitations. The TechSmith app can export files in all the following formats:

  • .jpg
  • .png
  • .gif
  • .bmp
  • .tif
  • .pdf
  • .swf

The program also includes integrated support for loading screen captures directly to, email, Camtasia, Google Drive, YouTube, and Facebook, among other options. System requirements, meanwhile, are straightforward and help ensure a multitude of Mac users can begin leveraging Snagit's benefits within minutes.

What's your preferred method of capturing screenshots on your Mac? Let us know in the discussion thread below.