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Sunday, January 13, 2013

Evaluating 'SnagIt 11' Features-Rich Screen Capture Software

There are no two ways about it. SnagIt 11 is the most complete screen capture program there has ever been made. It is crammed with features, it is flexible and combines the traditional image capture that we’re used to with screen capture with video capture functions as well. The new version has all the easy use tools of the previous functions and it adds a nifty feature where even as you record a screen video you can also catch audio output. 

SnagIt opens with a dialog that has a hard-to-miss red button that takes the screen shot and smaller buttons that are settings options. We’ve already established that it comes with tons of features and here’s some of what you can do- you can choose to have or not include a mouse pointer in the captured image, you can create a timed countdown before you capture an image and you can decide if you want to open the captured image immediately in the SnagIt editor. 

SnagIt lets you do a traditional image capture, record a screen cam video or scrape text from documents and web pages. Do remember that you need actual documents for the scrape method and scanned images from printed pages will not work. Apart from the red button, you can also use the PrtSc key or a key that you might like to use to capture a screen image. 

One you’ve captured an image, SnagIt’s editor lets you make changes. You can add text call outs, borders and arrows. Save the image in Adobe.SWF format and you can add hotspots that work as hyperlinks too. We especially like the Blur tool. While making screenshots of Internet applications, this tool lets me cover the email ids and other information you’d like to keep private in a screenshot. While you can preview video in the editor, you can’t make modifications per se so special effects and so on are out of the question. 

If you don’t want to take a screen shot of the entire screen, you’ll be happy to know that SnagIt comes with a few ‘profile’ capture options. A pair of cross-hairs will let you maneuver your mouse to select those portions of the screen you need captured. The cross hairs include a menu, toolbar, window and any screen element you need as you pass over it. Double-click or enter for your selection to get captured. 

Other profiles include those where you can record video that can then be sent to ScreenCast or insert screen capture into Word neatly tied in with a border. If you need more border options, you can download them from the app. This will let you send a screen capture to social media sites like Facebook and Twitter or post a video capture on YouTube. Video format has been updates from AVI to MPEG-4. You can even save a video or image to an FTP site. But this doesn’t apply to Secure FTP so we don’t recommend that you try this one out. 

You can use keystrokes for some of the functions on SnagIt. For instance Shift F9 starts video capture and Shift F10 stops the same. Please remember to go to the Tools menu and disable or change the keystrokes in the Program Preferences tab of the application to avoid any confusion with MS Word that shares similar commands. 

We just have one issue with SnagIt 11. That it continues to have a feature that lets us reverse the changes make to a saved image in one shot. Right now we need to press Control Z over and over again to do this and it’s a pain. If the creators could work on it, that would be great. 

But this is a minor issue. SnagIt is a beautifully created, dependable and well executed and executable app that delivers every time. 

This is a guest post by Nathan Brown of buyatt.com, a site that offers savings and current information on what is uverse as well as att.com services. 

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