A few months back I listed my 10 favorite Windows programs of all time. High on that list was TechSmith’s SnagIt screen-capture program. I’ve been using it for years to create screen captures for books. In those cases, production people in some distant city resized, cropped, paginated, and otherwise dealt with the logistics of integrating screen captures with text. In the last few years, though, I’ve increasingly used SnagIt’s capture and editing tools to produce graphics for the web without the safety net of an editor.
Two weeks ago, I got an e-mail offering me an advance copy of SnagIt 9, embargoed until June 10. I installed it a few days later and tinkered with it a bit. Then I decided to use it to create the gallery of step-by-step instructions accompanying my 10 top Vista tweaks series.
What most impressed me about this upgrade was how simpler it makes the process of capturing and creating illustrations. The new version adds an organizer that integrates with the image editor and provides access to it using the new Microsoft Office 2007 Ribbon interface. Here, take a look for yourself:
I used arrow and text tools in the Draw tab of the Ribbon to annotate regions on the image in the main workspace, which I created by cropping, cutting, and pasting screen shots onto a blank canvas. That row along the bottom is the Tray, which gives you quick access to recent captures as well as those you’ve previously saved in a Library. The navigation pane on the right side lets you tag captures and then sort and browse those files (plus other image and document files) by date, by program, or by location.
Aiming the mouse pointer at a thumbnail produces a live preview a la Windows Vista.
This is still a labor-intensive process, and as I use these tools I’ll no doubt come up with more efficient ways to work and more interesting presentations to create. But still, it would have taken easily three times as long to accomplish this job with SnagIt 8. What I like most about this upgrade is that it didn’t try to shovel new features into a program that was already pretty feature-packed. Instead, the interface changes made it easier for me to find and work with features the program already had.
Apparently, SnagIt 9 has explicit support for x64 versions of Windows . At least that’s my guess from the DLLx64 and XP64 subfolders in the SnagIt 9 Program Files folder.
The license agreement borrows a fair and reasonable provision from Microsoft Office as well. It allows you to use the software on a work computer and on either a portable device or a home computer (but not both ), as long as the two copies are not used concurrently.
With this upgrade, SnagIt has definitely moved up a place or two among my favorites. For anyone who produces web-based content or printed pages, the $50 cost is a bargain. If you’re using any previous version, it’s worth every penny of the upgrade price. (And until August 12, the upgrade is discounted an additional 20%, so updating an old copy of version 6 or 7 is only $19.95. You can get upgrade prices and feature tables here.)
5 thoughts on “SnagIt 9 is nearly a perfect 10”
I’ve been using the snipping tool in Vista, it works OK I’ll have to give snagIt a try.
I have and love SnagIt 8, which was already as you say close to perfect. I’m trying the new version this week-end (thanks to this post). I agree completely, SnagIt is a fantastic little tool.
Great review, thanks!
I would like to add that I like the new possibility of jumping back and forth between captures, definitely a big plus.
I like SnagIt 9 except for the change in the UI that emulates the Office Ribbon. This is not an upgrade, IMO. Now things are not where I expect. Once again I needlessly have to learn a new interface in a less-than-primetime app. It takes more clicks to do the same things that I could in v8.x. Otherwise the new version is fine.
Try optimizing your top menu and you will find it makes work faster and easier.
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