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SnagIt 5
TechSmith Corp.
reviewed by Ken Herbig

SnagIt…The name says it all!

There have been many times that I have needed to make a copy of what is on my screen. I had no practical way of doing it, until now. There are many programs that offer this feature, but this one is truly the simplest one I have used. All you need to do is start the program and use a "Hot-Key" (combination of keys) to start the capture. In my case the keys are the "Ctrl"-"Shift"-"P". You can select any combination you like. Whether you are surfing the web, or reading one of our previous newsletters from a PDF file, you can capture what you see on the screen.

The program gives you many options: full screen, window, active window, region or an object. You can even select what you want by using the "freehand" tool. All you need to do is click and hold your left mouse button and outline what you want to save.

There are times that I want to do different things with the captures that I make. SnagIt allows me to select the type of output I want. I can send it to my printer, send it directly to an E-mail, add it to a catalog folder, FTP it directly to a website or save it as a graphic file. This program gives me the option of saving in different formats: BMP, GIF, JPG, PCX, PNG, TGA and TIF.

SnagIt's graphics editing capabilities really surprised me; I didn't realize that I would be able to do anything from inside the program. I can put frames around my capture, adjust the brightness and the contrast, rotate, flip and adjust coloring. It even comes with some of its own plug-ins (posterize, mosaic, emboss, etc.).

There are also annotation and watermark features. They both do what they are supposed to do, but I would have like to have seen a "move" option after they were in place. I have the option of positioning them in one of 9 positions. This becomes a little awkward when you have other text or another graphic on the page.

The most fun feature is the "Video Capture." I can actually capture a complete sequence of mouse movements or a sequence of events that are taking place on your screen. For instance, if I want to show someone how to open a file, I can actually go through all the mouse movements and it will make a video file that can be viewed by the recipient of the file. What a great learning tool this can be. There are video programs that I am sure can do a much better job, but this is a major plus for this type of capture program.

Just in case this isn't enough, it also comes with its own cataloging program, so that you can keep track of your different captures. There is also a graphics studio. It gives you some basic editing tools, such as a highlighter, pencil and other drawing tools. These will suffice for simple editing.

If you have a need for screen captures, I highly recommend SnagIt. Every time I needed to copy a screen, it worked perfectly and I was able to get exactly what I needed with out any hassle.

The company is very consumer-friendly. Every week, on their website, there is a "Feature of the Week" page that introduces you to the features of SnagIt one at a time. Since last December fifth, they have explained one feature at a time, with screen shots to help in the learning process. They are not just selling you a program and then forgetting about you; they are teaching you the ins and outs of the program one week at a time. They do the same with other programs that they sell.

TechSmith…My hat is off to you! (Finally, a company that cares!)

SnagIt by TechSmith
System Requirements:
Windows 95/98/ME/NT 4.0/2000/XP
SnagIt Studio requires Windows 95B or higher
90 MHz processor (400 MHz recommended)
16 MB RAM (64 MB recommended)
10 MB of hard-disk space
For mail output, a 32-bit MAPI mail client
For audio recording and playback, a sound card and microphone.

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