Sometimes I feel like quality just doesn't matter as much as it used to. How many times have you heard that something just isn't made as well as it used to be? Software is no exception, with quite a bit of mediocre and good software on the market, but few products that really qualify as amazing -- so although I don't plan on making a practice of reviewing software on this blog, when I find a product that really goes well beyond my expectations, I feel that I should give credit where credit is due.
A company called TechSmith
deserves serious accolades for SnagIt Screen Capture
, which is, simply put, one of the best-designed software products I've ever used. SnagIt is a piece of software designed to solve an age-old problem: How do you get a good screen capture? Sure, you could hit the print screen button, paste your screen shot into MS Paint, and crop it from there... but you could also forego knife, fork, and spoon, eating every meal with your bare hands. As a recent Ask.com
ad campaign says, "tools make you feel human."
But I digress. SnagIt solves the screen capture problem simply and cleanly, with an intuitive yet powerful interface that hides a surprising amount of advanced functionality. In its simplest mode, you start the thing up, hit a button, and region capture mode spins up. SnagIt gives you a very handy magnification of the area your cursor happens to be in, so that you can select your area to be captured with great accuracy, without having to use a magnfying glass or blow up your image later. You drag, you drop, and SnagIt fires up an image editor so that you can tweak your selection. You can crop it, color it, move stuff around -- all the usual image editing features you'd expect -- then save it in any of several output formats.
Things get even more interesting if you throw SnagIt into one of its other capture modes. The capture a window on the screen and capture an object on the screen modes are quite impressive, the latter even hooking in to Web pages that you're browsing, allowing you to automatically capture, e.g., a table or a frame on the page, with no cropping. That translates into serious time savings if you need to grab a bunch of screen captures for documentation or some other purpose.
Another very cool feature I've just recently discovered: You don't even have to save the image to a file to send it elsewhere. SnagIt helps you automatically e-mail or IM a capture to someone--taking a whole step out of the process and therefore saving even more time. Another excellent time-saving feature became apparent when I needed to convert a bunch of images to a different format. SnagIt ships with a utility that lets you convert any number of images in just a couple of clicks. Much better than opening and converting each file one-by-one!
Working with SnagIt, I really feel as though TechSmith's design engineers have thought of everything, and that their software developers have implemented a very solid product. I'm not aware of any gotchas or workarounds, and I've been clocking a large amount of time with this product recently. All in all, I'm glad to have found the product, and really can't imagine going back to capturing images any other way.