Tuesday May 21st 2024


I have used SnagIt at my job for over five years. It is probably the application I use the most after Microsoft Outlook. It is an extremely powerful business tool and the screen captures it provides are very professional looking.

What does the software do?

SnagIt’s main function is to take screenshots of whatever is on your screen and easily paste then into other documents. In addition to taking the screen shots SnagIt offers a simple image editor which allows you to place arrows on the screen, draw boxes around important areas, highlight specific text and do a handful of other mark-ups to the screen. From there you simply copy the image to your clipboard and paste it into a document like a Microsoft Word file or an e-mail in Outlook.

The tool is very handy if you are trying to show a co-worker an error message you get on your screen or need a simple way to show a peer where that button is they can’t find on a website. Most of the functionality includes things you could do in Microsoft Paint; however, SnagIt by TechSmith puts out a much nicer finished image. You could certainly use the screenshots you take in professional documentation. A software company building user manuals for their product could use SnagIt to take their screenshots.

Snagit also has a very basic video recorder. You can set it to record your screen while you navigate around and then show the video to a peer to teach them how to do something on the computer. This is useful if you are trying to share a short sequence of clicks on your screen, but there are certainly more advanced software packages on the market if you are looking to create full blown video documentation. Techsmith makes an application called Camtasia which is better suited for videos.

How to use the software

The software is so simple to use, you only need some basic skills working a computer mouse and dragging and dropping. When you launch the software the very first screen that shows up has a large button labeled “capture.” To begin creating a screen shot you click the capture button and the software is minimized. From there you use your mouse to drag a square around the area of your screen you want to capture. You do need to be careful to make sure the screen you need is the one on top of all your windows. Once you have hit capture you can not go looking through you windows.

Once you have selected the area of your screen you want you simply let go of your mouse button, the capture is taken and you are quickly transported into the Snagit Editor. From this screen you will see some basic editor options on the left hand side and your screenshot in the main window on the right. On the left you can select things like arrows, lines, boxes, a highlighter and some basic stamps – like a green check box or a red X. You can click any of these buttons and drag the items onto your screen, making them whatever size you require. When you are done editing you click the “Clipboard” button and the image is now on your clipboard. You can paste the image directly into Outlook or Word. Alternatively you can save the image as a file if you prefer.


TechSmith SnagIt is a must have application for the business user. It is a very powerful tool, yet it hardly takes up any resources and loads almost instantly. At $50 it may be overkill for a home user, depending on your needs. Techsmith does offer a free tool called Jing which you may consider for your home needs. In my business, it is an application I use daily and I would certainly purchase it again if I were to move to another job.

Also posted to Epinions.

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