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SnagIt 9 Review: I’m Underwhelmed

January 12, 2010DavidOther0

Well, I’m almost done with my Snagit 9 trial period, and I will say that I’m…well…underwhelmed. The program installs pretty easily and is loaded with features, but I just didn’t find that the software really works quickly and efficiently for what I needed to do.

As you may well imagine, I take a ton of screenshots, so the idea of any software that makes this process faster and more organized really sounded promising. Note that I’ve never used previous versions of SnagIt before, so version 9 was my first introduction to the software. The first thing that I didn’t like about SnagIt but that I still love about Camtasia is the ability to select a region to capture. In Camtasia, it’s very easy to select the area of the screen you want to record — but when doing screenshots, this feature seems to make it more cumbersome. I was previously using OneNote for basic screen capture and I remain happy. You click the hotkey with OneNote and then you just resize to the area you want to capture. Done. With SnagIt, I felt that there were more steps than this involved, though it was very nice that SnagIt automagically organized the captures for you by program, type, or any other way you find best to organize your clippings.

While I did like some of the editing features in SnagIt, most of the features felt like a scaled down Fireworks or Photoshop. For someone like me who owns Creative Suite, SnagIt’s editing features were more frustrating to me than helpful. I did, however, really like the pre-styled lasso for highlighting or circling an area in a screenshot, but there is nothing in SnagIt that can’t easily be done in FW or PS.

In my current workflow, I easily cut and paste out of OneNote into any editing or processing program I want (like Photoshop) where I already have some styling presets created. In SnagIt, I had a hard time moving images in and out of the program, and differentiating between the clipboard-type interface and the actual workspace. Also, I was confused because it seemed that SnagIt saves the image, but also lets me export it — so now I have two copies floating around? And along those lines, going back to edit was also difficult, as I couldn’t always find “the original”.

In evaluating SnagIt, I was really trying to find a product that would improve my already streamlined workflow. Instead, however, SnagIt felt bulky for what I needed to do, and sometimes got in the way. In terms of full disclosure, I did look at a few tutorials on Tech-Smith’s website, but I did not sit down and read the manual. Maybe I would get more out of the software if I would just take some time and read the manual — but then again — when was the last time you or I read the manual for any software? Unless, of course, there was something specific we were trying to do. In today’s market, whether right or wrong, if I can’t get software to get what I want it to do within a few hours of first using the product, then I generally move on to something else. I know this approach may not be fair to software developers, but software needs to easily handle the basics that I need, before I will invest more time learning the advanced features. In this case, SnagIt 9 fell into this category. It’s a product that tries to do too much. For those who don’t have access to OneNote or Adobe Creative Suite (with Fireworks or Photoshop), then SnagIt 9 may be the way to go. But if you already have a reliable screen capture program and an image editor to work with your captures, I’m afraid that SnagIt may not bring more to your workflow. You can check out the free trial at TechSmith’s website and try the program for yourself. I’d be curious to hear what you have to say.

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