Sometime late last summer, Techsmith sent me a licensed copy of SnagIt 7 and Camtasia Studio to evaluate, in hopes that I would like them and tell the world. At the time, I was a staunch user of Qarbon ViewletBuilder Pro for my screencasting, and of Pixelmetrics CaptureWiz Lite for my average static screen capture needs. I had purchased copies of both of those products and was perfectly happy with them. It took me several months to even install the software Techsmith sent me.
Last night I needed to update a screencast, and the tool I chose, without a second thought, was Camtasia Studio. I have been using SnagIt for about three months and absolutely love it - it does so much more than the tool I had been using. In fairness, Pixelmetrics has a Pro version of CaptureWiz too, so I wasn't exactly comparing apples to apples, but I can't think of a thing I need that SnagIt doesn't do. Well, that's finally true as of last week when I got to install the final version of SnagIt version 8, which is officially released today.
To explain that final feature I have to tell you about one of the neatest things SnagIt does; after grabbing a screenshot it immediately drops the shot into an editor where you can annotate, highlight, crop, etc. Used to be that once you'd made an annotation of any sort, that annotation was locked in there. You could delete it, but you couldn't move it. Not a huge deal, but definately a minor annoyance. Version 8 fixes that, so as long as you haven't saved the final edited picture, you can simply grab the annotation or box you've drawn and nudge it over if you need to. That was the last complaint I had about the product and it's fixed now.
Amit at Digital Inspiration waxes poetic about some of the other enhancements to the product, and of course Techsmith has the official list of enhancements.
One final loverly feature is that combined with Thunderbird, I'm able to drop these annotated screen captures in an email to a distance student with one keystroke. I believe this is more a feature of Thunderbird, in that I wasn't able to do this back when I was using the Mozilla suite email product; then I had to save the capture and then insert it, rather than simply paste it right in. I have no idea if Outlook supports this, though I suspect it must. An absolutely wonderful way to explain where to look on the screen instead of typing it all out.
You can download a 30-day evaluation copy of SnagIt - give it a try. I don't get any kickback from them; it's just a tool that's at the top of my toolkit and I think you might like it too. Oh, I do find that because it offers so many features, it looks a little intimidating at first, but don't let that scare you. Get to know the basics (I only use about 10 percent of the features, if that!) and move on from there. Educational pricing page is here.
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