Tech Tool #7: SnagIt

snagitAll of my tech tools I’ve written about so far won’t cost you a penny. However, there are some tools I use that are not free, unfortunately. One of the tools I use just about every day on my PC (and then I’ll tell you how you can do screen captures on your Apple) is a screen capture program called SnagIt. It is sold by TechSmith, which is also known for its screen recording program, Camtasia.

Just about every time I am using my computer, I need to capture a window or part of a window to convert to an image or to simply copy and paste into a document. For instance, when preparing software tutorials, screen shots are essential to understanding. To grab these screen shots and insert them in documents or web pages, I use SnagIt. SnagIt (and all TechSmith programs) offer a trial period, so download this if you need a quick and easy to use screen capturing software.

If you use an Apple, you probably already know about the built-in screen capture feature. All you need to do it select the Apple button, Shift, and number 4. A cross-hatch appears and you can select what you want to capture. After you capture and release your mouse button, your image is saved on your desktop with the default name Picture 1.png (and subsequent ones are increasing numbers). Here’s a quick screen shot I took of an icon on my Apple desktop:

iDisk

Is that too easy or what? Of course, if you want to grab a screen image that involves a delayed step (such as a descending menu), then SnagIt works beautifully for this. You can adjust the settings in SnagIt to delay capturing a screen image for a few seconds, so you can click a menu item to allow a child menu to appear, for instance. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, don’t worry. You will know when you need to do this. That’s just the way it is when using technology. You can’t be expected to remember it all. Unless you are in my position!

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