Need a better screen capture utility? SnagIt it is

Capture, edit, and use screen images and data with this specialized graphics application.

Calling TechSmith's SnagIt a screen capture tool is a bit like calling a Swiss Army Knife a knife. Yes, it's first and foremost a screen capture tool, and a very good one at that. But SnagIt offers a lot more than free gadgets that also capture screen images. In fact, it's much more of a graphics toolkit optimized for capturing and using onscreen images and information than a screen grabber. SnagIt is advanced enough to enhance productivity for business users and other professionals, but it's also easy for home users to start right up with. If you regularly copy images, Web pages, and screen views to save, embed, share, and use in other ways, SnagIt is well worth trying. It's free to use for 30 days.

The first thing we realized when we downloaded and opened SnagIt is that it offers a lot of options, even during setup. SnagIt includes specific add-ons and output tools for each Office application; choosing the custom installation option let us keep from installing features we don't use. A Disk Cost counter tracked the space SnagIt used, too. The next thing we noticed is that SnagIt comes with lots of help, especially when you click "I'm New to SnagIt" when the setup wizard finishes. A video tutorial, online manual, and simple yet intuitive interface make SnagIt easy to pick up. SnagIt not only offers multiple ways to capture screen images, Web pages, and other data and elements but also to use your captures, such as the built-in SnagIt Editor, OneClick operations, SnagIt Printer, and various output profiles. There's even a freehand option that lets you draw your selection. A system tray menu let us quickly access SnagIt's features and settings.

There's an old cartoon in which a wee lad has just downed five or six ice cream sodas. He says to the man behind the counter, "And now I want to thank you very, very much." The look on the guy's face sums up how software makers feel about the sweat of their brow. SnagIt offers a lot more than just a vastly superior screen capture tool. It's worth the price.

Editors' note: This is a review of the trial version of Snagit 11.0.

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