Get better screen captures with Snagit for Mac

Need a great screen capture tool? Grab Snagit for Mac, a popular Windows utility that was built from the ground up for Mac OS X.

Arguably one of the best screen capture programs for Windows is now available on the Mac. TechSmith's Snagit has a long history with Windows fans as a highly flexible and feature-rich tool for quickly grabbing visual info on your screen. The software's main strength is that it offers a number of tools for adding graphics--like arrows, boxes, and thought and speech balloons--to call out specific areas on the screen. When you're finished with a capture, you can quickly add the project to a presentation, just about any document, or send the screen capture through e-mail. One of the first questions we often hear after someone makes the switch from Windows to Mac is, "What do you use for screen captures on the Mac that's like Snagit?" Until now, it was a difficult one to answer.

Snagit for Mac
Choose between a basic screen capture or All-in-One for full-page or region capture options. (Credit: Screenshot by Jason Parker/CNET)

Snagit for Mac, available today, was built from the ground up for Mac OS X and it's easy to see that TechSmith has done its homework (largely through listening to users during a long beta testing period). An elegant and useful drawer-like interface element lets you mouse over a small tab on the side of your screen and quickly get to the screen capture tools you need. Before you capture your image, you get a few options for how you want the capture to look (an entire scrollable Web page or just a region of the screen, for example).

Once you have captured the information you want, you can switch to the main interface window, which offers tools for adding arrows to point out specific elements, inserting speech balloons, drawing shapes and lines, and highlighters. You can choose from a huge library of "Stamps," which are an assortment of small, stylized graphics that can give your screen captures more character and call out the action in a fun and visually pleasing way. When you want to add even more style to your finished product, you can use the Effects tab to give your image an interesting border or even create a 3D looking image using the perspective effect. Snagit also makes it easy to browse through past captures with a scrollable navigation area across the bottom of the interface.

Many of us at use Snagit daily for product screenshots and full Web page captures to show specific elements on the screen. This version for Mac, though not as feature rich as the Windows version, finally gives Mac users an easy way to take and manage screen captures. We were hoping that the Mac version would come with screencast options like those of the Windows version, but it didn't. TechSmith says that feature is not far off and that we should look for it in upcoming releases. The new Mac version also will not have text capture, library tagging, capture profiles (for creating standardized captures), Flash Hotspots, and other minor features found in the Windows version, but all should become available in later updates.

Snagit for Mac
From the editor you can easily add arrows and call out specific areas of the screen. Use stamps to make your project more lively. (Credit: Screenshot by Jason Parker/CNET)

Snagit for Mac is available today for $49.95, which gives you both the Mac and Windows versions of the software. According to TechSmith, many computer users have different computers at work and at home so offering both versions makes it easier to cover the widest swath of people. The company has set up this pricing model so that current Snagit 10 users on Windows get the Mac version for free, or if a Windows user has an earlier version of Snagit, they can upgrade and get both versions for an upgrade price of $24.95.

Also, for a limited time, TechSmith is holding a contest for those who get the word out about Snagit for Mac. Whether you "Like" it on Facebook, become a follower on Twitter, or any other action TechSmith has listed, you'll be entered to win prizes, which run from gift certificates all the way up to a MacBook Pro. Each action to get the word out about Snagit is a separate entry into the contest, so the more the better! Check out the "Snagit is my..." giveaway.

About Jason Parker

Jason Parker has been at CNET for more than 13 years. He is the Senior Editor in charge iOS software and has become an expert reviewer of the software that runs on each new Apple device. He now spends most of his time covering Apple iOS releases and third-party apps.