Review: TechSmith SnagIt 2019

TechSmith are most famous for their very capable Camtasia screen recording software. For many users that many be overkill and a simpler solution is also available from the same company. Snagit 2019 is the latest version of their quick and easy capture utility and offers new features to make capturing what you see on the screen simpler than ever before.

Something TechSmith understand better than most is that making capturing content easy is achieved by addressing end-to-end workflows. While Windows 10 includes a snipping tool, it’s really a mild step up from the Print Screen button. If you’re serious about capturing content, regularly, then you need a tool designed for the job. Armed with the right software, you’ll be more productive and with a simpler task, you’re also far more likely to do it more often.

After spending time with SnagIt 2019, I’m a massive fan and while I love Camtasia, there’s definitely merit in a stripped back, but seriously capable screen capture tool. Whether you’re capturing content to post online, or to create training resource with, Snagit 2019 makes light work of the challenge.

Any software product is only as good as the feature list. When you launch SnagIt 2019, you’ll be greeted with a streamlined interface that allows you to select between capturing images or video. Personally I use image capture a lot more than video, but having both in the one tool is fantastic.

Often when creating media for this site, I need to capture an image, save it to a location, give it a filename and only then can I upload it to WordPress. SnagIt simplifies workflows like this by allowing you to set a predetermined save location and naming structure, so all you need to do is snip the area of the screen you need to capture and the file is created and ready for upload. Using the keyboard shortcut function, you can call SnagIt anytime you want to perform this function. It’s fast, easy and streamlines a process that otherwise takes multiple clicks and keystrokes to achieve.

If you find a capture mode that suits you best, you can then set a keyboard combination to launch that capture quick and easily. Imagine you did work for 2 websites, each of which needed to have their images watermarked with the appropriate logo. Using a different keyboard shortcut, you absolutely could. Even better the save location could be different too, select from a local file path, FTP, Google Drive, Dropbox, OneDrive for Business. You could also have the screenshot copied to the clipboard, but then you’d have to paste it into a secondary application. Instead, SnagIt allows you to send the captured image to applications like, Email, Word, PowerPoint, Excel, OneNote, Paint, Photoshop or a manually defined app. This customisation, paired with keyboard shortcuts, dramatically speed up your daily workflows, saving you time.

Imagine your workflow involves saving a screen capture in more than one location, well that’s absolutely possible, again speaking to how well the developers understand their customers.

Scrolling window capture
Recently I updated the site layout of techAU’s homepage and to capture the whole front page, required me to capture the full website, including what’s below the scroll. SnagIt has a great feature that enables you to do this task, very simply. Called a scrolling screenshot, the application drives the selected application window to scroll down the page, capturing as it goes and creating a single, long image that reveals the entire website. This is a massive improvement over previous workflows that would require the manual stitching of multiple screenshots in something like Photoshop. This function alone takes a process that used to take minutes and makes that seconds.

Video capture
Images are great, but there are time where you need to capture video. Along with capturing a video of what’s on your screen (or part of), you can capture your webcam, your microphone, even your system audio and your cursor. This combination of options allow you to do either capture just the content on screen, or capture it and you talking a user through it, while they listen or see you.

Still not sold? What if I told you that video could easily be converted into an animated GIF or PNG. On the export dialog, you get to select the priority, is it more important to preserve quality, or to reduce file size? The SnagIt gets to work to crunch the video and you get the result quickly and easily.

Here’s where there’s 1 big difference between SnagIt and Camtasia shows itself. SnagIt 2019 doesn’t provide the ability to edit video (other than a basic trim), for that, you’ll want Camtasia.

New features

For those who are already familiar with SnagIt’s features last year, you’ll be keen to learn about what’s new in Snagit 2019, the list below details those new features.

Combine Images
Whether you want to show a step-by-step process or simply have multiple screen captures in one image, Snagit 2019’s Combine Images Tool offers a fast and easy way to pull multiple images together.

Favorites tool
As you learn Snagit, you’ll understand the product is substantial in its features, which means you’ll find elements of the editor you use a lot more than others. A new Favourites tab allows you to get to your commonly used tools quickly. From arrows to callouts, text styles, callouts, shapes, even blur effects can all be added as Favourites, just right click a select ‘add to favourite’. As the product matures, this is an important aspect of enabling user customisation.

Stamp searching and browsing
Snagit comes with around 2,000 pre-made stamps, containing icons, symbols, cursors, and more that can be easily applied to your images. Great for marking up screenshots or even building simple infographics. With Snagit 2019 you can easily search through the stamps library using keywords to find exactly what you’re looking for. Because these stamps are vector assets, they can be resized to fit your needs without reducing in quality.

Simplify Tool
Interface and web designers will often build mockups to send to clients for feedback and ensure they’re on the right track. Often this feedback cycle gets confused when the client focuses on the placeholder content rather than layout and design. SnagIt 2019 has a great tool to called Simplify which can automatically genericise a layout, removing specific texts, in favour of text areas, indicated by lines of colour. This is a quick and easy solution to a long standing problem.

In the instance where you’re dealing with a multi-language design, this simplify feature can also allow you to create 1 layout for your design, that is applicable for all languages. Typically this mean multiple exports and sending different files to different parts of the client business for review.

Support for high DPI displays
Need to capture in higher than 1080? Not a problem, SnagIt 2019 offers improvements for DPI displays, which means the Snagit interface now looks even better on devices such as Microsoft Surface and Macbook Pro.



How much and when can you get one ?

TechSmith Snagit 2019 is available at for Windows and Mac for $49.95. Users with previous versions of Snagit can upgrade for $24.95.  For that price, it’s definitely worth the price of admission for anyone who has complex image workflows, or especially applicable for those creating training material.


Final thoughts

There’s no doubt what TechSmith have created with SnagIt 2019 is a screen capture utility that’ll save you time, making you more productive. If only that could be said about all that apps in our lives. SnagIt 2019 and Camtasia 2018 definitely have overlap in terms of features, but if you’re serious about video and editing on the backend, Camtasia is probably the tool for you. If you’re doing more image work, then I’d recommend SnagIt for the job.

If you can’t decide, TechSmith offer a bundle of both SnagIt and Camtasia for not much more money. When time is money, you need a software tool that understands your daily workflows and makes it faster and easier for you, you’ll do it more often as the friction required to execute on an idea is less.

If you’re doing things the hard way right now, stop, just stop and spend a few bucks to get SnagIt 2019, you’ll be very glad you did.

Jason Cartwright
Jason Cartwright
Creator of techAU, Jason has spent the dozen+ years covering technology in Australia and around the world. Bringing a background in multimedia and passion for technology to the job, Cartwright delivers detailed product reviews, event coverage and industry news on a daily basis. Disclaimer: Tesla Shareholder from 20/01/2021

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