SnagIt impressions

I downloaded a trial of SnagIt two weeks ago, interested in how it would make my screenshotting life easier.

The first few days of the 15-day trial was a honeymoon, honestly. Pressing PrtSc on my laptop would fire up SnagIt right away, and I used it multiple times to capture impressive websites or news articles that I wanted to save for later for inspiration or information or both. You get these really handy crosshairs to adjust your crop everytime you select an area of your screen, so that all your shots contain everything you want them to, down to the pixel. It was amazing. Screenshotting became fun and more productive. I was so happy I actually tweeted about SnagIt.

In addition, SnagIt’s video capture (the main selling point for me) has a great UI, and it just flat-out works. Messy screenshotting I can live with, but the main functionality I really want (as a casual YouTuber) is a great screen capture system.

And then…I started to see the flaws.

You see, with modern web standards, as a web designer and developer myself, a main trend is to have a navigation bar fixed at the top of webpages. SnagIt won’t detect that. If you do scroll capture, it will scroll and capture the fixed navigation bar multiple times. After going into my DOM inspector and setting the fixed attribute to absolute multiple times in the CSS, the problem was solved, but at the expense of my time.

I want to save time here, and I really wish Snagit could also release some kind of browser extension that could actually detect the CSS attributes like fixed that were screwing everything over.

Another main problem is inset panes within websites. I tried to capture my Google Calendar for easy offline reference, but because Google set the calendar inside a scrolling pane, Snagit couldn’t scroll-capture that because it was not part of the main window. Again, with my CSS capabilities I was able to work around that, but it was inefficient, and I can’t imagine what other customers would do, assuming that not everyone knows how to fiddle around with DOM inspectors.

My friend suggested that we start testing the limits of SnagIt, and we wandered over to Tumblr, which has its infinite scroll. Not only did SnagIt crash (as expected), but it also slowed down my entire computer. You would think that there would be some kind of check, so that as soon as the memory overflows a certain point or when there i just too much to buffer, SnagIt would stop immediately and return an error, instead of consuming more and more RAM. Or, even better, why is there no button to pause or stop the scroll capture? What if I wanted to capture only half of a page?

I realize that most customers do not have “capture Tumblr dashboard” as a high priority on the list of ways to use SnagIt, but it is disconcerting to me that SnagIt still lacks these usability features. I also didn’t appreciate, the days following this incident, how Snagit would crash about 1/3 of the time, and also how it would be stuck to one side of my screen. It’s a personal preference, but I don’t like having tabs off to the side or on top. Wacom has this same presentation feature for its Pen Input Panel, and I find it very annoying. You can’t place it on the top, or else you’ll accidentally open Snagit while trying to switch tabs, and you can’t put it on the side of the screen, because it then blocks links or content.

Overall Impression:

I can’t give a rating because I haven’t defined a rating system, and everything is relative to what software I use, so it wouldn’t be very objective.

SnagIt for Video? Yes.

SnagIt for taking good pictures for IT of what’s going wrong with your computer? Yes.

Snagit for taking basic screenshots? Yes.

Snagit for scroll-capture of the modern web? NO.

I’m not going to buy SnagIt as of now, just because I don’t really need it at this point, and because I really want to see vast improvements in the scroll-capture because I dish out $50. (Or $30 for the educational version). I’m still open to the idea (after all, I wanted a screen capture software, and SnagIt does that part well).


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