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Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Snagit - Screen Cap Tool Every Freelance Writer and Blogger Must Have

When I got hired to ghostwrite for a website specializing in computer reviews and How-Tos, one of the requirements was for me to integrate screen captures (for the How-Tos) into my articles.

That wasn't the first project where I had to perform such a task. I used to insert screen caps on some of my posts at SteamingOpenCup and APCmag.com. However, the image editor of choice for me then was Corel Photo-Paint. Well, Corel Photo-Paint does have more image editing features than the app I'm about to introduce but using Photo-Paint was just an overkill.

Not only did it take up a lot of time doing certain things you'd normally do on a screen cap, it lacked the flexibility that I needed. When my client for the ghostwriting job I mentioned earlier asked me to put arrows on my images, I initially intended to tap Photo-Paint for the job. But after seeing the example he gave, I realized I had to research more about the floating arrows I saw on the screen caps.
I asked him how he did it. And that's when he advised me to download the 30-day trial version of Snagit.

The first time I saw its interface (after reading the introduction), I knew I didn't have to look any further. I'll show you its opening screen now, captured using Snagit itself.

Notice how you have options for capturing a region, an entire window, the entire screen, etc. Once, I wanted to capture an entire web page. No problem using the PrtSc (Print-Screen) Button if all you want is the portion of the web page that's visible. But good luck if you want to capture the entire page, including those hidden from view, i.e., those you'd have to scroll down to see.

Here's an example of that kind of screen cap on an article I wrote for Robot Reviews. Please click that link. Those portrait images are actually found on one web page. The bottom parts are however hidden from view on a 1024x768 screen. All I needed was Snagit's Scrolling Window option to include all of them on one image.

I'll be talking more about Snagit in the future. In the meantime, I suggest you download and try it out yourself. The interface is very user friendly so I'm sure you'll be able to accomplish a lot in just a few minutes.


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