By Sean Captain
For more than a decade, TechSmith's SnagIt has enabled PC users to grab screen images for software manuals, how-to guides, or reviews like this one. Nevertheless, SnagIt 6 ($40) improves on an already feature-packed program. Version 6 can capture frames from video games and DVD movies that employ Microsoft's DirectX overlay technology, and its Web Capture Tool can harvest all of the images from a particular Web page--or even from an entire site.
Previous versions already included my favorite features, however, so I didn't find any compelling reason to upgrade. SnagIt lets you capture an entire screen, a menu, a single window, or even a free-form shape. You can print your screens; e-mail them; or save them as BMP, GIF, JPEG, PCX, PNG, TGA, or TIF files. A catalog browser lets you use thumbnail images to organize screen shots, and version 6 adds an image preview window. Want to tinker with your screens? SnagIt Studio permits you to crop or rotate images, apply filters, add annotations, and do other editing tasks.
SnagIt's video capture function records AVI files of movements on a screen, so that you can create instructional videos explaining how to use applications or configure programs. (You can't copy video from DVD movies, however.) The video capture in SnagIt 6 is a lite version of TechSmith's Camtasia utility (read about it at find.pcworld.com/18101).
Ifound TechSmith's SnagIt 6 to be more intuitive and full-featured than its competitors (notably Application Techniques' CaptureEze, Hyperionics' HyperSnap, and Powware's Print Screen). But you can judge for yourself: All four companies offer free trial downloads of their products.
From the February 2002 issue of PC World magazine