Boost your productivity with these 5 ways to hack Snagit! Customize your capture settings, create presets, and use annotations, cutouts, and more for better visual content.
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Why I Love Snagit
For decades, I have been learning by doing and documenting my actions along the way. Screenshots have been a crucial part of this documentation process, allowing me to capture and save visual representations of my work for later reference. Whether I am revisiting a project or searching for errors, these documented screenshots provide a valuable visual record of my work, making it easier to track progress and identify areas for improvement.
💡The challenge with documentation can be finding what you know you’ve worked on.
💡I can’t wait to connect Microsoft Copilot to my documentation archive!
Having the right tool for the job is essential for success and efficiency. It’s often said that a good tool is half the job, as it can significantly impact the quality and speed of the work. Snagit is a powerful screen capture and recording software that lets me quickly capture screenshots, record videos, and create animated GIFs. It’s a handy tool for anyone who needs to create and share visual content, whether for work, education, or personal use. The ability to capture and save screenshots with Snagit has enabled me to document my learning journey and enjoy revisiting and improving my work over time.
One of the reasons I love Snagit is because of its customization options. With Snagit, I can customize everything from the capture settings to the editing tools and output options. This allows me to create the perfect capture or recording for my needs and preferences.
My 5 Ways to Hack Snagit
Customization is important because it allows me to tailor my workflow to my unique requirements. Whether I need to capture a specific area of my screen, add annotations or callouts to my captures, or save my recordings in a specific format, Snagit lets me customize everything to suit my needs.
Hack 1 – Customize My Capture Settings
Some of the essential customizations I make are in the actual capture window of Snagit. By making good preparations here, I get a better workflow. The following settings give me a result that can often be used directly in my work.
As for the selection used for capturing, I prefer using the “Region” option in the Image tab. This gives me a free select tool with a crosshair for easy freehand capturing. The tool can automatically frame areas on the screen or capture a scrolling area. One lifehack is to use the arrow keys to fine-adjust/move the capture area while doing the capture.
As for the shortcut key, I use the “Print Screen” button on the keyboard.
One of my most valuable hacks is to add a black “Border” effect of 3px directly upon capture. This gives a pleasant and natural marking of the screenshots in my documents and blog posts, which I really like. This way, text and screenshots are separated in a natural and good way. This configuration saves me a lot of work I previously had in the documentation when using other tools for screen capturing.
It pains me that I don’t have image borders in this article, as I had to use an alternative tool to take screenshots of Snagit. The chicken and the egg!
The setting “Copy to Clipboard” allows me to paste the screenshot directly to my documentation. This, combined with the border setting saves me a huge amount of time each and every day.
Hack 2 – Presets of Capture Settings
The above settings are my go-to settings used in 90% of my work. I do however some other preferred settings, and these are stored as presets with separate keyboard shortcuts defined.
One example is my setting for taking screen shots branded with a watermark directly. This is based on my Go-To settings, but with an extra effect added.
This will give me a quick way of switching between my presets.
Hack 3 – Video Capture as Animated GIF
For effective online visualization I have been using Snagit to capture a video and then exported this as an animated GIF. These capturing settings can be saved as a separate preset for quick access.
Once the capture has been done, the recording can be trimmed in the Snagit editor before exported to a GIF. One example of such GIF animated capture is the following:
Take a look at the following tutorial for more detailed information on how to create animated GIFs in Snagit: Create an Animated GIF | Snagit | TechSmith
Hack 4 – Modify Screenshots
All captures are available in the Snagit Editor library. You can search and filter to find captures made long ago, which is valuable. I can use my captures directly; as stated earlier, I tend to paste the capture directly into my documentation. I quite often make small adjustments to the screenshots to highlight certain things and mask out other parts. This is done in the Snagit Editor. My favorite tools in the Editor are the following:
The “Arrow” tool is used to put attention to vital parts of the screenshot, or guide ways to the correct location. One example:
The picture above is an example of how I use one picture to show where to find a configuration by use of arrows.
An alternative way of guiding through steps, is to use the “Step” tool.
This tool allows to insert numbered boxes telling the order for focus inside the screenshot.
Cut Outs is a function available under the “More” menu, which I often use to shrink pictures, remove blank areas to save space, remove irrelevant information, etc.
In the picture above you see an example of “Cut Out” usage where I use the horizontal part of the tool to remove some white spaces from the image to save space. I even use this to remove information which shouldn’t be shared.
The Blur tool is used to mask or hide sensitive information. This tool is also available under the More menu.
The picture above shows how the Blur tool can be used to mask out sensitive information.
I often use Callouts to add more value directly into the pictures.
The picture above is an example of Callout usage.
Hack 5 – Quick Styles
All of the tools mentioned above is vital support for my photographic memory. All screenshots captured, enriched and stored will be part of my toolbox for conserving my ideas and work.
As I am also an above average fan of branding, I find Quick Styles to be a very good feature in Snagit Editor. I can insert color choices and settings that will persist in all the mentioned tools.
I can add separate themes for easy change when working on different projects.
I want to clarify that this post is not sponsored, and I am well aware that Snagit is not a free tool. While there are some free options available, they just don’t compare to the features and customization options that make Snagit my preferred choice.
Here are a few alternatives to Snagit that won’t cost you anything:
- Snipping tool (win+shift+s)
Overall, Snagit is an excellent tool for anyone who needs to create visual content quickly and easily. Its customization options make it incredibly versatile and adaptable to my needs, allowing me to easily create high-quality captures and recordings. They have extensive tutorials on their web pages showing basic and new features helping me adopt new features.
If you are serious about using screenshots, you should consider giving Snagit a test run.
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