Capture Screens, Windows and Menus with Snagit

August 26, 2011, By Christian Cawley

If you have ever read an online tutorial and wondered just how the writer managed to grab such a precise screen grab, let me introduce you to one of the top tricks of the trade.

Used by writers like me on websites like this around the world as well as by IT technicians and software support engineers, Snagit is the ultimate techy tool for grabbing precise, crisp images of whatever application you’re writing about.

Far superior to the standard desktop print screen tool and less fiddly than many other options that require additional trimming later on, Snagit is a breath of fresh air. Easy to use and quick to configure, you can be in and out of the app in a matter of seconds without worrying about additional image cropping.

Capture Screens, Windows and Menus with Snagit

If you did want to do some cropping, however, then this feature is available, as are various image resizes and highlighting tools to help you to direct your readers to the correct buttons and links.

Snagit is available for a free 30 day trial from – installation is pretty quick, and within minutes you should be ready to start grabbing images from your applications, web pages, toolbars, menus and properties boxes.

Basic Grabs with Snagit

With Snagit installed, you will be able to use it to take a grab of an entire window, your whole desktop or a tiny group of pixels on your desktop.

Once you open the app you will see the quick launch window, which includes the various profiles you can use to make screen grabs as well as the vital Capture button (also accessed by pressing CTRL+PRINTSCREEN).

By default the All-in-One option is selected; this tool can be used for pretty much any task and should be your first choice when making a new screen grab.

Begin by opening the app that you want to capture, and work through it until you have the correct screen chosen. Next, ALT+TAB back to the Snagit window and click Capture (or use the shortcut).

The Snagit window will vanish and you will then be able to use you mouse to move the cursor around the screen to make your selection. Don’t click anything just yet – instead, move the mouse over different portions of the screen to see how Snagit can distinguish menu toolbars, main windows, individual panes and of course the entire application window.

Once you are familiar with the options, you can then decide what to do next. If you want to create a screen capture of the entire application window, move the mouse so that this is selected (it will be highlighted with an amber outline) and click the left mouse button. For a smaller selection of the desktop, follow the same procedure, and if you want to capture a custom area, simply left click and drag the crosshairs around the area.

When your capture is made, the image editor component of Snagit will open. Click the Save button to keep your screen grab, which will then be ready to use or edit later on.

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