Grab Menus with Snagit

August 27, 2011, By Christian Cawley

As we’ve previously seen, many of the application and operating system-based screen captures that you will find on websites such as DeviceMAG are created with the excellent Snagit utility, an app that makes it very easy to grab anything from a full screen down to a single toolbar button.

While you might use Steam or WeGame to capture images in games, Snagit is perfect for grabbing menus and application windows and then applying squares, highlights and even annotation to the image to illustrate the process you are describing.

Grab Menus with Snagit

However, thanks to the way in which Windows works, grabbing a menu isn’t as easy as capturing an entire application window or pane. In order to effectively capture a menu you will need to employ the Snagit time delay option.

Capturing a Menu with Time Delay in Snagit

When you open Snagit you will notice a series of Profiles, each with a different capture type applied. One of these pre-set profiles is labeled Menu with time delay, and if you want to grab an image of an application menu, this is the tool to use.

Begin by opening the application that you wish to capture from, and get a brief idea of how long it will take to open the menu by pressing ALT+TAB to switch to Snagit and then switching back to the app and opening the menu you wish to grab. You should be aiming to do this within 10 seconds, as this is the default delay on the grab tool.

Next, switch back to Snagit and click the Capture button (or press CTRL+PRINT) – Snagit should then minimize, sending you back to your chosen application, and in the top left corner you will notice a countdown.

Open the menu that you wish to capture before the countdown reaches zero, and wait. Snagit should grab the menu and open the image editor, where you can check the results and Save the screen capture if you’re happy with it!

Configuring Timed Grab Schedules

There is a lot more to the time delay option in Snagit than waiting for a menu to open, however. A quick click of the Timed Capture button in the Options section of the quick launch screen will reveal that along with a configurable timer (and you can hide the countdown if necessary) there is also a tool for creating a scheduled capture at a particular date or time. All of this is found on the Delay/Schedule tab, but you will find further options on the Capture Timer tab…

Here, Snagit provides tools for enabling a timer-activated capture. This can be used to grab a screenshot every few hours, minutes or even seconds, and can prove a very useful tool for getting a regular series of snaps from the applications that you are using, or even in keeping an eye on how people are using your computer!

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