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First Look: Snagit for Mac Public Beta

Switchers were elated earlier this year when TechSmith, developers of the fabulous Camtasia screen recorder application for Windows, finally shipped their flagship app for the Mac. Those switchers were probably also wishing that TechSmith would create a Mac version of their screen capture application, Snagit. Well, their wishes have been granted!

TechSmith has announced the public beta version of Snagit for Mac, and a first look at the application shows that it's a worthy screenshot snapper for the platform. The company has made the beta available for feedback on operation and features, so this is a perfect time to download the program and give it a try.

After installing the application and launching it, all that is visible is a small "tab" that pops out from the side of the Mac screen when you hover over it. The tab has a drop-down for choosing the capture mode and a red button for taking the screen shot. There are two capture modes -- all-in-one capture and window capture. Window capture mode displays all open windows Exposé-style, and you click on one of the windows to select it for capture. Once captured, it appears in a screen where you can annotate the screenshot in a number of ways, or add effects. At this time, there are no effects and the app shows that the feature is coming soon.
In the all-in-one capture mode, clicking the red button brings up a set of gold crosshairs that you direct across the display using your trackpad or mouse. Bringing the crosshairs to bear on a window causes that window to be selected for capture. There's one really cool feature of Snagit that comes into play in either capture mode. If the window you've selected to capture is a scrolling window, Snagit will grab the entire length and width of the window, not just what's visible.

After a window has been captured, it appears in an application window. It's here that you can apply a number of tools, including labels (notepad or cartoon balloon), arrows, stamps (including many accents and cursors), markers and highlighters, a blur tool for hiding personal information in screen shots, lines, shapes, fills, and erasers. Each tool is highly configurable, with choices of line widths, shapes, and foreground and background colors.

Each screenshot appears in a scrolling pane at the bottom of the Snagit window, and the application also auto-saves your captures for future reference and work. In my initial "play" with the application, I found it to be easy to use, full-featured, and a serious competitor to Apple's free Preview app (which provides screenshot and annotation tools) and my personal favorite, Snapz Pro X (which has no annotation tools).

No price or release date has been set yet for Snagit, and there are definitely some features that are still in the works, but it looks as if Snagit for Mac could be a real winner in the screenshot capture application genre.

Switchers were elated earlier this year when TechSmith, developers of the fabulous Camtasia screen recorder application for Windows,...