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If you blog, you know very well that your posts will be so much better if you include pictures with them. Well, at least they will be more visually attractive. Try to look at those big names in the blogosphere, they are richly adorned with pictures.

Among the many ways of acquiring pictures, making screenshots is one of the easiest. But that doesn’t mean that good quality screen capture is easy to get. Just like taking pictures in the real world, the quality of the camera is just as important as the man behind it.

On my continuing quest searching for the best screen capture freeware for Mac 5 Alternative Screen Capture Tools For Your Mac 5 Alternative Screen Capture Tools For Your Mac Read More , I stumbled into this free app called SnagIt (Beta) – which comes from the same company that created Jing How To Take A Better Screenshot Image With Jing (Mac) How To Take A Better Screenshot Image With Jing (Mac) Read More .

B is for Beta

Before we go further, please note that the Mac version of this screen capture freeware app is still in beta. It means that you should expect glitches here and there, and the possibility that this app will turn into paid app after the beta period is over.

The first time you run the screen capture freeware, it will be available in three places: Dock, Menubar and the side of the screen (as a small tab that will slide open when you hover your mouse above it).

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screen capture tool Mac

The big red button is the capture button, and next to it is the button to choose whether you want to capture the whole window or only a specific area of the screen. Below the red button are the options to include the mouse pointer in the shot and to copy the result to the clipboard.

Specifying the hotkey to do the capturing can be done on the fly. You just type in your preferred combination, or use the default “Command + Control + 1” for an All-in-one capture (screen area) and “Command + Control + 2” for a Window Capture.

Same with any other good screen capture application, SnagIt includes a cross-hair to mark the captured area. But SnagIt has something more: a lens to enlarge the cross section area. With this tool, you can take a precise screen capture.

screen capture tool Mac

Clicking the gear button below will give you more capturing options: to edit after capturing it and to delay the capture for a specified time.

screen capture freeware

If you choose the “Edit” option, a very sophisticated editing window will appear right after you take the shot.

screen capture program

The set of tools available here is beyond any other screen capture freeware app that I’ve tried so far. You can access everything from the editing window, the Tools menu or by using shortcut keys combination.

screen capture program

However – since the app is still in beta – there are no “Effects” available yet. They are “coming soon”.

It’s also possible to edit more than one image and combine them into one. This is also a feature that is not available in any other screen capture applications.

One additional preference

Every time I try new applications, I always visit their Preferences (Command + Comma) to look for any further customizations and options available. This time is no different.

Most items in SnagIt Preferences are already available from the little side window. However, there’s one options from the Advanced tab. You can set SnagIt to always create new image at a specified size.

This option will be very useful if you are required to continuously provide images at a certain size.

screen capture program

Footnotes and wish list

After trying out this application, I conclude that this one might be the most advanced free screen capture application available for Mac today. Most power users will find the extra bells and whistles very useful. However, everyday users might find all of these features to be confusing and might never use most of them.

Maybe the developer could give options to enable/disable “Pro” features. And if they want to put price tag to the final version, they could make the “Lite” version available for free.

The app could also be made simpler by eliminating the two different ways to capture. Instead, make it automatic: “one click” to capture window and “click and drag” to capture area.

There’s no need for the extra option for the delayed capture mode. Just use additional key combination to enable it. For example, pressing Shift key while capturing will delay the process for X seconds.

There’s a short video tutorial about using SnagIt available at TechSmith website if you want to learn more.

What about you? Have you tried SnagIt Beta? What’s your opinion? Do you know other free screen capture alternatives for Mac? Share using the comment below.

  1. Jess
    March 2, 2010 at 3:16 am

    Soooo I've looked through all of the posts on your site about SnagIt and the last one I saw said for Windows2000 and XP (no vista) and this is for Mac....Any GOOD AND FREE screen capture programs available out there for Windows 7??? Ive seen so many positive comments regarding SnagIt so I kinda had my mind set on that one....now I'm kinda disappointed and stuck.....any advice???? thanks

  2. The Geek
    January 30, 2010 at 3:07 pm

    yeah, price will probably appear when it's finished... I think I'll stick to option+shift+3 for screenshots on my mac :|

  3. Ray
    January 28, 2010 at 12:54 pm

    Am I to assume this is the first time you've heard of Snagit? I hope you enjoy your "freeware" till it comes out of beta.

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