Posts Tagged ‘SnagIt’


Capture a large cursor with SnagIt

January 27, 2022

It’s not that I find a cursor (or mouse pointer) hard to see on the screen… or so I thought.

I’m doing some online Word training for a company soon and as I’ll be pointing at stuff on the screen on the Microsoft Teams call, I figured I should set my mouse pointer to be larger and a different colour so they can see it easily as I move it about. I changed it a few hours ago—and haven’t changed it back! It certainly makes finding and clicking things quicker, though the very large I-beam cursor is a bit of a nuisance when trying to select or edit text.

To change the mouse pointer size and colour in Windows 10: Mouse settings > Adjust Mouse and Cursor Size, then use the slider to adjust the size of the pointer; to change the colour, click the box with the rainbow colour wheel and then choose a colour.

I then tried to get a screenshot of a part of a Word screen, with the larger mouse pointer, but SnagIt changed it back to the standard size, though it did keep the colour change. It’s still hard to see on screen, even with that green

SnagIt screenshot showing mouse pointer in green but at standard size

That seemed strange so I retested it and there’s no way I could capture a large mouse pointer with SnagIt (I’m using the latest 2022 version). I logged a support ticket with the SnagIt people, as I suspect this was a bug. They got back to me within hours, with an explanation and an alternative.

Here’s their response (slightly edited):

I was able to reproduce your issue on my computer, so I reached out to a Snagit Lead to make sure this was intended behavior. Unfortunately, this is intended behavior due to how cursors work within Snagit. Snagit allows users to delete their cursor from a capture if needed, and this is possible because Snagit can only recognize a standard size cursor from Windows.

The strange thing I found which could serve as a workaround for you is that the cursor size AND color are preserved when doing a video recording in Snagit. You can take a short video capture with your custom cursor, then select “Save frame as”. You can see that the cursor in the video is still size 4, and it is still lime green! I know this isn’t ideal, but I thought I would share it with you in case it helps.

Based on this, I’ve listed a few ways you can capture a large cursor in a screenshot:

  • Use a different screen capture method/program, if you have one
  • Capture the screenshot in SnagIt without the cursor, then use the tools in SnagIt Editor to add a pointer or other highlight to the part you want to feature.
  • Use the video capture feature of SnagIt, then when you play it back, stop at the point you want to capture, then click the GIF or PNG icon to capture that frame (with the large cursor) as an image in SnagIt.

Video capture in SnagIt Editor showing the location of the GIF and PNG icons

My final result using SnagIt’s video capture then capturing a single frame:

SnagIt video capture of a single frame showing the larger cursor

[Links last checked January 2022]


Snagit: Quick way to get text from a PDF etc.

March 5, 2020

I’ve used TechSmith’s Snagit for years for screen captures and for quick image editing, but wasn’t aware of the OCR function that it has to grab the text from PDFs, images etc.

Details are here:

I just tested it on a fairly complex bit of text arranged in columns, and while it wasn’t perfect, it worked remarkably well. It was certainly better than other methods I’d tried on this particular test PDF.


Screen capture tools

June 24, 2010

Screen capture tools have improved outta sight since I first started using the PrintScreen key and Windows Paint! My next step was to use PaintShop Pro v4 (!) to capture and manipulate screen shots. But even with PaintShop Pro, capturing screens for display in user documentation or web pages was still a long and tedious process, especially if you wanted to apply any edge effects or similar to your screen shot, or to capture the exact window.

Years ago, various members of my tech writing discussion lists suggested several screen capture programs. I tried out a few and it was a toss up between TNT and SnagIt. I decided I like SnagIt better, but I can’t remember now why I chose it over TNT — they both had features I needed and were priced cheaply enough that if I regretted my decision, I could always invest in the other product.

Today, I’m still a very happy SnagIt user, and I willingly pay for an upgrade each time a new version comes out. It’s my tool of choice for screen captures (all screen shots in this blog are created with SnagIt). SnagIt continues to provide me with the features I need — there’d have to be a really compelling reason for me to shift to any other screen capture program. (SnagIt is available for just under US$50 from TechSmith:

That said, I find it sad that many of the (non technical) writers I work with have no idea that they can take a screen capture with anything other than the old PrintScreen trick — or the Snipping Tool in Vista. I’ve tried to use that Snipping Tool, but I find it really clunky, compared to SnagIt.

If you’re ready to move up from PrintScreen or the Snipping Tool, and are looking for a decent screen capture program, check out these resources:

Most tools have a free trial option, so it’s worth downloading a few and trying them out. If you have more than the very occasional screen shot to capture, you’ll save yourself HEAPS of time just by using the right tool for the job. Just as there’s no point using a sledge hammer or the edge of a spanner to hammer in a panel pin, there are easier ways to capture (and manipulate) screen shots that using PrintScreen or the Snipping Tool.

[Links last checked June 2010; SnagIt have not paid me to endorse their product (I wish!) — I’m just a happy user]


SnagIt 9 is out

June 21, 2008

I haven’t had a chance to play with it yet, but Techsmith have done a major upgrade on the SnagIt user interface with version 9 which was released last week. From what I’ve seen of Vista, it’s very Vista-like with all that black ‘chrome’ etc.

They’ve also made available some resources to help you find where everything is now. For example:

For existing licensed users, this upgrade costs US$19.95; for new users, SnagIt is still one of the most affordable pieces of screen capture software around at US$49.95. You get a lot of bang for your buck at that price.


SnagIt: Cannot save capture

June 17, 2008

I’ve had an error message recently when trying to save a SnagIt capture. I can’t find the solution (or the error!) on Techsmith‘s support pages, so figured I should share the problem and solution here.

Problem: I open a graphic by right-clicking on it and selecting Open With > SnagIt 8. This opens it in the SnagIt Editor window. I make changes to the graphic then click the Save icon. I get this error message:

Unable to save: <path/file name> (-14)

Solution: The reason I can’t save—though this is NOT indicated in this cryptic error message—is that the original file has the ‘read-only’ attribute set on it! If I remove that (right-click on the original graphic, then select Properties and clear the Read Only check box), I can save successfully.

Such a little thing and easy when you know how. But with an error message like that you have NO CLUE as to what went wrong. I’ve written about bad error messages before…