Wednesday, 4 April 2012

Comparing Snagit with Microsoft Clip Organiser and Snipping Tool

I'll be honest. I've never purchased a license for TechSmith Snagit. In earlier versions of Windows, I've always used ALT+PrtScn and Windows Paint. However, the other authors here use Snagit and expect me to use it too, and, I'm a big fan of TechSmith Corporation. I use Camtasia, Jing and Morae when I can and they are excellent tools. For me, these tools set the bar in usability.

So, I like Snagit because it is shiney and easy to use. But, can I just use Windows Clip Organizer and Snipping Tool to replace the ever-so-useful Snagit? While the snipping tool allows you to save as PNG, it doesn't integrate at all with the Clip Organizer except through copy and paste.

The first hurdle with Microsoft Clip Organizer is that it doesn't offer a Save As option. In fact, it doesn't offer Save at all. However, with a little investigation, I discovered that it automatically stores images in a folder called Microsoft Clip Organizer in My Pictures.


Windows Explorer showing the Microsoft Clip Organizer folder

But, these are uncompressed bitmap files which are unsuitable for most uses. Ideally for my needs, they need to be PNG files. If I right-click on them, guess which application presents a "convert" option - Snagit of course.

The next hurdle is that the Clipping Tool only offers free-form, rectangular, window, or full screen clips – only a slight improvement on ALT+PrtScn. Snagit offers a whole bunch of different capture options including special features like scrolling through web pages and list boxes. Without Snagit, I'm stuck with connecting these together in Paint.net.

Finally, Snagit stores all the images you have previously captured in a database that displays across the bottom of the Snagit Editor. That's exactly what Microsoft Clip Organizer does too. It's main feature in fact. You can assign keywords/tags and a captions but, and it is a big BUT, you can't decide the filename or format and so you can't recognize them outside clip editor.

So, I'll stop there. I think Microsoft Clip Organizer and Snipping Tool fail when compared with Snagit in the following important ways:
  • From Snipping Tool, you don't get an automatic database of previous clips
  • From Snipping Tool, the editing and highlighting is unconstrained and scruffy
  • The Snipping Tool is not integrated with Clip Organizer
  • From Clip Organizer, you can't save files as a different type or rename them
  • From Clip Organizer, you can't edit files or launch their default editor
A little more integration between the two tools would be a very good thing but, for now, I think that Snagit is an investment worth making.


2 comments:

  1. There's always the snipping tool that comes with Windows. Probably still doesn't come close to snagit but I find it works well enough for me.

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    1. Thanks David. The snipping tool is a good alternative to ALT+PrtScn. I'll add it to the post.

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