Internet marketers all have their own little pieces of software that they use to make their work easier and one of these tools is screen capture software (or screenshot software if you prefer).
If you’ve never tried it before, the need for screen capture software isn’t immediately obvious.
After all, laptops and many computers have a screenshot button that lets you capture what is on your screen.
That was my first thought too, but honestly, there are so many uses for screen capture software and I couldn’t imagine being without it now.
My personal favorite is Snagit, and this is actually one of the most popular types of screen capture software out there.
The basic screenshot feature in Windows just takes an image of the entire screen and whatever happens to be on it at the time. What you do then is paste that image into a file and save it.
I don’t know how many times I used did this to get an image and then forgot to save it afterward.
It’s also a very ineffective approach if you only want an image of part of what is happening on a page.
For example, if I was reviewing an online product, I might want to take a screenshot of one of their claims or of a specific part of their sales video.
Alternatively, I might want to take a number of screenshots in quick succession, something that isn’t really possible without some form of screen capture software.
The same goes if you were reading forums. You might want to save the image of a specific post, rather than the entire page.
Another reason to bother with screen capture software is if you have more than one monitor. Just using the print screen option on a computer is going to show you what is on all of your screens. This results in an image that is very difficult to use.
Additionally, having saved images of your entire screen can get confusing later – because you may well forget what part of the screen you were actually interested in when you made the capture to start off with.
Using software for screen capturing can get around all of these problems.
In fact, it can provide all sorts of added bonuses and benefits that you wouldn’t have thought have beforehand.
Personally, I think that just about anyone should be using a piece of screen capture software, particularly if they are looking at getting into the internet marketing field.
The basic concept of Snagit is that you set up the program and have it run in the background. This means that when you press the button to print screen, it will bring up Snagit’s approach to the process, rather than the default.
Snagit is actually pretty fun to use. By default, it pops up with crosshairs, that lets you select exactly what part of the screen you are capturing, rather than automatically doing the whole thing.
This is a lifesaver if you’re only interested in a particular part of the screen.
Another aspect is that Snagit will automatically recognize many parts of your window. This means that I can hit the screenshot button, then hover over a word document and it will highlight the document on its own.
Clicking on the document will take the capture without any hassle.
I find this really useful for popups because Snagit will often (although not always) do the same thing with these.
Snagit offers a large amount of customization.
For example, you can set up profiles, where you choose what exactly happens when you take a screenshot.
The program comes with a few default profiles, but you can also setup your own ones easily enough.
In fact, you can even setup different profiles to different hotkeys if you are so inclined.
So, you might set up one profile that automatically captures your entire window and saves it as an image in a folder you previously specified, using automatic numbering.
This would basically give you a folder full of images that you could sort through at a later date.
Alternatively, you might set it up so you select the area you want to capture manually and then the captured image opens in the editor. Once it’s there, you can customize it if you choose and save it where you want to.
The second example is actually the approach I use most of the time, although I like the first one for getting lots of images quickly and dealing with them later.
Overall, the customization means set the software up based on your own needs.
Snagit comes with an editor that gives you some control over your images.
In terms of features, this editor is really designed around the concept of annotating your images and highlighting specific parts.
So, you won’t find all of the features that you would get in Photoshop or something like this.
However, the tools are very relevant to the screenshots that you take.
For example, you can highlight specific images, add stamps, add shapes and give the image a shadow (as you can see below).
This is particularly relevant for internet marketers.
It basically gives you the ability to call out specific parts of an image without much effort at all.
Output and Sharing
Once you have a screenshot, the most obvious thing to do is to save it to a file and if you want to do this, you can choose what type of file it saves as and there are a lot of options to choose from.
However, you can also do other things with it.
For example, you can insert your capture directly into a word document, or have it save in Google Drive, Dropbox or Facebook.
Snagit does have a number of other features, but there’s one that I specifically want to highlight. This is the ability to scroll capture.
This is actually one of my favorite features of Snagit, although unfortunately it doesn’t always work as it is supposed to.
What this does is allow you to take a screenshot of an entire document or web page that scrolls.
This makes it possible to take a single screenshot and capture a two-page word document or all of the Google search results for a given term. It’s much more effective than manually scrolling down the page and taking screenshots as you go.
Because of the way this works, it does seem to be subject to lag. So, if something slows down your computer or its process while it is making the scrolling screenshot, it will stutter, and you will get something that is less than ideal.
The odds of this happening increase with the size of what you are capturing.
So, if you are trying to do a scrolling capture of a ten-page Word document, the tool probably isn’t going to work too well.
If you are trying to do a two-page, it will probably work better.
I do wish the tool was a little more reliable, but even so, it is very powerful and there aren’t many programs out there that offer this.
Menus and Hovertext
One of the biggest challenges with screenshots is getting parts of your screen that disappear quickly.
A really good example of this is the text that appears when you hover over something or a menu that appears when you right-click.
Both of these types of text will disappear when you click somewhere else, which makes capturing them difficult.
This is something I really like about Snagit. It freezes everything when you take the screenshot, so it is very possible to capture something that is only present briefly.
For example, this is a menu from PC Mag, which only shows up when you hover over the search option. Most screenshot tools wouldn’t be able to get this image. Yet, there are many times where you might want it.
If you are going to be seriously making videos for internet marketing, then I would recommend getting dedicated software to do this.
However, if you are making videos more casually, Snagit does provide the functionality to do this, which is actually pretty cool.
This feature allows you to record what is going on for a single screen or even just for a specific part of your screen.
So, if I had a web page open, I could do a video capture of just what I am doing in the web browser, even if I had multiple other windows open at the same time.
When you make a video, you have the option of using system audio or to record voice through a microphone.
So, for example, I could narrate a video on how to use Snagit, or I could have my microphone off and have you listen to whatever music I was listening too.
If you really want to, you can actually use this approach to record a video of a video you were watching, such as YouTube or on a streaming site. Honestly, I don’t recommend this as there are better ways of doing it, but still, there are times when it has its uses.
Is it Worth it?
Snagit consistently gets really high reviews and is generally considered one of the best screenshot programs out there.
The biggest issue with the software is that it is on the expensive side, particularly for someone looking at screen capture in a casual way. The software currently runs at $49.95, but this is a one-time fee and the company does keep its software updated well.
If you are a trying to get multiple licenses the cost per license goes down as you order more. However, I imagine that this will not apply to most people.
Personally, I see Snagit as an important investment for any online business.
It gives you the ability to save the information you need quickly and easily and this can play a large role in content creation. This means that you can easily show examples of things you find online, make quick videos, or even just save information for future use.
A final good thing is that Snagit offers a 15-day trial of the software and it actually lets you extend this trial once when it ends. This is more than enough time to see whether it would help you in what you do and whether it is worth the price.
If nothing else, you could use the trial to get some good screenshots for future use.
Personally, I think that being able to take precise screenshots is essential for internet marketing, especially if you are reviewing a lot of products or websites. It’s also an efficient way to record information, like training or advice you see.
I actually use the tool a lot when I’m looking at training on Wealthy Affiliate. I find it a fantastic way to keep track of important concepts that I see in the training and conversations that I have.