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I searched and didn’t immediately find anything, so I’m partly doing this for my own mental archive but also for others who might want this feature.

First, I use two tools for snapshot capturing.  When I want a quick snapshot with no annotation, I use WinSnap, which rocks the hizzouse.  For when I need annotation (arrows, highlighting, etc.) I use SnagIt from the makers of Camtasia (Betsy Weber rocks).  Both of these tools are incredible and I’ve purchases full licenses for both and haven’t regretted it at all.

In WinSnap, there is a feature that allows you to specify a tool you can run on the image that was just captured.  I’ve customized this using PNGOut based on recommendations and feedback.  Most programs create PNG files that can still be compressed by stripping out interlacing or whatever.  You can read all about image formats from Coding Horror here.  Jeff’s tips on bandwidth savings for web sites are invaluable.  It is helpful and works well in WinSnap.  One thing I can’t figure out is that WinSnap never saves my custom commands…that is quite frustrating, but I get over it…I don’t reboot often so I deal with it.

When using SnagIt though I didn’t use PNGOut.  Partly because I didn’t think it had that capability…alas but it does!  here’s how I customized it.  First, get PNGOut and put it somewhere.  For consistency with other programs I put mine in C:\Program Files\PNGOut\pngout.exe.  Yes I know there are GUIs for the tool, but I like the command-line as it integrates with this workflow.  Okay, now in SnagIt set up a new capture profile using the Add Profile wizard (I couldn’t figure out how to use SnagIt to take a capture of the SnagIt box :-) or I’d show it here).

Decide your settings for steps 1 and 2.  When you get to 3, do this:

    • Click the Properties button
    • Click the Program tab
    • Click Add and then point to where you have PNGOut.exe and save that setting
    • Under the File name area, I don’t like automatic naming so I change that to ask me for a file name
    • Click OK
    • Make sure that in the Step 3 wizard that Program is now selected (and if not select it)
    • Choose your other settings and then finish the wizard

Boom, now when you capture a screenshot with this newly created profile you can annotate or do whatever you want with the capture in SnagIt and then when you click finish (after giving the file a name), PNGOut will automatically run:

This will save the image immediately, run PNGOut on it and keep it in the same place…saving you time, size and bandwidth (assuming you are uploading the image to a browser).  This works nicely with my workflow.  I think I’m going to hack together another output program that enables an immediate upload to Amazon S3 so that I can capture, annotate, compress and upload in one click (well, 2).

Anyhow, hope this helps!


This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution By license.


6/1/2008 10:56 AM | # re: SnagIt and PNGOut
Excellent Tim! I didn't know that SnagIt let you do that! I am beta testing the release 9 of it and it works just great with PNGOut.
6/2/2008 12:34 PM | # re: SnagIt and PNGOut
Umm... aren't you using Vista??

%SystemRoot%\system32\SnippingTool.exe is Vista's "Snipping Tool". It saves direct to .PNG, .GIF, or .JPG, and allows for nominal annotation. A plug-in for Live Writer exists for the tool, which if I recall, you use.

Oh, and it's free.
6/2/2008 1:48 PM | # re: SnagIt and PNGOut
@mattbirmingham: True, and it is a great tool, but honestly I've not found it as convenient as the other ones. The annotation exists but only in a Pen/Highlighter tools. For my quick snaps, I think it would work, but as I note here, I like some output control, and WinSnap gives me the ability to do things in one click versus any process.
7/1/2008 8:04 AM | # re: SnagIt and PNGOut
You might also like the FREE software called Camstudio to use instead of Camtasia...

 
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