Welcome to part two of our blog post on screen capture tools. In the first post, we compared the interface, screen capture capabilities, and draw tools of FastStone 7.1 and Snagit 11. In this post, we will explore the effects tool, auto features, output options, and screen recording capabilities of each of these tools.
FastStone and Snagit have similar capabilities with respect to the Effects Tool; however, Snagit does boast more effects capabilities. Both tools are capable of standard edge effects, watermarks, and image processing (e.g., grayscale, color effects, filters, etc.).
Snagit offers some unique effects features such as Perspective and Shear, although I am not sure how useful these effects are in screen capture as they skew what is captured, which is not something I typically want when trying to create diagrams and training documents. One feature I do find particularly useful, however, is the Spotlight and Magnify tool. This tool allows you to highlight a particular area of the screen capture for emphasis and magnification.
FastStone and Snagit employ similar auto features, all of which are preset in the capture interface.
FastStone offers auto caption, auto edge or watermark, and auto output to external software or file. In FastStone, auto settings are quickly set by clicking on the Output –>To Editor icon from the interface.
Snagit offers the same auto captions, which are engaged by creating new Capture Profiles. It is cumbersome to set up auto features compared to FastStone, but when Profiles are set, they work quite efficiently.
FastStone and Snagit also have similar output options, both of which are easily accessible from the interface. Both tools allow you to output to the editor, preselected file, email, printer, the web (FTP), or external software program. Both tools allow export to external photo editing programs of your choice.
One useful feature of Snagit that FastStone does not offer lies in the ability of Snagit to enable the user to select multiple output destinations.
FastStone and Snagit both enable screen recording with similar quality capabilities when used according to default video and audio settings.
Only FastStone offers control over screen recording such as the ability to define frames captured per second or change the audio source. Snagit does provide direct output to YouTube, which is convenient.
If you are looking for a quick and efficient screen capture tool for simple illustration without significant design elements and standard output options, I highly recommend FastStone. $19.95 buys a single-user lifetime license, which means that all future upgrades are FREE! For the price, you can’t beat what FastStone offers. After spending a significant amount of time creating documents with FastStone, I am still happy with my purchase.
However, if you are creating documents with the need for design elements and expanded output capability, for example, output to Camtesia or YouTube for screen recording, I recommend Snagit. $49.95 buys a single-user license per version. Considering the high level of design control Snagit offers, it is still a great buy for what you get. I greatly enjoyed using Snagit to create documents and will employ this tool in the future depending upon my design needs.