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I’ve been using a Mac for nearly two years, and with as many screenshots as I take there was just never an app that quite matched the capabilities of SnagIt on Windows. I’ll admit that Skitch was pretty close, but the screenshot editor lacked in a lot of different areas. My biggest pet peeve is the inability to manage/manipulate multiple screenshots on the same canvas… a.k.a. turning more than one screenshot into a single image. That was something SnagIt on Windows really shined at.

Techsmith has heard the pleas from Mac users, and released a Mac-compatible screencast recorder earlier this year. Then yesterday I received an email from them saying that they have officially unveiled the Beta version of SnagIt for taking screenshots on a Mac. The interface is wildly different from the Windows counterpart, but that’s understandable considering that the Windows version uses the Office 2007 Ribbon UI that Microsoft hasn’t made available for Mac applications.

How does SnagIt for Mac handle itself? Right now I’d say very well. It offers an all-in-one capture mode that tries to detect whether you want to grab the full screen, a window, a specific region, or even a scrolling area. That’s cool and all, but it’s the small things I appreciate having again… like the small magnified window when capturing a region:

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The awesome thing about the magnified window is that it doesn’t actually appear until your cursor isn’t moving much on the screen. That makes sense because when your cursor is only being nudged a few pixels at a time is when you’re probably trying to get a pixel-perfect screenshot, and that’s when you need the magnified area.

Overall I’d say there are a lot of nice touches in the app. You can use keyboard shortcuts, the Menubar icon, or the hide-away window (pictured in the first screenshot) to initiate a capture. SnagIt for Mac isn’t full-featured yet though, and you’ll notice that as soon as you click on the “Effects” tab where all you’ll see is a “Coming soon” message. The things that are available work very well though.

I like where the app is headed, and I’m already confident that I’ll be purchasing it once it is released. It offers all the intuitiveness that Skitch does, but tacks on a much better screenshot editor. If you hardly edit your screenshots I’d say this isn’t the application for you, but keep in mind that the Beta of SnagIt for Mac is completely free to use until a commercial version is released. They haven’t specified when that will happen, but I’m guessing it will give you more than enough time to try it out to determine whether it’s something you’ll want to buy.

SnagIt for Mac (Beta) Homepage (Mac only; Freeware while in Beta)