I’m not that skilled at photoshop but at least I can Snagit

Nikki ParkinsonLife 28 Comments

I think I’m a frustrated graphic designer who’s never had the training but appreciates the aesthetics of how things look.  This could explain my Instagram and Pinterest addictions hobbies.

It could also explain why I can fall into a trance at the sight of clever and beautiful merchandising in shops; and conversely why I’ll run the other way if a retailer has made it very difficult for me to see and enjoy what they have to offer.

So what does this all have to do with blogging?

Well, at the start of this year, I was looking for a simple way to create a montage of images as shopping suggestions in my posts.

I had begun to think that scrolling through image after image when I was showcasing products that would work for a particular styling or beauty suggestion was a bit, well, meh.

I had Photoshop on my old PC laptop but the extent of my working knowledge of it was a bit, well, meh, too.

I also knew I was just weeks away from swapping to MAC and would no longer have Photoshop as an option.

So, I did what my inner geek usually tells me to do in these circumstances:  I Googled.

That day in January was the day that my blogging image life changed FOREVER.  I discovered Snagit.

In a nutshell, Snagit makes me look good.

It makes me look like I’m actually better at this photo stuff than I really am.  I’m not saying that it’s turned me into a graphic designer – far from it.  I’m SO amateur, it’s not funny.

But, what it has done has given me a valuable blogging tool that I’ve been able to use to make my blog posts look better.

That’s a good thing, right?

The other really good thing I liked about this software was that it came with a 30-day free trial (available for MAC and Windows). And boy did I make the most of those 30 days, snagitting away like no tomorrow.

After that 30 days. Well, after one day, I was sold and it only cost me a one-off payment of $49.95. Bargain.

(And no this is not a sponsored post, it’s not even an affiliate sales post as they don’t have an affiliate system – if they did I’d be snagging me some of that, for shiz)

Some Snagit examples I prepared earlier on the blog ...

Some Snagit examples I prepared earlier on the blog …

Why I love Snagit?

1.  I can be working late at night on post that would look best with a montage of images – but I know I’m not going to be able to source them from the PRs at 10pm.  Easy peasy.  I just “snag” or capture the images I need from their brand’s website.  (They are always linked back to the product for sale online and used only for the purposes of promoting that particular brand – which isn’t strictly copyright law but if a company suggested to me I shouldn’t do it, I guess their shoes, bags or lipstick may stop getting a plug on my site …)

2.  You can easily re-size your own or contributed single images.  So, even if you’re not creating a montage, you can determine the dimensions you need for your blog and do this before inserting into your blog.  (If you’re on a PC, I used to use PIXresizer to do this to a whole folder of images; now I’m on MAC, I’ve got the iResize application, which does the same job.)

3.  You can easily add text, numbers and symbols to your image.  I mostly use this for numbering the products in a montage so I can link back to them in a caption.

4.  There’s been more than one occasion where I’ve had to send a pdf or jpg of an entire blog post via email (or printed out).  Snagit will automatically scroll through the whole screen so that you don’t just get the “print screen” version of what’s in front of you but the whole post or website you’re trying to capture.

5.  I don’t tend to use this function but you can change the effect of the border on your image as well.

snagit in action on MAC

The Snagit application in action on my iMAC

How to create a montage?

1.  “Snag” or capture the image from the website.  Or go to File and Open from the supplied image or your own photo, which is already in a folder on your computer.  This is easily done by hovering over the red camera symbol within the Snagit side toolbar that loads when you open the program.

2.  Gather all the images in the Snagit application.  If they are particularly big, I’ll first re-size them to about 800 pixels wide before manipulating them into a montage.

3.  Go to File menu and select New.  This brings up a blank image, which you can set the size of (I generally work off a 1200×1200 size to start with).

4.  Drag and drop the captured images into the blank image. Moving them to best fit the space and the look you’re after. You can alter the size of the images on the montage to fit.  Don’t size up though, as this will pixelate the image and not look so crash hot.

5.  Once you’re happy with image placement, go to the Edit menu, click Select All, then Flatten. This will merge the individual images into your new montage image.

6.  Now your created image is ready to crop and to add on text or numbers should you wish to. Drag in the desired text box, position and flatten as above.

7.  I then re-size the image to 800 pixels for loading into my blog, altering the size once uploaded in the blog to fit the width of my blog space.  The reason I don’t reduce the montage to the exact width of my blog is because I like to give my readers the option of clicking on the image and seeing the larger version for greater detail.

That’s it.  The support and help via the Snagit website is really useful and I was easily able to navigate my way around both the PC and the MAC versions of this software and get working with it.

Do you use Snagit?  Or can you recommend another simple image program that makes your blogging life easier? 

 

Comments 28

    1. Post
      Author
  1. I’m so going to have to have a play with this. I do a lot of polyvoring, and you can clip stuff into your polyvore to add into the sets, but this looks useful for other kinds of things.

    Thanks for the heads up on it.

    1. Post
      Author
  2. Hi Nikki. You’re clearly a highly visual person, which makes sense why you’re totally into this stuff. Shows in your attention to detail and love of all things nice looking! The montage you made for Daniel Morcombe of the red photos, was spectacular. Beautiful.

    1. Post
      Author
    1. Post
      Author
  3. Goodness this was timely. I have been using SnagIt for nearly 2 years now – great for creating training materials. But never knew you could montage it – check out my latest post. used your step by step instructions to get the montage happening – 3 times! Thanks Nikki.

    1. Post
      Author
  4. Hi Nicki. I must have brain drain (or worse) because I could not for the life of me get it to do what you get it to do!! I can’t seem to snag the exact image that I want – it captures the whole page instead. Can you think what I am doing wrong. Thanks for your help. Jo

    1. Post
      Author

      Hi Jo
      When you click on the red camera or “capture” button, it will bring up two sets of yellow lines. Think of the thinner lines as crop marks and position them over the top left hand corner of the image you are wanting to capture, click, then drag to the bottom corner and let go. This will bring the image into Snagit where you can crop and edit.
      There’s also some great training tutorial and videos here: http://www.techsmith.com/learn/
      Good luck!

    1. Post
      Author
  5. I’m with you Nikki! Photoshop does my head in! I have been using Picasa for my blog images (I like the idea of the ‘polaroid’ photo option but I had a quick look at Snagit after you suggested it the other day and I think I’m a convert! Thanks again for another great tip! x

    1. Post
      Author
  6. What a great post, thank you for the tips! I am going to try it. I’ve used snagit at work but I didn’t know you could use it for blogging! I’m a new follower too. : )

    1. Post
      Author
  7. I love Snagit too. I use it all the time at work, great for creating training modules when I have to take screen captures. Not so much for personal use though.

    1. Post
      Author
  8. Thanks for the great tip Nikki. I love learning things from you. You are brilliant at sharing good info.
    I’ll check out snagit!! BTW, I’m hoping to join you in Melbourne in Oct if I can swing it.
    Sue xx

    1. Post
      Author
  9. This looks very cool! I’ll have to check it out.

    The other Mac image program I like is Skitch. It allows you to “take a picture” of a page or part of a page, then do some basic editing like add writing and borders. Then you can save it on the Skitch site and grab the HTML code, or download it to your computer to put in a post. Best bit? It’s free!

    For example, I skitched the blog headers that I put into my BlogDay2011 post.

    1. Post
      Author
  10. Thanks for the tip, and the explanation of how it works. I have photoshop and light room and use those quite a bit, but have only had them for the last couple of months and am self taught, so cant do things like you have on your site! I have always assumed that you must be a graphic designer or something because they are so well done, I am extra impressed now that I know that you got a program through googling it and self-taught! Am in awe now! Well done! xx Sannah

    1. Post
      Author
  11. I use photoshop on my macbook for everything.

    I am about to try and figure out how to create an image map so that you can then link the images.

    Pugly Pixel do amazing tutorials for photoshop so if you have it I definitely suggest visiting them!

    1. Post
      Author

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.