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Having Fun with Snagit

by Tom Johnson on Jun 3, 2009 •
categories: technical-writing

This week I needed to create some visuals for a PowerPoint to illustrate concepts related to blogging. Since I have limited artistic ability (perhaps even negative artistic ability), I resorted to a stick figure person as a common theme. I spent a while trying to decide which tool to use to draw with. It turns out drawing a basic circle in Photoshop that doesn't have a solid fill is tedious, as are other drawing functions in Photoshop. So I used my favorite little graphics program instead: Snagit.

Snagit 9 introduces a .snag format that saves every object on the screen as a movable part. Of course it's not as powerful as Photoshop or Illustrator, but it's a lot quicker and easier. I especially like the Add to Quick Styles feature, so that after defining a shape (for example a line of a certain color, width, and shadow) I can save it to the toolbar and access it immediately.

I also enjoy Snagit's general ease of use. It's the one graphics program that Jane found essential for working with images on her blog. I tweeted the other day that I wished more products would have Techsmith's same usability, and they consequently gave me several product licenses to give away. So look for an upcoming caption contest on my blog shortly.

Here are my little stick figure drawings. You can click the images to see the full sizes.

Visibility
Visibility

Purpose
Purpose

The Question
The Question

Relevance
Relevance

Readability
Readability

Voice
Voice

Story
Story

Revealing Appropriately
Revealing Appropriately

Interaction
Interaction

Regularity
Regularity

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About Tom Johnson

Tom Johnson

I'm a technical writer based in the San Francisco Bay area. In this blog, I write about topics related to technical writing and communication — such as software documentation, API documentation, visual communication, information architecture, writing techniques, plain language, tech comm careers, and more. Check out simplifying complexity and API documentation for some deep dives into these topics. If you're a technical writer and want to keep on top of the latest trends in the field, be sure to subscribe to email updates. You can also learn more about me or contact me.

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