Pen Tool

Draw freehand or straight horizontal or vertical lines on an image.

3d Snagit icon

Note: Pen and other tools in the Snagit Editor toolbar are available to annotate images. To draw your viewer’s attention while you record video, try Screen Draw. To enhance video you have already recorded, share your video to TechSmith Camtasia.

Draw a Pen Line

  1. Click the Pen tool in the Snagit Editor toolbar.
    Pen tool

    Note: If the tool is not visible in the toolbar, click the More dropdown. To customize your toolbar, see Customize the Snagit Toolbar.

  2. Select a Quick Style or edit the tool properties to customize the tool. See Tool Properties.
  3. Click and drag your cursor on the Canvas to draw a line.
  4. When you are finished with the Pen tool, click the Move tool in the toolbar to select, move, edit, or delete objects you added to your image.
    Move tool

Tip: Press Shift to draw a straight line.

To draw a straight horizontal or vertical line, press and hold Shift as you click and drag.

Edit a Pen Line

Note: To edit a Pen line, you must select the Create as vector (Windows) or Create editable line (Mac) option before drawing it. Lines drawn without this option cannot be edited.

  1. Click to select the line on the Canvas.
  2. Complete any of the following to edit the line:
    • Click and drag to move the pen drawing.
    • Adjust the Tool Properties.
    • Press Delete to delete the line.

Tool Properties

Edit the properties to customize the tool.

Tip: Save tool customizations as Quick Styles.

After you edit tool properties, save your customization as a Quick Style for future use. See Quickly Access Favorite Styles and Tools.

Pen properties on Windows Pen properties on Mac

Click the dropdown and select one of the following to set the color:

  • Click to select a preset or color from the palette.
    color selection
  • Enter a HEX or RGB value into the field.
    HEX field
  • Click the Eyedropper button and then click to select a color from anywhere on the screen.

Shape (Windows only)
Click the dropdown to select the shape style.
Pen shapes and examples

Note: Snagit Mac only supports the circle shape for pen drawings. If you open a SNAGX file on Snagit Mac, lines drawn with other shapes display as though drawn with the circle shape. See Snagit File Format Compatibility.
Windows and Mac Pen shape comparison

Click to select a shadow direction. To turn off the shadow, click to deselect the shadow direction.
Shadow control

Advanced Shadow Properties
Click the dropdown arrow to access additional Shadow properties:
Advanced Shadow Properties

  • Color: Select a color for the shadow.
  • Angle (Windows only): Set the direction of the shadow extending from the tool.
  • Distance: Increase/decrease the distance between the tool and the shadow.
  • Opacity: Increase/decrease the transparency of the shadow.
  • Blur: Increase/decrease the clarity of the shadow.

Drag the slider or enter a value in pixels to adjust the width of the arrow/outline/line.
Width slider

Drag the slider to adjust the transparency level.
Opacity slider

Create as Vector (Windows) / Create Editable Line (Mac)
Select this option to draw a line that can be edited.
Create as vector option Create Editable Line option

Example without antialias Example with antialias

Antialias (Windows)
Select this option to blend pixel edges with the background.

Example without smoothing Example with smoothing

Smooth (Windows)
Select this option to smooth sharp angles into curves.

Note: This option is only available with the circle Pen shape.

Example without Smooth Curves option Example with Smooth Curves option

Smooth Curves (Mac)
Select this option to blend pixel edges with the background and smooth sharp angles into curves.

Note: This tutorial is for Snagit version 2024. Previous versions may look or function differently.