How to Always Keep Your Screenshots Up to Date

There’s little worse than returning to a completed task to redo something you just finished. The good news is, when it comes to screenshots, there’s a better way! 

In this post, we’ll show you four ways that you can quickly and easily keep your screenshots up to date.

This is useful for any sort of content which is regularly used as a reference guide, whether it’s training material, user manuals, or any other sort of instructional documentation

All of the methods we’ll cover for updating screenshots leverage functionality available in Snagit.

Update your screenshots – fast and easy!

Download a free trial of Snagit to quickly and easily keep your screenshots up to date.

Download a free trial

If you don’t already have Snagit, you can download a fully-functioning free trial and try out its powerful capability to edit screenshots.

As an added bonus, you can see almost all of the functionalities we’ll cover by watching the video below.

Edit the text in a screenshot

The first way you can update your screenshot in Snagit is to alter the text.

This is way beyond adding a bit of new text to an image via a text box, which is the functionality you are likely familiar with. With Snagit, you can edit the actual text that was captured in the screenshot!

To accomplish this, you’ll use the Move tool in Snagit, and toggle on Smart Move.

Screenshot showing the Move Tool in Snagit.
Select the Move Tool in Snagit.
Screenshot showing how to turn on Smart Move in Snagit.
Then toggle on Smart Move.

Snagit will scan and recognize the text within your screenshot, and provide editable text boxes on your previously-single-layered image.

Screenshot showing editable text from a previously-flat image in Snagit.
Snagit will recognize the text in your screenshot.

While Snagit does it’s best to match the font, color, and size of the text, you may need to manually make adjustments to the text you type. But, this is easy enough to do in the Properties panel. 

Screenshot showing where to adjust properties of editable text from within a screenshot in Snagit.
Adjust properties like size, font, and more, in the Properties panel.

Move things around

Another way to update a screenshot in Snagit is to again, use the Smart Move tool — this time to move objects around in your image. You can move logos, icons, and other visual elements, and change the placement of text.

Additionally, you can delete objects altogether if you like, or even resize them. And Snagit is even smart enough to fill in the background for you, automatically! 

Click an object to move, resize, or delete. The background is automatically filled!

Similarly to editing text, to move things around in Snagit, you’ll again use the Move tool and toggle on Smart Move. Snagit will detect objects in your screenshot, in addition to text.

Then you can simply click, and drag to move around. Or, click, and hit the delete key.

If your object doesn’t look completely crisp, you can always undo with CTRL+ALT+DELETE (that’s CMD+Z on a Mac) and adjust the Detail slider slightly, and try it again.

Screenshot showing Detail slider in Snagit.
The Detail slider lets you control how precise Snagit is in identifying objects.

Change the color in a screenshot

Perhaps you need to make an area in your screenshot stand out. One way to add emphasis to an area is to update the background color.

To change the color in your screenshot, select the Fill tool. You can use the eyedropper to select a color from onscreen to use.

Screenshot showing the Fill tool and Eyedropper in Snagit.
Use the Fill tool to change the color in areas of your screenshot. The Eyedropper allows you to select an existing onscreen color.

Or, use the Fill drop down to select a new color, or enter a Hex or RGB color code if you have something specific in mind. Then, to change color on your screenshot, click away!

Screenshot showing how to select a color or enter a color code in the Fill tool drop down menu in Snagit.
The drop down menu allows you to pick a new color, or enter a Hex or RGB code (switch by clicking Mode).

If you find the Fill tool changes too much or too little of your image, experiment with the Tolerance slider as needed.

Screenshot showing the Fill tool Tolerance slider in Snagit.
Slide the Tolerance slider left or right if the color change is too little or too much.

Simplify your graphics

Last but not least, a final tip for keeping your screenshots up to date is to leverage the Simplify tool.

The Simplify tool lets you create simplified versions of user interfaces within your screenshots.

When you use simplified user interface graphics (SUI graphics), you reduce the number of distractions for your audience by removing unnecessary information and other elements, such as text, buttons, or menu options.

Instead, objects and text that appear in a screenshot are replaced with simple shapes and lines. This means that a simple change to software interface won’t require an updated respective screenshot within your documentation IF you hide it from the beginning.

Using simplified graphics in screenshots also benefits the audience by reducing distractions.

In a simplified graphic, objects and text in a screenshot are replaced with simple shapes and lines.

To transform your screenshots into simplified graphics in Snagit, select the Simplify tool, and toggle on Auto Simplify. 

This will automatically replace the objects and text in your screenshot with simple shapes and lines. Then you can manually delete any simplified objects within the screenshot where you want the audience to focus.

Similarly to the other tools we explored, you can make adjustments to the Detail slider, if the Simplify tool covered too much or too little in your screenshot.

Check the Show Original box to preview the un-altered image. Check the Lock Objects box prior to moving on to editing with a different tool in Snagit, to avoid making unwanted adjustments to your simplified elements.

Screenshot showing options within the Simplify tool in Snagit.
There are options to adjust the Detail slider as necessary, lock objects when moving on to use a different editing tool, and to preview the original screenshot.

The end of frantic screenshot updates

Well, there you have it. With Snagit, you can make quick, simple alterations to your existing screenshots in mere minutes, and can eliminate the need to urgently update documentation on the fly each and every time there may be a software update.

If you don’t already have Snagit, download a free trial today and test out some of these tricks to make sure your screenshots are up to date.

Update your screenshots – fast and easy!

Download a free trial of Snagit to quickly and easily keep your screenshots up to date.

Download a free trial

Allison Boatman

Allison Boatman is a member of the Marketing Team at TechSmith. Follow her on Twitter @allisonboats She can often be found aimlessly wandering around local craft stores. Personal motto: "Work hard, stay humble." Favorites: Alaskan Malamutes, Iceland, and 90's pop culture.

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