SnagIt so insanely slow

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Full disclosure - I hate Snagit. It's the worst screenshot tool I've ever used, except for all of the other ones on Mac, so I'm stuck with it.

I've sort of made peace with it over the last year. The design is insane - why does your crop tool work unlike every other tool out there? - and the whole .snagproj idiocy makes me want to set my computer on fire (just use PNG - is that so hard?), but lately it has become utterly unusable. It's comically slow. Combine the moronic tagging system (GUYS - JUST CREATE PNGS AND LET US SORT THEM IN FOLDERS ALREADY) with the 8-15 second pause literally EVERY SINGLE TIME I TAG AN IMAGE (on a 2017 Macbook Pro with nothing else using CPU) and it's unbearable. Spinny wheels of death for almost anything I do (although image export works without crashing now - that's something).

So, I just spent 7 minutes trying to add some text to a screenshot. Literally 7 minutes - I got a message right before I started. 7 minutes of futilely trying to simply add 2 words to a screenshot. Click the text tool, drag to create a little box where I want the text and - as it always does - Snagit creates a box that goes way outside the bounds of the image and grows the image because... ??? So I grab the corner of the text box to resize it, drag it... nothing. Try it again, this time it resizes but, idiotically, the image border remains expanded. So I grab the border to return the image border to where it was and... the text box disappears. Throw in a few spinny wheels of death, lather, rinse, repeat.

If I need to annotate or add text to an image, it is literally faster for me to walk upstairs, turn on my Windows PC, log in, copy the file over the network and edit it FastStone Capture ($19.95 with lifetime updates) or Photoshop (overkill but it works) than it is to edit it on this Macbook Pro with Snagit. And my PC is almost 5 years old. Unfortunately, I'm in a hotel right now so that option is out. Also, there is still no text on that image.

I'm beginning to suspect that Snagit coders are not incompetent, but rather extremely competent sadists who take pleasure in the pain and frustration they cause others. I'm only partly kidding here. You couldn't make something this bad by accident. I sense a darkness here.

Incidentally - I made a video of this but I don't see how to attach it to the post.
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barry.hemphill

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Posted 2 months ago

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Robert R., Online Community Admin

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Hi Barry;

What version of Snagit are you currently running? What operating system are you on? Have you opened a Support Ticket regarding this particular issue?

-Robert
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SactoBob

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Saw something like this a couple years ago. Various pref and helper files from a different version were still present. The circumstance of two sets of like files was playing havoc. There were about 5 or 6 old files to be manually removed. Unfortunately, I don’t have the list of files any longer but one of the Snagit people should be able to supply that.
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Tony Coty

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I used to use Snagit 8 on a Windows PC years ago, and I was a wiz on it. I could create my own icons without any trouble, knew where all the tools are and never had a my canvas auto enlarged because I added text. It was such a pleasure to work with.. Now, I'm using version Snagit 2019, its slow in loading, canvas gets larger when I add text box and I have to resize it back again. Tools location are now a learning curve as they have been the last 3 versions. Similar to the complaint above, I don't do all my edits in Snagit, I move them to Photoshop. I purchased the 2019 version in hopes that this version would be an improved version, it's not! Now when I click on stamps, it works for the first one, but when I click on a second or third or fourth choice of stamps, it always starts with the first one. Very disappointed also with Snagit!

When Tech Smith makes a Snagit that doesn't do all these things, makes it easier to find tools, and makes it unnecessary to finish an edit in Photoshop, that's when it will be really a user friendly and better product. Until then, it is a waste of money!  Unlike the previous post, the best screenshot I ever used was Snagit 8 for windows, and not any of the Mac based versions. Would I reccomend Snagit to anyone? Hell no!
(Edited)
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Tony Coty

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UPDATE:

The 2019 version of the marquee tool doesn't seem to work on my Mac. Instead of a square that can be sized vertically or horizontally, it is very odd shaped and not controllable. 

Tech Smith, PLEASE. fix these bugs!!! I didn't spend my money to have to constantly bring to your attention all the bugs I find in my new program. That job is your development department's quality control area. Check your final product on Mac and Windows before you rush to sell it and worry more about profit than customer convenience! 

UPDATE YOUR LATEST VERSION WITH BUG FIXES!!!
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Luke Griffioen, Employee

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Hi Barry,

We want everyone who uses Snagit to have a great experience and it definitely sounds like that’s not the case for you. I’ll do my best to address each of your concerns:

Crop tool - what about it is different from other crop tools? Ours works similar to the one inside iOS photos.

Snagproj - If we use PNGs, then the files wouldn’t be editable later on, this format allows you to go back and re-edit something. Once it’s converted to a PNG, all the annotations become burned in.

Folders in the Library - This has been requested a few times, so it’s on our radar

Tagging being slow - Yes, we’re seeing this too as of macOS Mojave. We’re working on a fix

Text boxes resizing - The text boxes auto-expand when text is added, but sometimes it overdoes it. We’ll look into improving that. As for the canvas expanding, in Snagit 2018 and 2019 you can turn off “Automatically expand canvas...” in Snagit’s advanced prefs




I hope this was helpful, and I’ll make sure to let you know when some of these issues have been addressed.
(Edited)
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Tony Coty

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Great Idea Rick!!   Especially with new versions!
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barry.hemphill

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Hi Luke,

Thanks for taking the time to respond. I appreciate the response on the resizing - I've now disabled it - but in truth it wouldn't have been nearly as awful if Snagit didn't pause on the spinny ball of uselessness every time I do anything - literally anything - and often lag behind so far that I try to resize a selection and instead end up moving the Snagit application window (?!?!). I'll address your other points in a moment but first...

Unfortunately, my SnagIt experience has gone from "this is the worst software I've ever used" to "this software is destroying my computer". When I wrote my last comment I was still on Macos High Sierra, but at our corporate IT's recommendation I upgraded to Mojave. Now, simply launching SnagIt literally makes the laptop (2017 Macbook Pro, core i7, 16GB) stop responding for several minutes before I can even get in to the Force Quit. Besides wasting a couple of hours of my time today, this happened while I was on a WebEx with customers - twice (the second time I clicked the SnagIt icon by accident).

This isn't just bad performance. This is absurd. Nothing is this slow. Is anyone working on this? It literally locked the computer up so much that I couldn't get Mac's own screenshot tool to take a screenshot to document it.

I'm on Version 2018.2.5 (90458). I see there is a Snagit 2019 available - all I have to do is pay another $32.53 CAD. For what would probably be 4 of the top 5 most infuriating applications I've ever used on its own. But I'm stuck - all of the other Mac screen capture applications seem pretty terrible (why is that?), and my daily workflow involves taking a lot of screenshots with a hotkey (used to be 1 key, now it's 3, because Mac is easier). I'm genuinely stuck until I can finally get off Mac and back onto a more capable OS.

So, your other points:
Crop tool - what about it is different from other crop tools? Ours works similar to the one inside iOS photos.
- I've never used iOS photos - that seems like a bizarre comparison to make for a desktop tool. I've used Photoshop a dozen or more windows image editors. In every other tool you select part of the image and then crop. Snagit for some reason separates selection and cropping. I did realize (after a long time) that you can click the crop tool and then simply draw a box like with the select tool (this was non obvious). This is a huge help, since grabbing and dragging the edges is more difficult and much less intuitive than simply drawing a box around what you want to crop. But seriously - if someone has part of an image selected and they click crop, in every other tool I've ever seen, it crops to the selection.

Snagproj - If we use PNGs, then the files wouldn’t be editable later on, this format allows you to go back and re-edit something. Once it’s converted to a PNG, all the annotations become burned in.
- Due respect, I'm 99% sure this is BS. If you're talking about separately saving the annotations across saves, fine, offer to save in a proprietary format to retain the ability to edit/move annotations for the 1% of the time someone wants to do that. Or save the annotation information in a separate file, and don't update the PNG until someone commits the change. But your Snagproj files *literally* are PNGs (thank you, hex editor). The only half way sensible explanation for using a proprietary format is lock in. Yes, I can export the PNGs (as I do now, when Snagit isn't locked up), but the workflow would basically be take a bunch of screenshots, select and manually export them, then re-open or import the ones I want to edit. It's just clunky as hell. And I realize what I'm suggesting is completely different from how Snagit works.

Tagging being slow - Yes, we’re seeing this too as of macOS Mojave. We’re working on a fix
- Until yesterday I was not on Mojave. Tagging took 7-12 seconds (I timed it) *before* Mojave. I'm kind of afraid to try tagging now - if it's slower on Mojave I might not be able to use my computer for an hour.

Text boxes resizing - The text boxes auto-expand when text is added, but sometimes it overdoes it. We’ll look into improving that. As for the canvas expanding, in Snagit 2018 and 2019 you can turn off “Automatically expand canvas...” in Snagit’s advanced prefs
- Thanks for this - I disabled Automatically expand canvas. If I ever get Snagit working to the point where I can add text, I assume this will help.
Incidentally, I realized why it was always expanding the text box so much larger than the box I was drawing. Somehow the font was set to "Apple Chancery" with font size 136?? Since I've never heard of Apple Chancery (I stick with Arial) and I usually annotate between 12-24pt font I have no idea how it got to 136, but I wouldn't be surprised if it involved me trying to simply move the damn window around while it lagged and somehow clicking in the font chooser and size (or I have a gremlin).

I thought I'd throw this image (taken with my phone - wasn't possible to do it on the computer). Have you ever seen something consuming 1453% of CPU? Do I win something?

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barry.hemphill

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Another update. I wasted about 2 1/2 hours yesterday and manually exported every single image in Snagit to organized folders in my drive and then removing them from Snagit. Snagit, now with zero images in it's Library, does now seem faster, so I guess my future involves manually exporting the images every day (or every session). Not ideal, but at least it doesn't lock up my computer while I'm doing a WebEx for customers.

I think now I'll end up using the oddly misnamed "icon" view in Finder (actually Path Finder), and while I guess I can select something and open it in SnagIt, I may just use Preview. The crop functionality works like a normal crop tool - if you were looking for an example of how cropping normally works, open an image in Preview, select something and choose Crop from the Tools menu. Make Snagit like that.

I guess where this leaves me is not using Snagit to review/organize images (it just becomes too slow), and likely not using Snagit to crop and annotate images (still undecided - Preview has it's own issues).

It looks like I'll still have to use Snagit to actually take the screenshots - Mac's built in screenshot seems to require some pretty complex finger gymnastics, especially if I just want to repeat the last screenshot over and over again (which I do 99% of the time). Oh for the days when I had "repeat last screenshot" bound to a function key...
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Luke Griffioen, Employee

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Do you happen to remember how many images you had in your Library before exporting them? I have around 2,000 and it takes 1-2 seconds for the library to load, so either you have an impressive number or there's something else going on here.
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barry.hemphill

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Luke, I had about 4500 images in the Library, but Snagit was very slow long before I got to that level. Also, you mention 1-2 seconds for the library to load - that's not one of the things I mentioned as being slow, unless you're referring to opening the main Snagit application after taking several screenshots with it closed.

I took 64 screenshots yesterday over 2 sessions without opening the Snagit UI. Just now I opened Snagit and watched it grind away at reading/scanning those screenshots - 41 seconds (if I hadn't used a stopwatch I'd have sworn it was several minutes - an app taking 41 seconds to open seems much slower). So a little bit more than 1-2 seconds.

Anyway, I just try to avoid Snagit as much as possible, and if I could figure out a way to use the Mac's built in screenshot tool to quickly repeat a screenshot I'd just uninstall it. Great value for the money.
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SactoBob

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Food for thought.......

Reading through the messages, it appears to me that both Tony and Barry are in "at work" situations wherein there is an IT guy or IT department controlling the overall operation of your Macs and how they are configured, etc... In my working days, I was that IT guy (actually manager of a couple crews doing desktop support) for hundreds of PCs and Macs. 

It is possible that something in the configuration or some application that the IT people have made standard to all like installs may be the culprit in this situation. Believe me... been there and done that with both software and hardware. I had multiple configs on both platforms. My first test in troubleshooting would have been to install Snagit on a different config to see if it misbehaved; if not, it has thus been narrowed down to being related to one config. See where I'm headed here?

Another problem could be some conflict with Pathfinder; I'm a long time user of Pathfinder but I always quit it soon as I've used it which I started doing because SnapZ Pro misbehaved if Pathfinder was running. (SnapZ used to be the Cadillac screenshot app before Snagit came to the Mac.)

Another thought: There's lots of talk about the Snagit library and spinning wheels. This could be a corrupted index which is causing the library to re-index each time that there is a new event. I could be blowing smoke as I don't know exactly how Snagit's library is implemented. But I've seen this happen in other apps that index in real time.
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barry.hemphill

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Thanks SactoBob, you're right that I'm in an at work situation, but I do have full control over my system (other than not being able to make it not-Mac). You make a lot of good points, but I think I've eliminated most or all of them already.

I've done a clean removal/reinstallation of SnagIt 7 or 8 times (meaning I manually removed ~/Library/Application Support/TechSmith). I considered doing it again, and probably will, but I'm pretty tired of doing unpaid troubleshooting for Techsmith.

The conflict with Path Finder is possible - Path Finder is kind of a mess itself - but I've seen more or less the same performance issues at times when I had Path Finder uninstalled due to its own bugs. I can't rule it out though - I haven't done careful A-B testing with/without Path Finder, partially do to the whole "unpaid troubleshooting" thing. Incidentally, this does seem to be a theme - I'm assuming there is some Mac software that isn't crap, but I really haven't found any yet.

I've also wondered about a corrupted index, or simply an index that's too large. I can't find anywhere in SnagIt that lets me compress, rebuild, or simply empty the index, but I did remove every single image from SnagIt and, as of this morning, the performance (with now 7 screenshots) is just mind bogglingly slow.
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barry.hemphill

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Performance Update: Yup, it still sucks.
I took a handful of screenshots this morning without opening the SnagIt GUI (SnagIt was almost empty as of last night), so when the SnagIt GUI finally responded there are 24 images total.
When I launched SnagIt, it went into it's process of scanning screenshots and using 100% of CPU, but it does this in such an intrusive way that when I decided to click in Evernote to continue working while I waited for SnagIt to launch, it responded by *moving* the as-yet-unresponsive SnagIt window half way onto the other screen (I'm on dual monitors). In effect, it was like I'd clicked on the top of the Snagit GUI and dragged it over to the point where I clicked in the middle of the other monitor, leaving the Snagit window spanning both screens. Still unresponsive for another minute of course, but now I couldn't click in another window to do something else.

So yeah, still the champ: the single worst application I've ever used. It's kind of amazing in a way.
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Robert R., Online Community Admin

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Hi barry.hemphill;

I'd like to thank you for the detailed updates about the steps you've taken to remedy the issues you're running into. The experience you're having is most certainly not what was intended. 
I am curious to know whether you opened a support ticket as previously mentioned? Our Support agents will be, ultimately, those best suited for issues like this. 
I'm also curious to know more about the machine; I know it's a 2017 MacBook Pro w/ the i7 and 16GB of RAM, but I am most curious about any peripherals that you might have connected to the machine. Are you running any external monitors (if so, how many), wireless / bluetooth audio devices (AirPods, microphones, etc.), have any active backup solutions or syncing services (Carbonite, OneDrive, Google Drive, Box, SpiderOak, etc.) that are accessing the location you have your captures going to, have redirected the captures to be stored in a network drive, external hard drive/flash drive, and/or a cloud-synced folder, or if you are running a preview build of MacOS Mojave (i.e. non-release client)? Additionally, as a test, have you tried running Snagit 2019 to see if the performance is improved with the newer release of Snagit?
Thanks and hope to hear back soon;
-Robert
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barry.hemphill

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Hi Robert,

I sometimes run with 2 external monitors, apple keyboard and Logitech mouse, sometimes just with the standalone laptop (nothing connected). I haven't noticed any performance difference between the two setups. My capture directory is local in  ~/Documents/Snagit/Autosaved Captures and is not synced to any backup/syncing solutions, external drives, etc. I upgraded to MacOS Mojave recently (not a preview), and while the performance did get even worse, I was using High Sierra when I initially started this thread.

I have considered trying Snagit 2019, but unless it's something magically transformational there's no way I'm throwing away more money on this software. Between the initial $70 for Snagit 13 and another $30 for 2018 (hoping to improve performance) I'm already out $100 for a frickin screen capture tool. And it isn't even a good one. It's another $32.50 to upgrade to 2019 - have you heard anything about massive architectural changes between 2018 and 2019?

I didn't open a ticket on this. I opened 3 tickets in a short period about 3 months ago, one of which was about several performance issues and high CPU and memory utilization. The response I got back started "To be completely honest, I do not think the things you have outlined are things we are going to be able to change right now." The response then addressed one issue (the long delay scanning captures when opening Snagit) by saying "this is not something that can be changed now" and asked a question about how much memory was in use, and simply didn't address the rest of my ticket. The ticket was then closed resolved.

I opened two other tickets around the same month - one about a bug with thumbnails not updating (acknowledged the problem, closed the ticket as resolved) and a feature request about adding a hotkey to move to the next/previous capture - the initial response was a template "thanks for contacting us, I'll pass this along", and when I followed up to confirm if that meant the feature wasn't possible, the response was "no, not possible". Both tickets were closed as resolved.

To be clear: none of the issues for the three tickets were resolved before closing the tickets, although the thumbnail bug was fixed in a later release.

So no, I didn't open a ticket. I've worked both sides of support tickets. I get that the support people often are just a conduit between the customer and developers, but it was abundantly clear that I was putting far, far more effort into resolving the problems than Techsmith was. 
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akarmach

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TechSmith.. Please.. Don't pretend like you don't know that Snag IT versions after 8 perform AWFULLY. SnagIt 2019 (and 2018 before it) is far and away the slowest,  clunky-ist app on my Windows and Mac machines. HORRIBLE user experience. Slow, freezes, clicks don't focus as you'd expect- too many issues to list here. I can't believe you guys RUINED this app. You guys need to get it together, for real.
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barry.hemphill

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Akarmach, you hit the nail on the head. At no point in any of the many threads on the appallingly awful performance of Snagit does anyone actually acknowledge that yes, there is a serious performance issue.
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Luke Griffioen, Employee

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Hi,

We've made some performance improvements for the Mac side in 2019.1.1 (now available), taking captures and opening the Library should be much faster than previously.
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akarmach

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Is there an ETA for when the Windows version will be fixed/improved?
(Edited)
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barry.hemphill

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Hi Luke,

I totally agree that taking captures and opening the library should be much faster. Unfortunately, it isn't. (insert sad trombone sound)

Over the last few months I've removed and reinstalled Snagit 2018 3 times. The second and third times I tried to do a complete uninstall by removing everything related to Snagit under /Library and ~/Library that I could find. Each time, the performance seemed slightly better at first, but quickly went to crap again.

So, in desperation, I did a really complete uninstallation of Snagit 2018 with AppCleaner (easier than doing it manually), then installed Snagit 2019. I do think it's a tiny bit faster. Which is to say it's still ridiculously slow, just not quite as slow as 2018. Virtually everything I do - cmd-1 to switch to the library or the editor view (why is that a toggle? who designed that?), about 85% of the time I'll get the spinny ball of Macsucks for 2-5 seconds. Cropping is still a rage inducing exercise - after selecting the crop tool, I can now drag to select. Maybe. Except sometimes no. Sort of. Plus lots of spinny balls. It makes no sense at all - I get it to work first try about 25% of the time. The other 75% of the time I end up dragging the image or something else I didn't want to do.

Opening the main Snagit application after taking a bunch (say 10-50) of captures with it closed involves the CPU spiking to 100% and staying there for anywhere from 20 seconds to a couple of minutes while Snagit scans the images. But guys - how is it possible that it takes a whole minute to scan 25 PNG files? Is the scanning module written in shell script? Prolog? Lisp?

I've timed it - Snagit takes 2-3 seconds *per capture* to scan. On a 2017 Macbook Pro with 16 GB RAM, 1TB NVMe SSD and nothing else on the system taking up any CPU cycles. So - better than 2018? Seems like it, although I only have ~75 images in the library right now, so we'll see how much it slows down. But is it actually fast? Not even close.
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Luke Griffioen, Employee

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Hi Barry,

Sorry your experience has been so rough. We are working towards better performance, but what you're seeing seems a bit worse than what we're seeing. Are you taking large captures? Does this happen with small captures?
What version are you running? Your post mentions Snagit 2018, our library / capture performance fix for 2018 isn't out yet.
As for the scans, we're not scanning the images, we're converting them from what the capture helper generates into what the editor uses. We'd like to streamline this process so that this conversion is no longer necessary.