SnagIt 12 color scheme is so dark - can it be changed?

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The color scheme change selector seems to have disappeared from Editor Options > General and I can't find it anywhere. Is it hiding or gone?
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westiechick

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Posted 5 years ago

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Manny Carvalho, Champion

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Unfortunately, that option is gone.
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scapps7

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This is an unfortunate design decision by TechSmith.  It is very helpful when editing your screenshot to have the background color similar to the destination document.  

I find it difficult to understand why Techsmith would go to the extra effort of removing this very useful feature.  What were they thinking and who were they trying to please when they thought "I know what we can do - let's remove the option of changing the editor's background color, and make it so dark it is almost black.  I know that it is extra work for us to remove this long standing option we have had in the past , but let's do it anyway!"

There is good news, however.  I was able to download the previous version of Snagit using this URL, and it has the option to change the color scheme.

http://www.techsmith.com/download/oldversions.asp
(Edited)
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Pat & Lorna

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We also find the dark black/grey very hard on our eyes. That was the first thing I was going to change, but I guess I can't do it at the moment. It would be nice to have the option again. Thanks for listening.
~ P & L
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kyle

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I totally agree.  After about 20 minutes of using Snagit 12, I had to remove it and install 11 because my eyes were hurting.  This dark color scheme is horrible.  Are there any other major software packages using a dark background like this?  I haven't found any other apps on my PC using this kind of color scheme. 
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Rick Stone

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Some of the Adobe applications are (and were) that way. For example, version 5 of Captivate adopted a horrible scheme that was fairly bad but not nearly as dark. After outcry Adobe has since learned their lesson and adopted a fairly "back to normal" color scheme for Captivate.

Cheers... Rick :)
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Alex

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I'm getting ready to remove this "Darth Vader" black theme.

- Difficult to see contrast between buttons, you have to strain. I feel sorry for those having to work with this for an extended period of time.

- Bloatware that takes twice as long to launch and show a capture.

- I wish I had seen a screenshot of this tool before agreeing to upgrade. Good trap TechSmith.
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pgssync

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If Zooming the editor on Snag12 no longer brings your computer to a crawl, then you can thank them for this decision.
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Andy, Senior User Experience Designer

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Hey all, the reason that we did this was part of a larger focus of the release - to put a focus on the content not on the UI.  The idea is that a dark UI makes colors and lighter images (most screen captures) stand out, a lot of other image editing applications have gone this route as well.  We also wanted to put more focus on your content by removing a lot of the attention grabbing gradients, highlights and shadows on the icons and UI.  By refreshing our UI we had to recreate over 300 icons and graphics at multiple sizes - to include different themes we would have to do all of that work over again which would take a very large amount of time.  We decided to put our focus on other features and improvements as opposed to keeping themes around.  

Kind regards,
Andy
User Experience Designer - Snagit 
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westiechick

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Not the best decision, I have to say. Some of those "other image editing applications", like Adobe CC and MadCap, have invested the time to include multiple UI themes, recognising that one size doesn't fit all. Of specific concern is the ribbon - the contrast between many of the tools and their options is very low. For instance, the Shape tools. If I hadn't been using v11, I wouldn't have known there was a preset shadow rectangle, because you can't see the shadow (unless you squint real hard). And the black rectangle on charcoal? Oh dear. Not to mention the defaults on Outline, Fill and Effects - you just can't see anything.

It's all workable and useable if you know what's there, but that's the point - if you know. If you don't, it makes things difficult. Not impossible, just difficult. The adherence to modern UX design is great, but it's gone a bit overboard by taking so much visual emphasis off the tools, and we need savvy tools to make our content look great.

Never having used SnagIt before (I downloaded a trial of v11 and v12 came out the next day), I find it a very useful product which slots nicely into my workflow, but the dark UI theme is tough enough on the eyes to make me reconsider purchasing it, which is a shame. I'll have to do a bit of comparison between it and my capture current tools. Maybe in v13 the SnagIt team will have rethought this decision and reinstated multiple UI themes...?
(Edited)
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Manny Carvalho, Champion

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You're right Andy this does put more of a focus on the capture.  Unfortunately, it makes the interface harder to use because it's just harder to see the buttons.  So what good is putting more focus on the capture if it makes it harder to modify.  After all that is the point of the editor - to modify a capture and not to make it stand out from the UI.  I got a headache ten minutes into the first time I used it.  Personally, it'll be difficult for me to upgrade to this interface for routine use due to the lack of focus on the interface and the inability to easily see it.
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Denise

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Love Snagit and just upgraded to 12. The color scheme (theme?) is horrendous and really hard on the eyes. Would love the ability to change that. Gray options / text on black is one of the hardest schemes for humans to interpret. I am surprised TechSmith wasn't aware of that. Of course I'll continue using it -- but I'm disappointed.
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Byron Roye

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First I am surprised that this feature function/function not included in your new release.  Snagit is one of only two pieces of software I upgrade sight unseen because your company has just been spot on in adding new features that make my life and job easier.  I do admire the way your management did not sandbag this fault.  I hope you add the color background change as soon as you can. The current color scheme is just too hard on my eyes and it's very hard to discern the tool icons and menus. Thanks.
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russell.a.walker

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The new interface is a big step backward.  I just installed 12 and may go back to 11 until this gets fixed.  The idea of focusing efforts on content doesn't make sense.  
Why not leave the interface alone - no change!  How much time would have been taken to leave the interface alone?  The UI "is the software".  If the UI is bad, the software is bad.
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Stephen

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I pretty much agree with every response on this thread, so I won't go on repeating.  I suspect someone sold management on the new human centered design approach.  I've have seen this exact same redesign approach in other software, and I've seen the exact same backlash.  Developer will rationalize the new decision, and waste more time actually defending the new design than what it would take to fix the feature.  It's an ego thing.

Ultimately what happens is the developer adds back "almost" original interface design elements.  It will probably be a blend of the two.  It's enough to satisfy most of the end users and end the revolt.

Product manager is seen as a hero and gets a raise.  

Rinse.  Repeat.  Circle of life.
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Rick Stone

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LOL, and in the end, isn't that all that really mattered anyway? Making the Product Manager a hero and giving them a raise? ;)
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kyle

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Snagit is a content creation application, not a content consumption application.  I don't see the logic in making a captured image stand out since the entire reason I'm in the application in the first place is to use the tools in Snagit to edit the image.

I appreciate that you put a bunch of work into 300 or so icons, but, frankly, they look awful and aren't very clear as to what they do.  You really can't put Snagit's new UI next to any Adobe CC product and compare the two.  One is clear and concise, the other is dark and hard to use. 
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Susan

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 Sorry but this UI edition is a major FAIL.

You might have had your intellectual reasons for it, but it is bomb.

It is horrible - the color, the icons, they layout, the ENTIRE THING is just awful and hard to use. 

I used to love using SnagIt and now I hate it. 

I think maybe the User Experience Design team was Book Smart but People Dumb.


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Tom

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Sticking with SnagIt Version 9 - bought version 12 and it stinks - Product manager is seen as a hero and gets a raise > should be demoted or sent to Microsoft or Apple where thinking for everyone on the planet is a culture... 

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Rick Stone

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Tom, I have to say that I hated version 12 with a purple passion when it was first released. It literally made my head hurt to use it because of the dark UI. I'm not sure why because I use other fairly dark UIs with no issue.

But before you throw the baby out with the bath water the TechSmith folks did listen to us and made some changes allowing the UI to be changed. And I'm a much happier camper because of it.

I use SnagIt like 100 times a day. Don't know how I'd get along so well without it myself.

Cheers... Rick :)
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PeterG

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I am sorry but I have to say it is a complete failure. No problem with increasing the focus on the image being worked on but we need the interface to have some degree of visibility.

Is it really necessary to point out that the User Interface is how I as a User have to Interface when working on images? I cannot believe anyone would think reducing the usability of the UI to this level would help me. I know other image apps have gone this route but perhaps not to this level and two wrongs don't make a right.

Going to one colour scheme might have been acceptable if there were more contrast but clearly all these protests on Day 2 mean your users are not happy. For many of us our images have to be seen against backgrounds other than black so that too does not help.

As there is no hint of a rethink, it seems the solution is to roll back to the previous version and not renew our maintenance licences.
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cj

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Apparently the people at TechSmith are too young to remember dumb terminals that were bright letters on dark background or remember why everyone LOVED the Apple MacIntosh because it had dark characters on a bright background LIKE PAPER.  If you are designing a UI then perhaps you should read some book on basic ergonomics where you will find that white / light characters on a background are the WORST and black / dark characters on a white background are the BEST.  White characters on a black background always tend to look "fuzzy" and it creates eye strain because your eyes see it as fuzzy and are trying to refocus.  Very bad.   I have some other comments regarding Version 12 but I will post them separately.   
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Jason Eagleston, Employee

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Good Evening, 

Thank you all for the feedback and passion you continually show for Snagit.

As Andy Grimm mentioned, we decided to focus our efforts on other added value versus maintaining multiple themes for the Snagit Editor interface, however...

We completely agree that not all captures will stand out in the same way on the dark background. Also, having a view of how your content will look based on its destination document color is a great idea and enhancement. 

We will be making this improvement and adding the ability to change the color of the canvas background area in the Snagit Editor. 



The team will be working on implementing this capability in short order. Please continue sharing your feedback, we value your thoughts and look forward to improving this piece of Snagit.

Thank you, 

Jason Eagleston


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Manny Carvalho, Champion

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Thank you Jason.  You made me a happy camper!
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cj

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Jason you still do not get it.  From my standpoint the problem is NOT the canvas area.  It would be nice to be able to change the canvas area depending on the types of images a user normally captures.  The REAL problem is the Title Area, Menu Bar, and Ribbon.  White letters on a black background is the LEAST visible combination.  White characters on a black background look fuzzy whereas black characters on a white background look crisp.  Read a book on ergonomics or just TRY it using MS Word or MS Excel.   White characters on a black background look fuzzy and this leads to eye strain because your eyes are trying to get the fuzzy image to focus.   Please change this. 
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Rick Stone

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I would agree. Sure, the canvas area is *PART* of the issue, but it's the other elements too. as cj stated.
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Jason Eagleston, Employee

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Rick & cj: I agree that the change we're planning does not involve allowing the entire application to be customized, and our design team does take care when deciding the colors and contrasts being implemented in TechSmith products. We also strive to have glyphs, icons and graphics as the predominant way to represent features in Snagit and greatly limit the number of characters on the screen.

With that said, the contrast between the background and the light gray text/icons was selected by our user experience team to have a readable contrast that wouldn't cause eye strain, light and dark gray, versus stark black and white. 

The decision to have a single theme was made to help TechSmith deliver value to customers with higher frequency. We do not have plans to allow customizable themes in Snagit. 

Finally, I know it sounds cliche ́, but take a few more days with the new Snagit 12, and maybe switch back to version 11 and compare the two. We do understand that not every upgrade will be right for everyone, but we do think Snagit 12 brings a modern, fun and easy to use experience.
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Rick Stone

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Thanks Jason

I all too well know it's always the sizzle that sells the steak. And at the moment, TechSmith thinks the dark UI is all the rage. ;)

As I said in another post, if nothing changes, so be it. I'll still be using SnagIt because it's the best tool out there. I'll just have to learn to adapt to the new UI.

But I will also be hoping the same advice will hold true for TechSmith. (and past experience seems that it will)

That you will be keeping a keen eye and ear to the feedback you get here. I know that with the Adobe products I use a similar thing happened a few versions back. And after about three versions of the very dark UI, products began changing back to more colors and an overall lighter interface. And some products actually allow selecting the user preference of the UI color scheme as SnagIt once did.

Live and learn is always a two way street, no?

Thanks again... Rick :)
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cj

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I don't need to be able to "customize" all the colors like you can with Windows "Themes" but I DO need to be able to read the menu items clearly.  White letters on a Black background is the worst.  Anybody who develops UI should be required to take a course on ergonomics.  I won't even get into designing screens for people with disabilities like color blindness (you should always have multiple cues - not just color). Tell you what ... get your Active Directory Administrator to create a Windows Theme that mimics what was done with SnagIt 12 and then push it out to all your Windows 7 PCs via a Group Policy that even users with Admin rights on their machines cannot override and see what kind of a reaction you get from your fellow employees. 

I think I have wasted enough of my time posting feedback on this site.  It is clear that I am not alone in my opinions but the responses that I am seeing from TechSmith are basically leading me to believe that they are not going to make changes so to provide further feedback would be a waste of time. 

At the moment I am I am re-installing SnagIt 9 minus the Add-Ins and Accessories for MS Office since I am now on Office 2013 and I doubt SnagIt 9 will work with Office 2013. 

Oh here is something interesting.  After re-installing SnagIt 9 from CD and then running Check for Upgrade manually instead of updating me from 9.0.0 to 9.1.3 it just tells me that I can purchase an upgrade to 12.  Nice.  Maybe my fault - perhaps Upgrade means only major version and not minor version. 

I configured Tools > Program Preferences > Update Options so that Days between check: = 1 so I guess I will have to wait until tomorrow. 

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Ellie

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I was just going to upgrade ... but just seeing the image of the interface I know I am not going to want to play with that!

White on black is the worst for your eyes -- it's OK here and there ... and can make things stand out in small areas ... But as an interface??!

And while I see Snagit is willing to change the background I'm hoping Snagit changes it's mind about the toolbar area, Menu Bar, Ribbon ... etc ...

I was all ready to upgrade ... but now I will wait and see if these changes are made!


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SteveG

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I got in on this conversation the other day because of the color scheme. I now find out that I can no longer capture to a text file. Way to GO, Snaggers. You sure you're not a branch of Microsoft? I cannot get a refund on Snagit 12 as I installed it under a maintenance agreement, but that's OK, as they helped me revert back to version 11.4.3 (a GOOD version). One thing's for sure, I will NOT NOTNOTNOTNOT be buying new versions of this once-was-a-good-application-until-they-screwed-it-up until I see that they've come to their senses.
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SteveH

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This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled
Version 12 of SnagIt is too dark.


I just upgraded from version 11 to version 12 and I hate the dark color scheme.  Please fix it so I don't have to go back to version 11.
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gpeck

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This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled
Snagit 12 - Color Scheme.


Since the color scheme option has been removed, I will not continue with the upgrade, nor recommend the upgrade to my co-workers. If this isn't corrected before our next support agreement renewal, I will not renew the license agreement either. 
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PeterG

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@Jason

Can you please clarify, is it only the canvas area that is going to change? That is one of my issues with Version 12 but the menus as well are too difficult to work with.

Please tell me they will be changed too. SnagIt has gone from being one of those apps that I eulogise about to one where I would have to give a warning.

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Mike Fourie

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When can we expect a fix to opt out of the dark theme? Soon or should we just go back to 11? I find 12 almost unusable.
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Kristina Creel

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This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled
Snagit 12 black platform background is TERRIBLE!.


Black SnagIt 12 Editor background is difficult to use/see/navigate.  Please provide options for changing it!  Terrible

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PeterG

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"With that said, the contrast between the background and the light gray text/icons was selected by our user experience team to have a readable contrast that wouldn't cause eye strain, light and dark gray, versus stark black and white...

...we do think Snagit 12 brings a modern, fun and easy to use experience.

@Jason

I think this thread alone should be telling you that your customers do not agree with the first paragraph and I am not sure how you can seriously say you think it is an "easy to use experience".

At least you have made it clear you don't intend to do anything more than change the canvas. We have had a maintenance contract even though 11 did all we want but until I learn that the menus have been given just one higher contrast option, we will not be renewing.

I feel so sad as I have raved about SnagIt in the past. I cannot any more as no matter how good the functionality, it has to be usable. This is unnecessarily hard work.
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Rick Stone

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For the record, even though TechSmith presently seems firmly opposed to allowing an overall UI color scheme choice, I'm reminded of a similar situation that occurred in 1985. ;)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Coke

Cheers... Rick :)

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cj

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A better example would be Windows 8.1 and the Start Menu  ;-)

Basically people will need to vote with their wallets.

TechSmith will need to learn they way that Microsoft learned with Windows 8 and Coca-Cola learned with New Coke.  

After re-installing SnagIt 9 it would not automatically update from 9.0.0 but I finally found where to download 9.1.3 so I think I am good to go.  

Not only will I not be upgrading my personal machine but I cannot recommend upgrading the multi-user license at our company.  I was the one who convinced them to purchase a multi-user license for SnagIt.  Any new users will probably get stuck with the Windows 7 Snipping Tool poor souls.  Oh well. 

Quote from TechSmith above (italics added for emphasis):  "The decision to have a single theme was made to help TechSmith deliver value to customers with higher frequency. We do not have plans to allow customizable themes in Snagit. "

The key is to deliver VALUE.  That means a UI that is easy to read / use not something that some marketing group thought looked "new" and "fresh".

Talk to a few IT managers and see how they feel about a higher frequency of updates. 

(Edited)
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wdhoward

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It's like the new version of Coke. "Trust us, we know better. Just give it a little time and you'll like the black version better." OK, what version of Coke is being sold today?" Classic! Please listen to your customers and bring back the old color scheme. I haven't seen something this gaudy since Hot Dog Stand! If you want to make the new color scheme an option, fine. But I doubt many will use it.
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wdhoward

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By the way, it's not just the color scheme that's keeping me away from 12. I don't like how all of the capture type options are removed from the rt-click menu of the system tray icon.
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wdhoward

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One more point. Perhaps this will sound fussy but I like to match the color of applications like Snagit and Mind Manager to match that of Office so it feels like a collective set of applications. Office 2013 went very light. This makes Snagit going very dark feel even more foreign. When I installed Snagit 11 that's the first thing I did was switch to silver so it match more closely my version of Office.

Wayne 
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enhall

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Does the old addage "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" apply here?  Stop tinkering with the things that work and if you insist of plumping the revenue thru new releases, do some stuff that will make our jobs easier.
Changing the UI was a dumb decision.
I downgraded from v12 and got my refund and it will be a long time before I pay for another Snagit release. 
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wdhoward

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In case you don't recall, Hot Dog Stand was a color scheme in Windows 3.1. One question, can I still buy Version 11 upgrade. I would like to upgrade my wife's copy. I'm using 11 and like it much better than 12 in many regards.
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Galen

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This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled
Snagit editor 12 - How to change the horrible black interface?.


The editor interface background is black and really hard for me to read.  How can this be changed?  Thanks
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PeterG

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It can't be changed. That is what this thread is all about.
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chasity.carmichael

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I have been a faithful customer since day 1; I just installed SnagIt editor 12 and I will be deleting it and asking for my money back the dark color scheme is unusable and worst idea ever!



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Tom

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Geeez I'm happier with version 9 than 12...  Can I get my money back?
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Kelly Mullins, TechSmith Employee & Helper

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Hi Tom,
I'm sorry Snagit 12 is not to your liking.
Please contact our Customer Support team to see what options you have for a refund:

Phone: +1.517.381.2300
Toll Free: 800.517.3001 (US & Canada only)

Kelly
User Assistance
TechSmith
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ValerieM

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I think I'll ask for my money back too. I don't really need the new features. I was totally happy with Snagit 11 and my eyes will thank me if I go back to those colours.
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Julian Wigman

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I must say the new UI is a step backwards in my opinion.  The UI is too dark and it seems the trend to copy Microsoft with the flat "kindergarten graphics" is unnecessary IMHO.

I'd like to see the option of keeping the "Classic" interface!

Take something that works and break it;  well done Techsmith!

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btwomey75

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The all black background/theme is *terrible*.   First stumble by TechSmith in Snagit in all the years I've used the tool.   The danger whenever engineers and architects think it's an improvement to remove user configuration options is they *will* get it wrong.  Fixing this belongs at the top of the Snagit Version 12 bug list.

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Stephen

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The new black color scheme is not acceptable to my users.  It is the only application that uses a custom color schemes instead of the standard window controls.

There are several good sites and standards on "human centered design."  I have been involved in some of these projects.  I've also seen projects ultimately fail because they bring in so-called design experts that will claim studies such as "easier on eyes, etc."  Yes, these can be inputs to the process, but be careful of falling into the "we know better than you" trap.  Just look at Windows 8 and the "start" button.
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james.hutchinson

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I agree with the rest of the comments, I am disappointed in the black/grey colors and won’t be recommending the new Snag it to anyone in our company. I’m also concerned with your comments trying to diminish our concerns. It I don’t get the ability to change the background color soon, I will be uninstalling it and start looking for alternate software.

James

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Imar Spaanjaars

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I agree with most of the comments made here and don't like the use of the dark colors. It's not just a matter of aesthetics, but very much about usability. When working on Snagit 12 for a minute or so and then switching back to a "normal" application or vice versa, my eyes need at least 10 seconds to adjust. This literally starts to hurt my eyes and head after doing this a number of times during a working day. Uninstalling now, and hoping to reinstall soon when this has been fixed.

Imar
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Rick Stone

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Welcome to the headache hangout! (Same thing is happening to me)
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Imar Spaanjaars

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I guess we're getting old.... ;-)
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Julian Wigman

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I agree that things aren't always "black and white" when it comes to the real world but someone forgot to tell the SnagIt UI designers this.  My eyes were designed for colour so why insist that icons, menus and backgrounds are "dumbed-down" to either black or white. The only two bits of colour I can see it the SnagIt icon and the big red button!  Why aren't these in black or white as well to be consistent! :0)

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btwomey75

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@Jason Eagleston - while SnagIt fans try to get their heads around the terrible palette you made for us in SnagIt version 12's editor maybe you can toss us a bone of hope with a target date for the palette fixes and choices you outlined in your post.   Unfortunately, I paid to 'downgrade' my perfectly fine Version 11.2.1 in my mistimed zeal to get all the new 'features' :-(    A firm commitment to fix this and giving the community a firm date might tamp down future 'upgrade-shyness' that could impact any future SnagIt product upgrade revenue projections.....
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paul.phillips

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Just installed SnagIt 12 ... what were they thinking with that colour scheme. First time since SnagIt 6 that I'm considering reverting back to a previous version.
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lou

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Black background is too hard on my eyes for any length of time. I can see I'll be reverting back to Snagit11. I expected better from the development team.
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AwanaITTrainer

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Gosh - you guys have always been so user friendly.  But now to even get a hold of someone at your organization is nearly impossible.  And your answer for us to just go back to the old version is really not a good one.  When did you start being so customer unfriendly?  What caused it?  I can't live without SnagIt so I'll go on using it because I have to but I think if another solution came along that was equally as good for the same price, I'd seriously consider switching just because of some of your replies to this question and others.  Sorry gang - I hope you go back to your former, friendly selves.
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Rick Stone

  • 5379 Posts
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Personally I'm hoping against hope that TechSmith will relent and realize the mistake and we will see an improvement and things will work out for the best for all involved.

But I too will be looking elsewhere in the event things don't change. While it doesn't seem to offer all the features we are accustomed to, this one seems interesting: http://www.ntwind.com/software/winsnap.html and Bits DuJour will be offering it at half price soon.

Click here

Cheers... Rick :)

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g.brown

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Before SnagIt, I used a product called FullShot.  http://www.inbit.com/fullshot.html
I think I might try it again.  I am completely disheartened by TechSmith's attitude and unwillingness to admit a mistake.

Photo of Charles Meaden

Charles Meaden

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  • 1 Reply Like
Having been a long time user of Snagit, the dark background is a really retrospective step as it just makes it harder to find the functions.

Question for any Techsmith staff on this post - did you actually take the time to run some usability tests with existing customers to see what they thought?

 
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Mike Johnson

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As a long time user of SnagIt also... I absolutely hate this dark color scheme.
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Kelly Mullins, TechSmith Employee & Helper

  • 2867 Posts
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Hi Mike,
I'm sorry about the color scheme you dislike!

Have you tried to change it to the light color version? If not, will you please give that a try?

In Editor, choose File > Editor Options at the bottom of the menu. You can find the color scheme options here:


I hope this helps!

Kelly
User Assistance
TechSmith
Photo of Josh Holnagel

Josh Holnagel, Employee

  • 426 Posts
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Hi Mike.

I wanted to make sure you knew that we did add the ability to change the Snagit 12 Editor color scheme to a light theme a few versions back. To find this option, go to:

File > Editor Options >  General

And then change the "Editor color scheme" to "Light". 

Here's a screenshot (click to enlarge), in case you have trouble finding it:



Sorry for the confusion, and thanks for posting. 

-Josh

P.S. If you were just trying to tell us that you did not like the color scheme, we appreciate that feedback, too. :)