Use Snagx Files & Tags to Easily Manage Your Screen Captures

Ever felt overwhelmed managing screen captures in SnagIt? Many users, like myself, once overlooked the efficiency of SNAGX files and tags. In this guide, I’ll share some of the issues I encountered and easy workarounds.

If you’re new to SnagIt, you may want to first read my SnagIt review, as it covers more of the program’s features.

What is a SNAGX File Format?

To start, the SNAGX format is the initial file format that is used for unsaved captures. It’s a new file format that was introduced by Techsmith in SnagIt 2022. The main benefit of .snagx files over the prior .snag files is that they are compatible with Windows and Mac platforms. This makes it ideal for people or teams that use both operating systems.

The SNAGX file is made up of a series of .PNG files and .JSON files. These files contain your image capture, thumbnail, and meta information. In fact, if you get stuck with a .snagx file and you’re on a computer without SnagIt, rename the file extension to .zip. You can then extract the files, including the images. And you won’t need to use Excel to view the JSON files since they are tiny.

Extracted files from a SNAGX file.

The Benefits of .SNAGX Files

Snagx files do have some benefits that get overlooked. The first is you can apply one or more custom image tags. You don’t have this functionality when you save the image to another file format. These custom tags make it easier to find images when you have a large SnagIt library.

Another benefit is what I call “layers”. Those little effects you add, such as a border, callout, step numbering, and so on, are like layers. You can always remove or edit them, provided you haven’t flattened your image. I should mention, though, SnagIt doesn’t keep track of your layers the way some graphic programs might. However, I haven’t found this an issue for me.

I find these layers helpful when doing documentation. I might start in the SnagIt Editor by adding an arrow and step number.

First step of capture.

Then using the same .SNAGX file, I’ll move my arrow down and add a step number.

Moving layer on Snagx file.

Later on, someone might want an email version with all the step numbers combined. Again, I’ll adjust.

Added all callouts to image.

As long as I don’t flatten the image, I can easily manipulate these items years after I captured the image.

Default Screenshot Capture Classification

SnagIt automatically classifies images when you do a screen capture. Each unsaved capture file would typically have a named date, like 2023-08-17_15-02-14.snagx. In addition, SnagIt would create virtual folders based on image type [A], date [B], application [C], website [D], and tags [E].  An image can appear in multiple virtual folders.

Virtual folders in SnagIt library.

Out of the box, SnagIt does a good job with its automatic classification. However, there are times when it assigns the wrong application. One issue I run into is SnagIt seems to think the image was captured from Grammarly. It wasn’t. I’m not sure why the Grammarly desktop application shows.  You can see an example below when I right-click an image to see its Details.

SnagIt think Grammarly was the application.

A similar issue sometimes happens when I grab a screenshot from a YouTube video. While I can see the browser as the application, it doesn’t record the YouTube URL. Other times it does. This is why I rely more on tags.

SnagIt Tags Add Granularity

While the above classifications are handy, the real power lies in using image tags [E]. For example, I tagged the above image with the tags “cloudflare” and “comcast”. Those are the terms I’m most apt to think of if I need to find this image again. And as you can see, the tags do show in the JSON file.

JSON file showing SnagIt tags.

Unlike the other classification methods, tags can be customized by you. Some people opt not to use them, while others take full advantage. For me, the main advantage is the ability to quickly find images. For example, I’ve taken countless screen captures of Microsoft Excel. Instead, of searching within the Excel application folder, I type a tag such as “flash fill”. 

Searching SnagIt with tag.

Renaming SnagIt Tag and Orphans (Workaround)

One issue I’ve encountered is that sometimes, I wasn’t as descriptive as I’d like when tagging images. Or, I misspelled items or had singular and plural versions. In these scenarios, I like to clean up my tags. Techsmith doesn’t provide a “rename tag” function, but there are workarounds. 

I have 2 image tags in the example below: “windows 11” and “about”.  In hindsight, I’d like to make “about” be “system about”. 

  1. Open the image you wish to change tags. You can also shift-click to select multiple images.
  2. Click the Tag link in the lower left. Your tag list shows with the assigned tags.
  3. Right-click the tag you wish to delete and select Delete Tag.
Deleting SnagIt tag.
  1. Type your new tag, such as”system about”.  

You’ll note that the deleted tag no longer shows in the image library because no images are assigned.  However, that image tag is still known to SnagIt and is available for future assignments. This might be fine if you think you’ll use it later. 

Orphan tag in list.

On the other hand, if you don’t want the orphan tag, there is a way to fully delete it.

  1. Go to Windows Task Manager.
  2. Look for SnagIt Editor in the Processes list.
  3. Right-click and select End task
Using Task Manager to stop SnagIt Editor.
  1. Restart SnagIt Editor.

Your orphan tag should be gone.

To wrap things up, using SNAGX files and tags makes a difference in managing screen captures in SnagIt. As I’ve learned from my experiences, these subtle features often make the most significant impact. Embrace them, and you’ll see the difference.