Using Hotspots in SnagIt
Reviewed: Geetesh Bajaj
July 11th 2006
February 25th 2009
Like stamps, hotspots are a
great feature in TechSmith
SnagIt that allows you to select any area of the captured image
(or imported image) and add links from that area
to an external link using Flash SWF technology. These links are
only retained in the image captures that you save as SWFs -- and
thanks to a great new feature in SnagIt 8.1, it's so simple to
add these Flash equipped captures with hotspots to your PowerPoint
presentations! That's exactly what this tutorial will show you.
Links/hotspots are used to create live links (and annotations) in a captured image. Once these hotspots are created, you can modify the properties of that hotspot, and reposition or resize the hotspot as well.
Before You Begin
Before we begin, here are a few things you should know about:
- The quick method of bringing these hotspot-equipped SnagIt files to PowerPoint requires that you have SnagIt 8.1 or higher.
- SnagIt hotspots use Flash technology, so although you do not need a copy of Adobe Flash installed, you must have the Flash player runtime installed. That's not a big issue since around 98% of the computers worldwide already have some sort of Flash runtime in place.
- SnagIt hotspots are not visible in the output unless you hover over the hotspot area. Of course, you can add some color to the area, or a semi-transparent overlay.
- Although SnagIt outputs to several file formats, the hotspots are only retained if you export it as a SWF. For editing, it's a good idea to first save your captures as SNAG files -- this is SnagIt's own proprietor format and retains all the editability -- you can even move around the hotspots! And when you have edited, and added hotspots to your heart's delight, export it as a SWF.
Using the Hotspots Feature
Here's how you can use hotspots in SnagIt:
- The first thing you need to do is take
a capture. For this tutorial, I am taking capture of a part
of Indezine.com home page. Of course, you can follow these steps
without a capture -- just open any image in the SnagIt Preview
- Once the capture is taken (or the image is opened). you'll
be in the SnagIt Capture Preview window that is shown in Figure
Figure 1 : SnagIt Capture Preview window
- The interface of SnagIt Capture Preview window shows the captured
image. It also allows to do basic editing and apply some cool
effects -- and add hotspots! To do that, look at the right side
of the interface that contains all the effects and editing
options. Here, right at the bottom under Action, you'll find
the Links/HotSpots option (see Figure
Figure 2: The Links/Hotspots option
- Select the Links/HotSpots option -- this will metamorphose
the right task pane to show the Hotspot tasks.
Select any of the shape -- available options are rectangle, ellipse,
and polygon. The rectangle and ellipse options are simple --
the polygon options lets you draw your own hotspot area with
a series of clicks -- when you have finished drawing your hotspot
shape, double-click to close the shape. For this tutorial, I
just drew a simple rectangle hotspot.
- Once you draw a hotspot, you can add a tool tip
and link address for the hotspot:
- The tool tip is the text that appears
when the cursor is over the hotspot in the output.
- The link address is the URL of the link -- for example,
a web address.
- The tool tip is the text that appears when the cursor is over the hotspot in the output.
- See Figure
3 to see how I added a tool tip and link address.
Figure 3: Hotspot properties
There are some other options:
- Advanced Flash Hot Spot: Click the link
to show or hide some advanced properties.
- Mouse Over
By activating this check box you can apply the mouseover
option to the selected hotspot -- the color you choose (and
the opacity) will show as you hover the cursor
on the hotspot area in the output.
- Advanced Flash Hot Spot: Click the link to show or hide some advanced properties.
- Finally, make sure that your PowerPoint presentation is also
open -- come back to the SnagIt screen, and select the entire
image and hotspots all at one time. You can use Ctrl + A, but
in case that doesn't work, use the Shift key to select them
(image and hotspots) individually, then copy them (Ctrl +
C) and paste them (Ctrl + V) on PowerPoint slide. Save your
When you will open the presentation you are not going to find
any difference till you play the slide show. Place the cursor
on the areas where the hotspots were placed and click -- and
the links will work! See the sample PowerPoint presentation in
the Indezine members area -- download