The Great Mac Software Hunt

Our resident Windows expert has recently switched to the Mac and is on a quest to root out the very best Mac software. Is he making the right choices?

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Screen-Capture Promise: SnapNDrag

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In the last installment in this series, I published a list of 10 features I expect to find from an advanced screenshot utility. Several readers read my list and sent me the advice to look closely at a free program called SnapNDrag from Yellow Mug Software.

I had looked at the specs for this program earlier and had concluded it wouldn't address all my needs. And while it's true that it doesn't do it all, SnapNDrag 2.1.3 is an extremely well-designed product that includes features that address the majority of my needs. The user interface is surprisingly simple and therefore good. It's the kind of utility that you just like intuitively.

SnapNDrag
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SnapNDrag has the most crucial features for a screen capture program.

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If you're keeping score, SnapNDrag meets these specific needs from my list of 10 features: 2, 3, 5, 6 and parts of 1. Yellow Mug also makes other programs that can be integrated with SnapNDrag, which offer additional functionality I was looking for, including cropping and edge effects.

What Yellow Mug does not offer is image file conversion, the ability to temporarily hide all icons from your desktop (other freeware products do this), a capture-preview window that you can select small screens from or the ability to save named groups of settings for different screen-capture tasks and recall them later. In other words, SnapNDrag skips my more esoteric features.

Bottom line: SnapNDrag has all the features I absolutely have to have. It's not the end of my search, but at least I have a product I can live with for now.

SnapNDrag is free to use as is, but there is an optional $4.95 registration fee that provides permanent access to some features that I need occasionally (like adding a basic rule around an image). Yellow Mug also offers various bundles and groupings of its inexpensive software. I still haven't decided whether to buy EasyCrop for $11.95 and get SnapNDrag Pro for free, or whether to just buy the $40 bundle of eight Yellow Mug programs, including some that have nothing to do with image management. Four of the eight are interesting to me.

Another interesting bit of news is that two representatives of another graphics software company contacted me to let me know that most of the features on my list are being worked on for a major upgrade of its existing product. So whenever that app is made available to me, I will give it a close look.

Finally, I need to pass out an apology. In a previous article I dissed the demo version of Ambrosia Software Inc.'s Snapz Pro X, claiming that it "renders your screenshots unusable." That's true only after 30 days of try-before-you-buy testing. I had forgotten that I had installed Snapz Pro X several weeks earlier and then removed it. Then I installed it again on the same Mac when I was testing it for the story. The 30-day countdown continued in between, of course, and caught up with me. My bad.

Testing the Forgotten: Antivirus Software

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I know many of you scoff at my insistence on needing an antivirus program for the Mac, but I get a lot of e-mail, and a certain percentage of it contains the nasty stuff. If I forward that mail to a Windows user, I could be spreading misery. Plus, the Mac is by no means impervious to this kind of threat. If the platform becomes more popular (and I suspect it will), expect some problems. I can't say when, but someday.

 
VirusBarrier X4
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Intego's VirusBarrier X4 makes all its functions easy to access, plus it provides repair features and good configuration options.

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I left off testing the free ClamXav utility after using it for a couple of months. The program had no real tools for fixing problems it might find. And while that's not a big problem on the Mac, I just didn't like the idea. I've switched to Intego's VirusBarrier X4, which I instantly liked much better than ClamXav. Of course, for $70, I'd better like it much better.

Intego has an interesting bundle for Parallels users that offers VirusBarrier for the Mac and BitDefender for your Parallels-based Windows installation. For $10 more than you pay for VirusBarrier alone, you get both VirusBarrier and BitDefender.

I also intend to look at Norton AntiVirus for the Mac.

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