28 Seriously Useful Tools for Creating Your Own Screencast

May 19, 2013 · 35 comments

by Lars

screencapturetoolbox

Software for creating screencasts have become essential and the products available are being used intensively for creating thousands of new videos every day. Screencasts are like all over the place now and were almost at a point where people start to expect them to be. Videos are simply great to deliver a message in a very short time and for most people bandwidth is not a problem any more. As a potential buyers of lets say a online software products it is quite important to see how it works when used before buying it. It give us trust and we are more likely to open our wallet. Bloggers use video feeds a lot to improve their presence and be more personal to their readers. youtype.com have millions of videos created and uploaded by users (actually youtube.com have an alexa.com rank of 4, which means it is in the top five of most visited websites in the world…). So lets agree that being able to create screencasts is a must. If you have not already found your favorite tools this post will help you make the choice.


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Free Screencasting tools

CamStudio.org

screen capture toolbox

A free open source program for capturing your on-screen video and audio as AVI files. It is supported on Windows only.

Wink

screen capture toolbox

Wink is a Tutorial and Presentation creation software, primarily aimed at creating tutorials on how to use software (like a tutor for MS-Word/Excel etc). Using Wink you can capture screenshots, add explanations boxes, buttons, titles etc and generate a highly effective tutorial for your users. Wink is free with unrivaled features.

Screencast-O-Matic.com

screen capture toolbox

Screencast-O-Matic is a Java Applet-based screencasting tool that requires no downloads and will allow you to automatically upload to hosting. According to their site it works well with Macs and Windows machines, but does have some issues with Linux.

ScreenToaster

screen capture toolbox

ScreenToaster is a web-based service. You don’t get any advanced editing tools but you do get full screen capture, support for picture-in-picture webcam video in the lower right corner, and audio for voice-over. When you’re done recording and previewing your clip, you can upload the video to ScreenToaster or YouTube, or download it as a MOV or SWF file. ScreenToaster is free and works with any Java-enabled web browser.

Jing

screen capture toolbox

You can use Jing to capture anything you see on your computer screen and share it or short movie. This tool require that you sign up for screencast.com. There’s a Pro version of Jing that you can get for $14/ Year. This removes links to the jing website on your recordings.

AviScreen

screen capture toolbox

This is a free capture program that records the video into AVI files, but can also do BMP photos. It’s Windows only and does not record audio.

Copernicus

screen capture toolbox

Copernicus is a free program for Macs. It doesn’t just take screenshots, it’s a virtual photo gallery too. Take as many pictures as you like, then save them one at a time or all at once. Copernicus is perfect for taking many screenshots. Also useful for making quick and speedy films by recording the video to your RAM for quicker access. Does not include any support for audio.

Capture Fox

screen capture toolbox

If you’re a Firefox user, there is a great add-on that records your screen frame-by-frame. Add your voice and download as an .AVI file. Since it works within the browser, it is not OS dependent.

Screenpresso.com – Captured image files can be easily be shared. Many editing tools for manipulating and annotating the captured images.

Screenjelly.com – Screenjelly records your screen activity with your voice so you can spread it via Twitter or email. Use it to quickly share cool apps or software tips, report a bug, or just show stuff you like.

Tip Cam – This is a free screencasting software that can also record a remote computer screen provided your computer is running the VNC server.

Community Clips – Free screencasting tool from the Microsoft Office team can be used for creating quick screencasts from within Microsoft Office.

Live Screencasting – Procaster from Mogulus is a free software that helps you broadcast your desktop screen (live streaming) on the Internet to any number of users

Demo Studio – GPL-licensed screen capture application for Microsoft Windows (open source). DemoStudio records by default to AVI format, but you may use Demo Studio Producer for converting screencasts into Flash (SWF) files.

Screenr.com – Web based free recorder ideal for creating and tweeting mini cast via twitter.

Commercial Screencasting tools

Snapz Pro X

screen capture toolbox

Snapz Pro X is a robust offering of settings and compressions for screen captures of all sizes. It is fairly easy to use and captures great quality of video and sound. Video from this application is exported in Quicktime (.mov) format only and Snapz Pro X does not allow for video editing. Price of about $70, Mac only.

Camtasia Studio

screen capture toolbox

Camtasia Studio is one of the leading products in the screencasting space. Packed with features, Camtasia Studio makes it easy to create screencasts with presets for a variety of sharing situations like YouTube, HD displays, Screencast.com, and more. You can edit the audio and video independently so you don’t have to redo a whole segment just because of an oops in the audio or video portion. Special effects and edits are easy to manipulate thanks to fine control over the time line—you can select a portion of your editing timeline right down to the tenth of a second. It’s far from free, but Camtasia Studio is a well thought out and feature rich screencasting tool. Windows, $299

iShowU

screen capture toolbox

Offers a wide-range of presets that allows you to record directly into Quicktime and up to 1080P in both NTSC and PAL formats. Also does audio and the file is ready to be published as soon as hit stop. Mac only $29.95 USD, offer 30 days trail.

ScreenRecord

screen capture toolbox

Outputs to Quicktime directly and can record your clicks and all on-screen activities. Offers a free trial and then $15.95 to purchase.

HyperCam

screen capture toolbox

Windows only system for recording screen activity to AVI files along with system audio. Free trial with $39.95 for full version.

AllCapture

screen capture toolbox

Capture in real time, add audio during recording or after completion. Can output to Flash, EXE, ASF, DVD, SVCD and VCD. Free trial available, Windows only.

Adobe Captivate

screen capture toolbox

Adobe Captive is a high quality product with features that will satisfy most users. Unfortunately the product is expensive compared to the others. So unless you really need the extra goodies for your recordings a pricing that starts at nearly $700 may scare you away.

Turbo Demo

screen capture toolbox

With Turbo Demo, you can create screencasts in either Flash or Java. The screencasts projects can be exported to plain text files, that are editable and can be imported back into Turbodemo. In the screencast editing mode (after screen capture), you can change the cursor style or reposition the mouse anywhere on the slide. Priceing starts at $199.

ScreenFlow

screen capture toolbox

ScreenFlow is a Mac-only screencast editor that fills a nice niche between the limited-but-free options and the car-payment-sized options. ScreenFlow sports advanced features, like the ability to decouple audio and video streams for independent editing and audio ducking (if you’re using background music it’s automatically adjusted during speaking portions of the video); the ability to freeze, speed up, or slow down the video to allow you to time lapse or zoom through a more tedious portion of the task you’re demonstrating. ScreenFlow also supports custom cursors and callouts for emphasizing the cursor or foremost window. Mac, $99

Qarbon Viewlet Builder

screen capture toolbox

Qarbon patented the Screen Capture technology and prefer to call their flash movies as Viewlets which are basically .swf files. Qarbon seems to have the best Flash file compression algorithm around. However, another software called ViewletCam is required to enable moving screen captures. This is Windows only

Demo Builder

screen capture toolbox

This tool provides a good interface and can record full motion videos (like in Camtasia) or through manual screenshots (as in Qarbon Viewletbuilder). Demo Builder can automatically add visual hints (in the form of text balloons) at relevant points in the screencast (like closing a button with the mouse). You can also edit cursor motions after the screen capture. Price starts at $199.

How to use get started screencasting

Smashing Magazine have created a really good guide with many tips and links to resources you will need to get started:  Screencasting: How To Start, Tools and Guidelines

twittertools

Ever wondered how people show you so clearly what is happening on their computer, like in the we shared with you? Thanks to screencasting software, anyone can do it. So what’s stopping you now from making your own how-to videos? Try out one of these 12 tools and get to making your first video!


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Advertisement

Free Screencasting tools

CamStudio.org

screen capture toolbox

A free open source program for capturing your on-screen video and audio as AVI files. It is supported on Windows only.

Wink

screen capture toolbox

Wink is a Tutorial and Presentation creation software, primarily aimed at creating tutorials on how to use software (like a tutor for MS-Word/Excel etc). Using Wink you can capture screenshots, add explanations boxes, buttons, titles etc and generate a highly effective tutorial for your users. Wink is free with unrivaled features.

Screencast-O-Matic.com

screen capture toolbox

Screencast-O-Matic is a Java Applet-based screencasting tool that requires no downloads and will allow you to automatically upload to hosting. According to their site it works well with Macs and Windows machines, but does have some issues with Linux.

ScreenToaster

screen capture toolbox

ScreenToaster is a web-based service. You don’t get any advanced editing tools but you do get full screen capture, support for picture-in-picture webcam video in the lower right corner, and audio for voice-over. When you’re done recording and previewing your clip, you can upload the video to ScreenToaster or YouTube, or download it as a MOV or SWF file. ScreenToaster is free and works with any Java-enabled web browser.

Jing

screen capture toolbox

You can use Jing to capture anything you see on your computer screen and share it or short movie. This tool require that you sign up for screencast.com. There’s a Pro version of Jing that you can get for $14/ Year. This removes links to the jing website on your recordings.

AviScreen

screen capture toolbox

This is a free capture program that records the video into AVI files, but can also do BMP photos. It’s Windows only and does not record audio.

Copernicus

Copernicus is a free program for Macs. It doesn’t just take screenshots, it’s a virtual photo gallery too. Take as many pictures as you like, then save them one at a time or all at once. Copernicus is perfect for taking many screenshots. Also useful for making quick and speedy films by recording the video to your RAM for quicker access. Does not include any support for audio.

screen capture toolbox

Commercial Screencasting tools

Camtasia Studio

screen capture toolbox

Camtasia Studio is one of the leading products in the screencasting space. Packed with features, Camtasia Studio makes it easy to create screencasts with presets for a variety of sharing situations like YouTube, HD displays, Screencast.com, and more. You can edit the audio and video independently so you don’t have to redo a whole segment just because of an oops in the audio or video portion. Special effects and edits are easy to manipulate thanks to fine control over the time line—you can select a portion of your editing timeline right down to the tenth of a second. It’s far from free, but Camtasia Studio is a well thought out and feature rich screencasting tool. Windows, $299

iShowU

screen capture toolbox

Offers a wide-range of presets that allows you to record directly into Quicktime and up to 1080P in both NTSC and PAL formats. Also does audio and the file is ready to be published as soon as hit stop. Mac only $29.95 USD, offer 30 days trail.

ScreenRecord

screen capture toolbox

Outputs to Quicktime directly and can record your clicks and all on-screen activities. Offers a free trial and then $15.95 to purchase.

HyperCam

screen capture toolbox

Windows only system for recording screen activity to AVI files along with system audio. Free trial with $39.95 for full version.

AllCapture

screen capture toolbox

Capture in real time, add audio during recording or after completion. Can output to Flash, EXE, ASF, DVD, SVCD and VCD. Free trial available, Windows only.

Adobe Captivate

screen capture toolbox

Adobe Captive is a high quality product with features that will satisfy most users. Unfortunately the product is expensive compared to the others. So unless you really need the extra goodies for your recordings a pricing that starts at nearly $700 may scare you away.

ScreenFlow

screen capture toolbox

ScreenFlow is a Mac-only screencast editor that fills a nice niche between the limited-but-free options and the car-payment-sized options. ScreenFlow sports advanced features, like the ability to decouple audio and video streams for independent editing and audio ducking (if you’re using background music it’s automatically adjusted during speaking portions of the video); the ability to freeze, speed up, or slow down the video to allow you to time lapse or zoom through a more tedious portion of the task you’re demonstrating. ScreenFlow also supports custom cursors and callouts for emphasizing the cursor or foremost window. Mac, $99

 

{ 23 comments… read them below or add one }

shrikant January 5, 2011 at 6:55 pm

I used many but I got Pixatell & Jing are the best once!

Reply

Nnpcto November 21, 2010 at 12:23 pm

In Quicktime at me it has not turned out to write down. The main thing that that the program works and it is impossible to make record, there is an error. I thought that the program can be blocked Firewall, but after an uninstall of an antivirus and Firewall has tried to reinstall the software and that, a problem! This all can from that that I use Windows 7?? If the problem in it tell is at you this software under Windows7?

Reply

Lesley-Anne Hornbogen September 2, 2010 at 10:18 am

Great list – thanks for putting it together. I didn’t realise there were so many. I have dabbled with a few and will definitely look at Wink as I spend a lot of time going through “how to” with clients – could be very useful.

Reply

Shamblesguru August 22, 2010 at 1:26 pm

I have lots of advice about screencasting … search http://shambles.net
one recommendation that makes a big difference is … have a good quality mincrophone … possibly USB … highly recommended

Reply

Chad Wilson August 12, 2010 at 10:21 am

Great post. Those listed are more reliable tools that we can use for creating our own screencasts.

Reply

Georgia McCabe July 28, 2010 at 1:04 pm

I have been trying to find a way to easily create a screencast for an iPad. Besides using the iPad simulator do you know of any other effective way to do this. I know I can just shoot a video of the process but I want something that is a little more robust.

Reply

Free Vector Stock.com March 1, 2010 at 5:03 am

Great article, very useful thanks a lot!
Leo

Reply

Can Aydo?an February 26, 2010 at 10:43 pm

Nice collection thanks!

Reply

Anita Nelson February 21, 2010 at 6:47 am

I have tried Camtasia and it is wonderfully easy to use. Thank you for all the other options! I can’t wait to try them =)
Anita @ModelSupplies

Reply

James February 11, 2010 at 10:19 pm

Thanks for this list dude… really nice with the pictures for a fast overview. BTW I Found another site, where you are able to view videos of all the different tools. http://www.dkfx.dk/2009/12/a-wide-variety-of-screencasting-tools/

Keep up the good work.

Reply

tripwiremag February 11, 2010 at 11:52 pm

@James, thanks for the link and the great feedback!

Reply

deakaz February 11, 2010 at 8:22 pm

Excellent resource list here, just what I was looking for.

I’ve used a free product once in the past, but I’ve been looking for something with more features. I think I will give camtasia studio a shot.

Reply

Tapani Jalonen January 28, 2010 at 1:26 pm

I tried Snapz Pro, but am currently using a combination of Screenflow (for capturing and effects) and iMovie (for putting together several clips and getting the voiceover right). So far, these work fine. I might take a look at Adobe’s capture if my reqs exceed the current setup.

Excellent article, thx for doing the research!
Tapani

Reply

Christine Porter January 26, 2010 at 11:03 pm

Wanted to mention that ScreenFlow has a free trial available. Thanks for the comprehensive list! The options for screencasting seem to grow daily….

Reply

Dan Cook January 26, 2010 at 9:43 pm

Hi, I’m from Ontier and I believeour product – Pixetell—should be included on your screencasters list. Pixetell is Screencasts on steroids. You can create and share visual messages of your screen, embed your webcam, and add file attachments to your recording. Your recording can be sent as a link over email, embedded on websites, or exported to FLV for upload to most video hosts. Pixetells are viewable on any computer in the web browser just like a screencast, but offer more flexibility.
Pixetell works well for the software development lifecycle, from capturing workflow during requirements gathering, explaining software architectures, visual data modeling, website design, capturing bugs, etc. Please try Pixetell at http://www.pixetell.com and we would appreciate your feedback – The Pixetell Team.

Reply

Oliver January 26, 2010 at 7:40 pm

You missed QuickTime X coming “for free” with OS X Snow Leopard. :)

Reply

Puneet Mehta January 26, 2010 at 6:34 pm

Nice list :)

Reply

Jlucke January 26, 2010 at 4:35 pm

Nice list! I noticed you listed ViewletBuilder from Qarbon but you stated it was Windows Only? This product actually supports Windows, Mac and Linux.

Reply

tripwiremag January 26, 2010 at 5:56 pm

@Jlucke, thanks for sharing your knowledge with Carbon!

Reply

Mike Curtis January 26, 2010 at 2:27 pm

Hi Ileane, I work on Jing at TechSmith, and I was curious to hear about why Jing’s not getting audio. I know it looks for the default audio input device which is usually the internal mic or mic input. There’s no options within Jing to set the audio device, so maybe it’s trying to grab a line in or system audio?

In any case, nice post talking about screencasting! Thanks for talking about this mode of communication!

Reply

@technolit October 9, 2010 at 10:50 pm

I just tried doing a screen cast with Jing on my Mac and although the 1, 2, 3 mic countdown came on, no sound was captured. Also, it only captured one open window, not the second one, and I was trying to make a quick drag ‘n’ drop tutorial for a colleague which required dragging from one open window to another. I have Camtasia on my PC laptop, so will go do the screencast there. Would love to hear what I needed to do differently in Jing, though.

This list is exactly what I was looking for. Thanks!

Reply

Phil Jackson January 26, 2010 at 12:37 pm

You can also get Camtasia for Mac – http://www.techsmith.com/camtasiamac/

Reply

Ileane January 26, 2010 at 3:33 am

Awesome list! I use about 3 of these and maybe 2 more I tried but didn’t like. Wonderful to learn about the others. Jing has no sound which has no interest for me. I cant wait to explore the others. Thanks!

Reply

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