Why would anyone want to take a video recording of their computer screen? Actually, there are a lot of reasons why this would be a good thing. Screencasts are highly beneficial for creating E-learning instructional videos, such as tutorials, online courses, powerpoints, product demos, and how-to videos. Screencasting is kind of like show and tell, the perfect marriage between powerful and simple. Below is a list of the best screen capture software for Windows and Mac.
What Is A Screencast?
Screencasting software enables you to make a video recording of your computer screen, while narrating the video with your voice. In this way screencasts foster learning and engagement in real time. Screencasts are user-friendly – you basically press “Record,” and you’re off to the races. Of course, you’ll need something you want to present as a prerequisite.
For instance, I’ve used screencasts to show viewers how to use specific tools in Photoshop to achieve an end result. I’ve also used a recording of my screen to show internet marketers how to navigate an affiliate marketing dashboard, along with its various features. There’s something to be said about visual learning. Concepts and ideas are far better assimilated when information is conveyed visually.
Once you’ve finished your video, you can take the recording into an editing software or upload it directly to YouTube or Vimeo. Likewise, you can download the video to a webpage or a learning management system for convenient delivery to participants. Editing your recording will allow you to add an intro our outro or to trim out any distracting or unnecessary clips. The process from start to finish is really pretty seamless, which is what all of us busy people want.
Plus, the software won’t cost you an arm and a leg, especially considering the educational benefits your audience will glean from your screencasts. Do keep in mind, screencasting software does range in price, with most offering a 30-day free trial.
Disclaimer: this post contains affiliate links
Benefits Of Producing A Screencast
- Real-time instruction
- Can rewind to reinforce learning
- Conducive to distance learning
- Visual learning helps learners to retain information
- Learners can follow along as the material is presented
- Upload directly to YouTube or Vimeo
- You can choose whether to show your face or not
- The ability to build an educational database
|Adobe Captivate||$33.99 / monthly subscription||Purchase Here|
|Snagit||$49.99 / one time fee||Purchase Here|
|Screen-O-Matic||$1.65 – $17.50 / billed annually||Purchase Here|
|Camtasia||$249.00 / one time fee||Purchase Here|
|ScreenFlow||$129.00 – $209.00 / one time fee||Purchase Here|
What To Look For In Screencasting Software
There are certain features you want to look for in a screencast software. Ask yourself these questions before purchasing:
1. Is the software easy to use? Clunky, complicated software doesn’t cut it.
2. Can you capture specific areas of your screen, while also recording footage with your webcam?
3. Are different video file sizes offered?
4. How about audio recording options?
5. What editing tools are available?
6. What are the video output options? Can you export MP.4 file formats?
7. Are there elements that allow you to personalize and customize your project?
Best Screen Capture Software For Windows & Mac
1. Adobe Captivate
Create experiential learning walkthroughs and courses with Adobe’s premier screencasting software Captivate. Any software created by Adobe is going to be a keeper, and Captivate is no exception. Create interactive courses, virtual tours, and walk-through videos that are mobile-friendly and compatible across all devices.
Captivate is applicable for traditional E-learning development and technical scenarios, such as software simulation demonstrations and website navigation. It’s a versatile software that offers functionality and interactivity across a broad range of applications, including website walkthroughs, lessons that incorporate video, audio, and images, instructional design projects, and virtual reality lessons.
Adobe’s robust screencasting software lets you add text, graphics, buttons, and quizzes to your projects. The pre-made templates and images offer additional customization. Captivate is unique in that it incorporates a green screen feature, which allows you to use your own background. Another innovative feature is the ability to convert pre-made powerpoint presentations into screencasting projects. This feature could save you inordinate amounts of time.
Give the software a try by signing up for the free trial, or dive in head first with a subscription priced at $33.99 a month. Other screencasting software may be easier to learn, but Captivate takes the cake when it comes to powerful functionality. Due to the plethora of creation options that are available, Captivate may be best suited for complex and detail-oriented projects that need a lot of personalization and customization. Lightoom and Photoshop users will find the software fairly intuitive based on their previous experience with Adobe products.
- Import pre-recorded clips
- For both beginner and advanced developers
- Many available presets
- Built-in characters and animations
- Superior image resolution
- Can be used in conjunction with other Adobe products
- Layer-based interface
- Add images, fonts and templates
- Incorporates a green screen feature
- Responsive across all devices
- Advanced capabilities
- Well suited for development training
- Enables LMS tracking
- Only 64-bit Windows OS is supported
Make remote teaching and learning a breeze with Snagit. Capture both video and images to create presentations, user guides, professional markups, digital banners, documents, and wire frames. You can even use it to record classes over zoom so learners can go back and listen to the recording to solidfy learning. It’s also easy to add illustrations to your projects to clarify the concepts you’re covering.
Snagit’s interface is easy to use, with a minimal learning curve. The All-In-One-Capture feature lets you capture your entire screen, a portion of the screen, a single window, or both horizontal or vertical scrolling screens. The Grab Text feature is convenient for extracting text from a screen shot and pasting it into another document for additional editing, saving you valuable time without having to retype text.
The 5-second delay screenshot feature, along with the pre-made layouts and templates makes creating tutorials, training materials, and visual documentations quick and easy. You can also create how-to videos or GIFs from images by talking and drawing over your screenshots. The latest version that was released this year enables direct sharing to Box and Slack.
The cost of Snagit is $49.99. The software is compatible with both Windows and MacOS, and includes English, German, and French language versions. You can also purchase a 1-year maintenance plan for $12.49, which includes the guaranteed next version of Snagit (2021), priority support, volume benefits (cumulative discount with 5+ and same key), and Snagit certification that includes exclusive training to expand your knowledge and skills.
- Excellent video quality
- Elegant and intuitive interface
- Screenshot capability with a 5-second delay feature
- Superb online training support
- Supports both Mac and PC users
- Small learning curve
- Automatic updates
- Flexible snipping options
- Smart move features
- Versatile and affordable
- 30-day money back guarantee
Screencast-O-Matic offers a wide array of useful features. Not only can you capture video and audio on your screen, you can also use your webcam. The software enables you to trim your recordings, import music, text and images, draw and zoom, and take screenshots. You can also create captions using Speech-to-Text.
Screencast-O-Matic is particularly applicable for classroom settings because you can share your productions to Google Classroom. All of these features are available with the free plan. The premium and team plans offers additional editing and accessibility features to make your presentations even more powerful, including unlimited ad-free uploads and collaboration tools.
The user-interface is easy to navigate, and you won’t be scratching your head in frustration trying to figure out the different settings. Starting at just $1.65 a month, this screen capture and video-editing software is a no-brainer. It’s as simple as record, edit, and share. The Premier plan is billed annually at a cost of only $4.00 a month.
With this plan, you can unlock the new stock library, secure backup for recordings, take advantage of advanced sharing and collaboration tools, enjoy extra bandwidth, and transfer smartphone videos into your editor. Team plans are also available. Pricing is dependent on how many computers will be using the software on a monthly basis. Recording apps for iPhone, iPad, and Android are available.
- Enables screen capture and webcam usage,
- Editing and accessibility features
- Stock image library
- Can import music and narration
- Easy-to-navigate interface
- Automatic captions
- Trim and edit recordings
- Share to Google Classroom
- Password protection feature
- Collaboration tools for teams
- Ad-free uploads
- Offers both free and paid plans (Solo and Team)
- Hosting and management platform
- Works for both Windows and Mac
Camtasia is a screencast workhorse, including both a screen recorder and video editor. Kind of like one-stop shopping. Share your knowledge, expertise, and experience by creating online courses, marketing videos, and YouTube tutorials. You can choose to record your entire screen or a specific portion of it, while incorporating webcam videos, system and microphone audio, and voiceovers.
A big plus to using Camtasia is the ability to pause your screencast while you’re recording. This is possible because clips are recorded separately, which makes the editing process more convenient and creative because you can combine clips to your liking. Personalize the editing process with keyboard shortcuts to streamline your projects. Add your own logos and images to further enhance your presentations.
The learning curve is going to be a little steeper with Camtasia because it’s also a video editor. Once you get the hang of it though, you’ll find the interface to be fairly intuitive. The video-editing capabilities are impressive, including a library of elements you can add to your projects, such as images, graphics, transitions, annotations, and of course, music. You can even add graphic overlays to your projects. A green screen enables creativity when it comes to how your background will be displayed.
Multiple output formats are available, and you can upload your videos directly to Google Drive, Dropbox, and Youtube. Remember, Camtasia is both a screen recorder and video editor so the price is going to reflect that. The cost is $249.00 for two computers. I would suggest downloading the a 30-day free trial to see how you like it before purchasing. Volume discounts are offered for multiple licenses. The software works for both Window and Mac users. Camtasia is available for English, French, German, and Japanese speakers.
- Is both a screencasting software and video editor
- Advanced editing features
- Record your entire screen or portions of it
- Record-and-pause feature
- Captures smartphone screens
- Various output formats available
- Multi-device recording and editing
- Customizable keyboard shortcuts and hotkeys
- Extensive elements library
- Green screen feature
- The ability to import PDFs
- Block text style for adding callouts and annotations
- Works on both Windows and Mac
ScreenFlow shines when it comes to iPhone demos, instructional videos, corporate trainings, professional tutorials, and dynamic presentations. ScreenFlow boasts that is has the best screen recording available, even on retina displays. Choose which portions of your screen you’d like to record, while utilizing keystroke displays, mouse-pointer customizations, and mouse-click effects.
Editing tools to enhance your videos, include text and video animations, transitions, chroma key, and multi-channel audio. Further customize and personalize your presentations by adding titles, logos, text animations, and animated graphics or GIFs. One really great feature is the ability to capture every movement of your mouse, which is helpful for making easy-to-follow videos and tutorials.
ScreenFlow is a lightweight software you can use either on your desktop or IOS device – simply connect your phone to your computer via a lightning connector. You can use either the built-in camera and mic or use an external microphone. I would suggest implementing the latter as the audio will be far superior to what your computer’s microphone can offer.
When it comes to exporting your project, a variety of methods are offered, along with multiple customization options, including an export option that automatically sets the best option for your particular project. Choose between high-quality or rapid exports. The cost of ScreenFlow starts at $129.00 for a year. No free version is available, though they do offer a free trial. Unfortunately, this is one software that is only compatible with Mac.
- Partial or entire screen capture capability
- Extensive editing features
- Professional motion graphics and animations
- User-friendly interface
- IOS recording
- Easy to learn and use
- Convenient drag-and-drop for both audio and video
- On-screen text
- Timer feature
- Audio-filtering function
- Animated GIF support
- Streamlined media management
- ProRes, MP4 encoding
- Closed caption support
- Direct-publishing to Facebook, Vimeo, and YouTube, and more
Building An Online Business
I consistently use screencasts in my affiliate marketing business. They’re extremely versatile for so many applications. If you’d like to learn more about how I got started online, read my REVIEW or click on the banner below to learn more. You can also create a FREE account here. There’s absolutely no risk to sign up, you won’t even be asked for your credit card. Being an online business owner is one of the best ways to reclaim your time and your life!
Screencasting is a powerful and innovative way to share information, and transform the way you communicate, learn, and teach. E-learning is amazing for solidifying new concepts, for saving time, and for simplifying your life. There’s really no reason not to incorporate screencasting into your business and educational strategies. It’s a win/win for everyone involved.
Have you taken the plunge into the exciting world of screencasting? Let me know in the comments:)