Top Screen Recording Tools

A question I’m often asked when people are putting together their training content, is “What screen recorder should I use?”.

I’ve compiled a short list of screen recorders that I know a bit about. Please do add more detail, plus your own experience and suggestions in the comments section as I know there are a lot more on the market, free or otherwise. These are not product reviews, my post is just intended to make people aware of these products. Each person has a different idea of ‘easy to use’, so it’s worth shopping around and making use of those free trials:

For PC Users:

  • JingProject
    Free 5 minute screen recordings with audio and a little Jing branding, which can be exported to .swf. You can also take screen shots which produce as .png. Plus, there’s a Pro version for USD$15/yr with no branding, and more options including upload direct to YouTube and produce as MPEG-4 (or .swf). Super easy to use but you’re restricted on editing/effects.
  • Camtasia Studio 6
    Free 30-day trial available. It’s quick to get started recording your interaction with the screen be it a PowerPoint or demo. Record or overlay audio, add effects and Picture-in-Picture (PIP) to produce high quality, professional looking videos. Once you get used to the timelines lay-out, they are easy to edit, cut and add to. Output to multiple different formats.
  • Adobe Captivate
    Offer a free 30-day trial as well. There’s an on-going debate between Camtasia and Captivate users as to which is better. Some say editing is easier in Captivate, but I think it may just come down to personal choice. Captivate is a winner when it comes to creating interactive content and instead of timelines, interactions are stored as a series of screens.

For Mac Users:

  • Screenflow
    Built for Mac OS X Leopard, it comes highly recommended for smooth captures and a wide variety of editing tools. Output screen recordings as QuickTime movie. Screenflow is a ‘no go’ on Power Mac.
  • iShowU HD
    A very powerful piece of software, but has an optional low CPU usage mode. Once created sceencasts can be uploaded directly to YouTube, Blip.TV and other online video services.
  • Copernicus (Danicsoft)
    Free product that captures screen and video, but no audio.

Free, web-based screen recorders i.e. nothing to download:

– designed to capture your screen activity, audio and images, then publish and share in blogs and websites. Works in all browsers.

Screenjelly – allows you to quickly record your screen and voice then share it via a link in Twitter and other social networks

PowerPoint to Flash Converter

iSpring Pro – very cool tool for converting PowerPoint Presentations (including audio tracks and animations) in to Flash files. Free 30-day trial of the software.