Recording screen (screencasting), without a doubt, is one of the fastest ways to share information with others. It can be a presentation, software demo, app preview, tutorial, or simply a way to show your family or friends how to get things done. A single screencast can speak a thousand words. Add a speech on top of it and you are ready to do some serious tutorials and whatnot.
While the outcome of it will largely depend on your speaking abilities, you can still choose to record just what you do without saying anything. But nevertheless, this is by far the best way to share large amounts of information in the least time possible.
For those who think that one can’t get away with a free set of tools are probably unaware of the wide selection we have today. Of course, free tools cannot be compared to those used by professionals. Although some of the free tools may offer a decent amount of features, all that’s really needed is to record the screen and if possible then sound. The best of all is that you don’t need any expensive equipment like cameras, lights, tripods, etc. However, if you want to record your speech, a good quality microphone is a must.
This list is a mix of both free and paid solutions so it is up to you to choose what suits your needs best. If you want a professional all-in-one recording software regardless of the price, there are quite a few to choose from below.
1. ScreenFlow (Mac)
ScreenFlow from Telestream is a screencasting and video editing solution only available on Mac. With the help of it you can record the contents of your entire monitor while also capturing your video camera, microphone and your computer audio. A few editing tools will also come in handy when you want to add text, music and transitions to the video.
2. CamStudio (Windows)
CamStudio is able to record your computer screen with audio input from microphone or speakers. Basically, you can do any task that requires to capture desktop activity. Many support this open source app and recommend it since it allows you to do basic editing and the ability to to annotate and append videos with comments, a time stamp, and a territorial watermark.
3. Jing (Windows, Mac)
Jing is a simple yet powerful screencasting software for taking pictures and capturing videos of the computer screen. It is well-known for its ease of sharing that allows you to upload work to Screencast.com, an FTP site, Flickr, or YouTube. Furthermore, image tools will also come in handy if you want to add text, highlight existing text, or add an arrow or a rectangle to annotate your capture.
4. Camtasia (Windows, Mac)
Considered to be the top professional video recording software, Camtasia has everything you can possibly ask for. It has a powerful toolset and ease of use will also prove useful for people who are just starting out. What’s more is that it offers speech-to-text with a voice training feature and a whole lot more things that will make you look like a pro.
In a nutshell, it allows you to edit videos to perfection and share them on popular video sites, Apple devices, your website, blog or anywhere you like.
5. FRAPS (Windows)
FRAPS, while mostly used to record gameplays, is also a great choice for those who want to record their screen the easy way. Now, most of you may immediately think that FRAPS was designed only for gamers. But this is not simply the case. It has the firepower to create high-quality videos and will capture resolutions of up to 1920 x 1080 pixels, no matter while in-game or on the desktop. Ease of use and professional tools is also a top-priority and as a result you get a lot more than you can ask for.
6. iShowU HD Pro (Mac)
iShowU HD is built for speed. Rebuilt from the ground up, this powerful tool offers high performance and a brand new, easy-to-use interface at a price you can deal with. It has ability to show keystrokes on the screen which is essential for making compelling video tutorials. Above all, It’s easy to get started with and setting it up for recording will take just few steps.
7. Copernicus (Mac)
Copernicus is a great little tool for taking screenshots. But it also handles screen capturing very well. The only downside is that you cannot record audio which is one of the most sought-after features of a screen recorder. But nevertheless, you can do decent quality screencasts and export them as a Quicktime movie files. Most importantly, Copernicus is free.
8. Screenflick (Mac)
Screenflick is a neat software for high performance and quality screen capturing. What is more important is the flexibility which allows you to compress the screencasts at different resolutions and qualities. You can simultaneously record audio from internal or external microphones and the system audio. Overall, this is a great piece of software without breaking the bank.
9. Screenium (Mac)
Screenium is a long time favorite fom Mac users when it comes down to screencasting. As with many other solutions, Screenium allows you to record full-screen, or in a single window or prescribed area. It features a built-in video and audio editor that will eliminate the need for programs such as iMovie to organize and clean up screencasts. Upon finishing creating videos for your family or friends, you can export them in any video format supported by Quicktime. If that’s not enough, how about uploading them to YouTube or any other video sharing portal?
10. Screen Mimic (Mac)
Screen Mimic allows you to create screencasts in as Adobe Flash (SWF), Flash Video (FLV), or Quicktime (MOV) video formats. It can record your full desktop, or a window or spefific area. Do a voiceover using your system’s microphone, or use an audio file as a background track, this software has many great features.
11. FastStone Capture (Windows)
FastStone Capture is a small yet highly configurable, powerful, lightweight and full-featured screen capture tool. Easily capture and annotate anything on the screen including windows, objects, menus, full screen, rectangular, freehand regions and even scrolling windows or web pages. 19.95$ is definitely worth for a lifetime license considering the huge variety of features this program offers.
12. recordMyDesktop (Linux)
recordMyDesktop is probably the only true screen capturing tool for Linux users. If you’ve ever wondered how did someone capture their desktop video how-to’s, it may very well be thanks to this powerful tool.
13. Snapz Pro X (Mac)
Snapz Pro X helps you to quickly record anything that happens on the screen. It has more control and options compared to other screen recording tools, giving your projects a professional edge. It is hard to compare Snapz Pro X with others, but if there was such a list, it would sit near the top.