Screen Recorder Recommendations

Hello Experts,

I'm currently using a screen recorder called BSR Screen Recorder. However, I was wondering if someone could let me know if there are any Screen recorders that will allow me to annotate while recording. Similar to the way the teaching guys at CBT Nuggets annotate while giving a lecture.


Who is Participating?
Joe Winograd - EE Fellow & MVEConnect With a Mentor DeveloperCommented:
Hi Carlton,
I use a tool called Screencast-O-Matic to do screen recordings:

They have a Free version, but it is limited to 15-minute recordings and it puts a watermark in the lower left corner. The Pro version allows unlimited recording length and does not put in the watermark. The Pro version is very reasonably priced at $15 for one year, and even better at $29 for three years — just $9.67 per year (that's what I bought). I've done more than 25 five-minute video Micro Tutorials here at EE with Screencast-O-Matic. The first three were with the Free version — here's one:
Cloning a Hard Drive with Casper

I then switched to the Pro version and have done all since the first three with the Pro version. The reason I upgraded to Pro was not the 15-minute limit, since EE video Micro Tutorials are just five minutes, but because of the watermark, which was blocking some stuff in the tutorial. Here's the first video I did with the Pro version:
Make Windows 8 Look Like Earlier Versions of Windows with Classic Shell

Here's the most recent published video that I did with the Pro version:
Xpdf - PDFfonts - Command Line Utility to List Fonts Used in a PDF File

It also provides text tools to allow you to annotate the screen recordings, as explained in this S-O-M video:
Text tools in Draw & Zoom

It also allows you to annotate (and perform other editing) to a finished recording, as explained in this S-O-M video:
Overlay Text

I see that one of your Topics is Windows 10, and I can say for sure that it works with W10. Some of my EE videos were done in W10, but I'm not sure which ones. This is a good possibility, but maybe not (could have been on W7 remotely):
Make Windows 10 Look Like Earlier Versions of Windows with Classic Shell

In any case, it definitely works in W10. Here are some other products besides S-O-M, but you'll have to check which ones support W10 and which ones provide annotations:

(1) I've used the free version of WisdomSoft's AutoScreenRecorder:

It works very well, but the free version doesn't record audio. For that you'll need the Pro (paid) version, which is $49.95. Here's a comparison matrix of the Free vs. Pro versions:

(2) CamStudio is free, open source software at SourceForge:

It allows recording all screen and audio activity, creating industry-standard AVI video files. It also has a built-in streaming Flash producer to convert the AVIs into SWFs. If you have any problems with it, take a look at the Issues section at its own website:

(3) FFVideo is also free, open source software at SourceForge:

It allows recording from screen, audio, webcam, microphone, and other devices. It uses the [ffmpeg] screen-capture-recorder as its recording engine:

[ffmpeg] provides for a number of output formats, including MP4. It is also free, open source and available at SourceForge:

(4) Atomi Systems' ActivePresenter comes in Free, Standard, and Professional Editions:

Even the Free edition can capture an application, specified screen area, or full screen (both manually and automatically). The Free edition supports audio recording and audio/video editing. It has no time limit and creates no watermark. Here's a comparison table of the three editions:

Unlike AutoScreenRecorder and Screencast-O-Matic, where the non-free edition is reasonably priced, the non-free editions of ActivePresenter are expensive – $299 for Standard and $399 for Professional.

(5) TechSmith is best known for its excellent Snagit product, but they also have two products in the video recording space — the basic, low-end Jing (free) and the robust, high-end Camtasia (expensive at $299):

I haven't used either TechSmith product, but have heard good things about both, and am simply passing them along for your consideration.

(6) VLC is best known as an extraordinary (free!) media player:

What is much less known about it is that it has desktop recording capability. This article explains how:

(7) Problem Steps Recorder is free, built into Windows:

However, I don't think there's any control over what part of the screen it records. I could be wrong about that, but in my attempts to use it, it always recorded the entire screen — in fact, multiple displays, which I have. I don't know exactly what you are looking for, but in my case, I had two large monitors in an extended desktop configuration (three now), and Problem Steps Recorder recorded everything on both of them, which I usually did not want. I'm typically interested in just one program (window) being recorded and both AutoScreenRecorder Free and Screencast-O-Matic Free can do that. It all comes down to which product meets your exact requirements.

As a disclaimer, I want to emphasize that I have no affiliation with any of the companies mentioned in this post and no financial interest in them whatsoever. I am simply a happy user/customer. Regards, Joe
David Johnson, CD, MVPOwnerCommented:
They use a program called zoomit
After the recording has made I use Camtasia Studio to annotate.. Snagit can be used for smaller recordings
MereteConnect With a Mentor Commented:
They maybe using an app called Zoomit from windows sysinternals
ZoomIt aims to make presentations and annotations easy enough for anyone to illustrate and add comments and annotations to their presentations and screenshots.
ZoomIt is a screen zoom and annotation tool for technical presentations that include application demonstrations.
It is zipped so have RAR installed or 7zip for windows 7 is free  download it and put in folder then extract here then run the installer. 7zip is added to the right click menu

If it's a yellow curser circle they may have used
Cam Studio portable and enabled the curser  from the Tools screen annotations. can only do this after recorded during play back
display screen annotations cam studioThere is
 Icecream screen recorder pro

Or they may have created the yellow circle with  Realworld Curser Editor and then used that with anything on the desktop 

There is also lots of video on youtube
how to get a yellow circle cursor with camstudio

Use Zoomit to Make Better Youtube Videos
and another shows you how to change the colour dot
fyi with BSR
Using the Auto pan recording. With this feature BSR can record wherever the mouse cursor moves to. Using the ctrl key and mouse they draw a circle.
There is a video here
BSR Screen Recorder Zoom Features Part 1
in this part you can adjust the zoom and background colour
BSR Screen Recorder Zoom Features Part 2

You have lots of choices and I dont know what type of annotations they used
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Ah I was too slow typing up my details answering phone and doing other stuff and David posted prior that was not there before lol.
David Johnson, CD, MVPOwnerCommented:
@merete: happens to me all the time, don't sweat it.
Joe Winograd - EE Fellow & MVEConnect With a Mentor DeveloperCommented:
Screencast-O-Matic (discussed in #a41848678) can annotate while recording. The video tutorials showing how it is done are here:

I had already posted one of the tools at the above tutorials link in the #a41848678 comment:
Text tools in Draw & Zoom

I don't know if Zoomit can do it, but I'm certainly willing to accept David's and Merete's statements that it can, so I would support David's suggestion of #a41849327 and #a41849348 along with #a41848678 as solutions, with an even split of points among the three. Regards, Joe
Member_2_7966113Author Commented:
Amazing answers thanks to you all
Joe Winograd - EE Fellow & MVEDeveloperCommented:
You're welcome. Happy to help. And thanks to you for the compliment and for closing the question — both appreciated! Good luck with your recordings, and annotating them. Regards, Joe
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