What’s a good screenshot software to make tutorials

I am tired of teachers asking me the same thing over and over so I want to use a screenshot utility to show them how to get certain forms from a particular website .

Eg if I mouse over something and another menu appears I want to be able to show all those things
brian ramdhaniCT Technician Asked:
Who is Participating?

[Product update] Infrastructure Analysis Tool is now available with Business Accounts.Learn More

x
I wear a lot of hats...

"The solutions and answers provided on Experts Exchange have been extremely helpful to me over the last few years. I wear a lot of hats - Developer, Database Administrator, Help Desk, etc., so I know a lot of things but not a lot about one thing. Experts Exchange gives me answers from people who do know a lot about one thing, in a easy to use platform." -Todd S.

Joe Winograd, Fellow&MVEDeveloperCommented:
Hi Brian,
I use a tool called Screencast-O-Matic to do screen recordings:
https://screencast-o-matic.com

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 30 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:
How to create signatures in the free Adobe Acrobat Reader DC software

Although I don't use the feature in EE videos, Screencast-O-Matic has editing tools. 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 Screencast-O-Matic, but you'll have to check which ones support W10:

(1) I've used the free version of WisdomSoft's AutoScreenRecorder:
http://www.wisdom-soft.com/products/autoscreenrecorder_free.htm

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:
http://www.wisdom-soft.com/asr/asr_compare.htm

(2) CamStudio is free, open source software at SourceForge:
http://sourceforge.net/projects/camstudio/

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:
http://camstudio.org/

(3) FFVideo is also free, open source software at SourceForge:
http://sourceforge.net/projects/ffvideo/

It allows recording from screen, audio, webcam, microphone, and other devices. It uses the [ffmpeg] screen-capture-recorder as its recording engine:
https://github.com/rdp/screen-capture-recorder-to-video-windows-free

[ffmpeg] provides for a number of output formats, including MP4. It is also free, open source and available at SourceForge:
https://sourceforge.net/projects/screencapturer/files

(4) Atomi Systems' ActivePresenter comes in Free, Standard, and Professional Editions:
http://atomisystems.com/activepresenter/

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:
http://atomisystems.com/activepresenter/features-comparison/

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):
https://www.techsmith.com/jing-tool.html
http://www.techsmith.com/camtasia.html

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:
http://www.videolan.org/

What is much less known about it is that it has desktop recording capability. This article explains how:
https://www.vlchelp.com/how-to-record-desktop

(7) Problem Steps Recorder is free, built into Windows 7:
https://blogs.msdn.microsoft.com/patricka/2010/01/04/using-the-secret-windows-7-problem-steps-recorder-to-create-step-by-step-screenshot-documents/

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
1

Experts Exchange Solution brought to you by

Your issues matter to us.

Facing a tech roadblock? Get the help and guidance you need from experienced professionals who care. Ask your question anytime, anywhere, with no hassle.

Start your 7-day free trial
brian ramdhaniCT Technician Author Commented:
Ok I am more Interested in screenshots than videos. It easier to create a pdf for them to follow and print it out than for them to sit down to watch a video
0
Joe Winograd, Fellow&MVEDeveloperCommented:
OK, I thought you wanted video tutorials. For screenshots, there are many programs, free and non-free, that can do it. An excellent free, open source one is Greenshot, published at SourceForge:
http://sourceforge.net/projects/greenshot/

And here is its own website:
http://getgreenshot.org/

You can create screenshots of a selected region, a window, or screen. You can annotate, highlight, and redact screenshots.

Another free one is the Snipping Tool, which is built into Vista, W7, W8, and W10. You can set it up to launch on a hotkey by right-clicking on its shortcut in Accessories, then clicking the Shortcut tab, then enter the hotkey you want in the "Shortcut key:" box. I configured mine for the numeric keypad minus sign. That key is in the upper right on my keyboard and being able to tap that and have it bring up the Snipping Tool is really convenient. The Snipping Tool places the image on the clipboard and also has a Save As feature that lets you save it in several formats, including JPG and PNG.

Another idea is to use the PrintScreen key (some keyboards call it PrntScrn, PrtSc, PS, etc.). Support for it is built into Windows. If you hit PrintScreen, it captures the entire screen; if you hit Alt-PrintScreen, it captures the focus (active) Window. Then you simply Paste (Ctrl-V) into any imaging program to crop it. IrfanView is excellent (free!) imaging software that I've been using for many years to do this (as mentioned in my EE article, How To Embed Screenshots in Posts).

After using PrintScreen or Alt-PrintScreen to capture what you want, run IrfanView, hit Ctrl-V, then use the mouse to select the portion of the image you want, and click Edit>Crop Selection. Do a Save As to a JPG, BMP, PNG, or whatever format you prefer — IrfanView supports a wide range of graphics file formats.

A very popular non-free, but reasonably priced, product is TechSmith's Snagit:
https://www.techsmith.com/snagit.html

TechSmith also has a free product called Jing:
https://www.techsmith.com/jing-tool.html

It doesn't have all the functionality of Snagit, but it's good — and it's free.

Btw, here's a very interesting EE thread on the same subject that I participated in — definitely worth a read:
http://www.experts-exchange.com/OS/Microsoft_Operating_Systems/Windows/Q_28345802.html

Regards, Joe
0
The 7 Worst Nightmares of a Sysadmin

Fear not! To defend your business’ IT systems we’re going to shine a light on the seven most sinister terrors that haunt sysadmins. That way you can be sure there’s nothing in your stack waiting to go bump in the night.

brian ramdhaniCT Technician Author Commented:
Ok think I will test out the problem steps recorder first then try the others you mentioned
0
Joe Winograd, Fellow&MVEDeveloperCommented:
Sounds like a plan!
0
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
For what you are doing (and mentioned in Joe's list), I use SnagIt by TechSmith. Top of class and every screenshot you see here in EE by me is with SnagIt.
1
brian ramdhaniCT Technician Author Commented:
Ok will give it a try
0
Andrew LeniartFreelance Journalist & IT ConsultantCommented:
Hi Brian,

I've tried tons of both Free and Commercial screen capture tools that I own licenses to, but I now swear by an incredibly powerful shareware tool called "ScreenShot Captor"

It's totally free for non-commercial use and donations are up to you if you want to make them or not. I decided to donate to the author because of the usefulness of the tool to me, even though I didn't have to and the donation gave me no additional features!

Here's the link to the tool:  http://www.donationcoder.com/software/mouser/popular-apps/screenshot-captor

I use it on a daily basis!

An absolutely brilliant tool in my opinion and I urge you (and anyone else) to give it a try!

I hope that's helpful.

Regards, Andrew
0
Eoin OSullivanConsultantCommented:
On Apple OSX I can recommend ..

Skitch - FREE - https://evernote.com/products/skitch (now managed by Evernote)
SnagIt - $50 -  https://www.techsmith.com/screen-capture.html

You can also use the in-built OSX screen capture commands and then edit the image in Preview and overlay annotation but it doesn't support a timed screenshot which is great for capturing drop-down menus etc.
https://support.apple.com/en-ie/HT201361
0
Joe Winograd, Fellow&MVEDeveloperCommented:
This is one of those questions that asks for suggestions of a product to perform a specific function. As such, there are no right or wrong answers, as long as the recommended product performs the desired function, so I selected the posts where appropriate products were recommended. There is no "Best" answer in this case, so I selected the first post with a recommended product as the Accepted Solution and all the others as Assisted Solutions, but I split the points evenly among the participating experts. Regards, Joe
0
It's more than this solution.Get answers and train to solve all your tech problems - anytime, anywhere.Try it for free Edge Out The Competitionfor your dream job with proven skills and certifications.Get started today Stand Outas the employee with proven skills.Start learning today for free Move Your Career Forwardwith certification training in the latest technologies.Start your trial today
Windows 10

From novice to tech pro — start learning today.