3 Screen Capture Software Options: From Free to Not So Free

Screen Capturing can be great tool when trying to show a how to video for completing something on the computer or giving visual and verbal feedback to students on projects or papers.

I wanted to focus on 3 of the tools available to any user but I’m going to gear this blog to educators in developing screen capture recorded content. Each of these 3 tools have their own benefits, from price (FREE) to available editing options (almost an entire video editing suite).

Let’s start off with FREE!

Jing TechSmith LogoJing is a free software available for download from TechSmith. You must install this software on your computer but it’s available for both PC and Mac. I have mentioned this tool in the past and find it great for those just needing a quick simple tool to record screen captures, either as images or video, without major editing. Jing FREE version has the follow options:

  • SWF video
  • 5-minutes of screen recording
  • Mark-up tools for images
  • Screencast.com Free Account

Jing can be used to:

  • Take Screenshots: Capture an image of what you see on your computer screen
  • Record Screencasts: Record what you see and do on your monitor
  • Collaborate: Jing’s older siblings – Snagit and Camtasia – are great for editing and enhanced sharing

Here are a few great stories from educators using Jing: http://www.techsmith.com/jing-uses.html

Download now: Jing PC or Mac

For $14.95 a year you can upgrade to Jing PLUS for these extra features:

  • Webcam recording
  • Instant sharing to YouTube
  • MPEG-4 Videos

Below is an example of using Jing to record a screencast and using screencast.com to share.

Using Jing to Screencast

Another FREE option!

Screenr is a FREE web based screen recording program that allows you to forget the download. This option allows you to record on Mac or PC without any downloads. Just visit http://screenr.com and click “Launch screen recorder now.”

Screenr makes it easy to share in several different ways.

Screenr Sharing and Publishing Options

Pro versions are available for businesses wanting to integrate the tool into their website for help desk ticket support, private screencast, and large storage for multiple screenrs.

Example of using Screenr for Screencasting


Not So Free but LOTS of Options!

Camtasia Studio is another TechSmith product that brings with it a whole studio of options to screencasting. Camtasia strikes the right balance between a powerful toolset and ease of use. With the latest version 7.1, it adds even more features without making the app any more complex to use.

The feature-packed screencast app does have a learning curve, but the user-friendly interface and front-and-center icons for most-used tools go a long way toward lowering the intimidation factor a notch. TechSmith provides a useful online help center that includes several video tutorials that do a nice job walking users through the main functionality of the software.

When you first launch Camtasia Studio 7.1, you’re greeted with an integrated tutorial video that helps get you acquainted with the software. The main window features a content area in the upper right that showcases a variety of options. Here, you can view the clip bin, access your content library, and tweak features such as callouts, zoom-n-pan, audio, and transitions.

  • Record PowerPoint presentations, websites, webcams, and software demos easily
  • Edit screencasts to perfection by cutting, splicing, adding transitions, and captions
  • Produce your video in many formats, or share to YouTube or Screencast.com

Camtasia is available at a discount for educators for $179.00, about 40% off retail price. Educational Pricing or try for 30 days to give it a whirl.

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4 Comments on “3 Screen Capture Software Options: From Free to Not So Free

  1. I just discovered a new online course about (recording a screencast | creating online videos | screencasting) using simple tools online, if anyone’s been wondering what’s one of the best ways to screencast, then check out the new training series on http://www.youtube.com/mycsula.

  2. Camtasia is pretty awesome, I used it for a long time, and another useful option many don’t know, is that PaintShop Pro has a secret screenshot option, I found out myself a couple of days ago thru this article http://www.paintshoppro.com/en/pages/screenshots/ and I was impressed with the quality of the screenshot and how easy it is to use. I am sticking with it! 🙂

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