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People in the sales, customer service, and teaching professions often have to repeatedly explain a process, such as how to customize a module or solve an equation. Text-based tutorials or support documents that explain these steps can help avoid repetition, but they may not always be easy to understand for readers.
Screen recording software records the screen activity on a device to help create video tutorials that can replace text-based documents. The software is extensively used by businesses, educational institutes, and media professionals to create and share how-to videos, training guides, and product demos.
A wide range of screen recording apps is available on the market, and choosing the one that best meets your needs and budget is important. This guide will help you understand the different factors you must keep in mind when shortlisting a software solution.
Here’s what we’ll cover:
- What is screen recording software?
- Common features of screen recording software
- What type of buyer are you?
- Benefits of screen recording software
- Key considerations when selecting screen recording software
What is screen recording software?
Screen recording software is a tool that records the screen activity of your computer, laptop, or mobile device and saves the output in the video format. It captures cursor movements and page clicks as well as records the device audio. Screen recording software is widely used to create support and training videos, educational content, product demo videos, and more.
Common features of screen recording software
In this section, we’ll discuss the common features offered by screen recording software.
|Record/capture||Lets you record the full screen or a specific area of your device. You can pause and resume the recording. Some solutions also offer timer controls.|
|Video formats||Allows you to record videos in multiple formats, such as WMV, MP3, MP4, and MOV.|
|Export options||Helps export the recorded videos to your device or file storage apps, such as Google Drive. You can also publish them on video sharing platforms, such as YouTube and Vimeo.|
|Microphone and audio recording||Assists in recording your narration and the system audio simultaneously or separately.|
|Editing||Allows you to edit the recorded videos. You can trim them, remove background colors, or add closed captions.|
|Annotations||Lets you add notes to the recorded videos. You can highlight parts of the screen, add text, draw arrows and callout boxes, and even blur parts of the screen to hide sensitive/copyright content.|
|Hotkeys||Offers customizable keyboard shortcuts that allow you to capture screenshots, pause/resume recording, etc.|
|Webcam recording||Helps toggle between screen and webcam recording so that the presenter can also be included in the recorded videos.|
What type of buyer are you?
Before you start evaluating software options, you'll want to know which buyer category you belong to so that you pick the right software. Most buyers fall into one of the following categories:
- Enterprises: These buyers require screen recording software to create and share product demo, training, and customer support videos, among others. Enterprises should ensure that the screen recording software they choose supports long duration videos, offers strong editing capabilities, supports multiple video formats, and allows videos to be exported directly to platforms such as YouTube and Vimeo.
- Educational institutions: These buyers are generally professionals in the education industry. Educators are increasingly using screen recording software to facilitate digital learning and create video lessons. Such buyers should opt for a tool that offers webcam recording, annotation, and microphone and audio recording features to create interactive video lessons that help supplement classroom learning.
- Hobbyists: These buyers include hobbyists who like to upload do-it-yourself (DIY) videos, answer other users’ queries about products, and review gadgets and video games, among others. They can opt for a free screen recording tool that offers basic features such as annotation, video export, and support for multiple video formats.
Benefits of screen recording software
Screen recording software is an underrated yet highly useful tool. In this section, we’ll walk you through some of its key benefits.
- Cost effective and easy to use: Creating content that explains “how to do” something through videos often requires the help of professional videographers. By helping you self-record such videos, screen recording software eliminates the need to hire professionals and thus saves you money. Many screen recording apps also offer a free version, which you can use to try out features before purchasing any tool.
- Helps convey instructions better: Text is not always the best means to share instructions. In many cases, video output is more effective and helpful in explaining the steps users need to follow to complete a task. Screen recording software captures screen activities to help create video tutorials that are easier to understand than written instructions.
Key considerations when selecting screen recording software
When exploring software options, be sure to take the following factors into consideration:
- Features versus price: Most screen recording tools offer free as well as paid versions. Free versions will allow you to try software features for free, but the recorded videos will be of a limited length and may even be embedded with the vendor’s name or logo. Paid versions will offer a plethora of features, many of which you may not even require. Thus, understand your business requirements, and opt for a tool that allows you to customize features and select only those modules that you need.
- Quality of output videos: Before zeroing in on any tool, opt for free trials and attend product demos to check the quality of the output videos. If you require high-definition (HD) videos, you’ll have to select a tool that supports HD recording, which will involve a higher price tag. Also, check if the tool allows you to adjust video quality levels to create smaller or larger-sized video files.
- Mobile support: Ensure that the software you choose offers mobile apps for Android, iOS, and Windows devices as well as lets you record videos for mobile and tablet screens of all sizes. Look for compatibility with different versions of mobile operating systems. Also, ensure that the vendor provides frequent software updates for the app.
Note: The application selected in this article is an example to show a feature in context and is not intended as an endorsement or a recommendation. It has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable at the time of publication.