About this Collection
Collections offer curated content for UNF professors on practices, platforms, or tools. CIRT collects information from our own Knowledge Base, from official support communities, and from other reputable sources in order to bring you the best in a single location.
This collection reveals the mysteries of screen capturing (sometimes called “screen casting” or “screen recording”). Below you will find a range of tools that can help with recording and sharing the content on your computer screen.
“Screen Capture” refers to the process of capturing and recording the contents of your computer or mobile device screen, usually along with accompanying audio, to create a video. It allows you to demonstrate or share what is happening on your screen with others, whether it’s for educational purposes, tutorials, gaming streams, or troubleshooting.
Screen capture, also known as screen grab, screenshot, or screencap, refers to the act of capturing or taking a static image of your computer or mobile device screen at a specific moment. It allows you to capture a still image of what is displayed on your screen, including desktop applications, web pages, error messages, or any other visual content.
Here are some alternative terminologies used for screen capture:
Screenshot: This is the most commonly used term, which refers to capturing an image of the screen. It can be a full-screen screenshot or a specific portion of the screen.
Screen grab: Similar to screenshot, screen grab is another term used to describe capturing an image of the screen.
Print screen (PrntScrn): This term specifically refers to capturing the entire screen on a Windows computer. Pressing the “Print Screen” key on the keyboard captures the screen image, which can then be pasted into an image-editing program or document.
Snapshot: This term is sometimes used interchangeably with screenshot or screen capture to describe capturing an image of the screen.
Screen dump: This term is less commonly used but can refer to capturing an image of the screen and saving it as a file.
Regardless of the terminology used, screen capture or its variations allow you to create static images that can be saved, shared, or used for documentation, troubleshooting, presentations, or visual reference purposes.
So, Which Screen Capture Software Is the Best?
There are numerous screen capture software options available, each with its own set of features and capabilities. Consider your specific requirements, such as the desired features, ease of use, compatibility with your operating system, and budget (some options are free while others may require a purchase), to choose the software that best suits your needs.
Below you will find some recommended examples, but there are many other screen capture software options available.
Some screen capturing tools are a part of the technologies that the campus community already subscribes to and uses daily. CIRT encourages faculty to explore these options first, because doing so will allow us to provide the highest quality support. If you have any questions about how to integrate these tools into your course, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Canvas Studio is a video platform and interactive learning tool used in educational settings. It is a feature within the Canvas learning management system (LMS) designed to enhance the teaching and learning experience.
Canvas Studio allows instructors and students to create, upload, share, and collaborate on video content.
TechSmith Camtasia is a popular, proprietary screen recording and video editing software developed by TechSmith Corporation. It is widely used for creating professional-quality videos, tutorials, demonstrations, and presentations (CIRT uses it to make a lot of our walkthrough videos).
Camtasia is paid software, so instructors interested in using this tool should contact CIRT first before installing.
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For many, downloading a third-party tool to simply record one’s screen won’t even be necessary. Both Windows and Mac have built-in tools that allow for basic content recording.
Don't let the name of this app fool you, the XBox Game Bar isn't just for video games. Use the Xbox Game Bar with your keyboard and a screen reader to record a video clip of any Windows app. The tool is built-in to Windows 10 and Windows 11 and is supported by Microsoft. For more information on how to use the Game Bar, see Microsoft's Official Documentation.
QuickTime Player can be used to capture screen recordings on macOS. QuickTime Player is a pre-installed multimedia player and screen recording tool that comes with macOS. QuickTime Player's screen recording feature is suitable for basic screen capture needs. However, it offers limited editing options compared to dedicated screen recording and video editing software. If you require more advanced features like annotations, editing capabilities, or post-production effects, you may want to consider using specialized screen capture software such as the ones mentioned earlier, like Snagit or Camtasia.
As mentioned above, there are many other platforms on the market that offer sscreen capture solutions. So many, in fact, that CIRT staff can’t be experts in all of them. Here are links to some solutions that are commonly asked about or used by faculty. Note that while these solutions are not officially supported by CIRT, we will always do our best to help you find the right solution for your class.
Zoom is an excellent way to conduct online meetings and webinars, but it can also be used as an easy tool for quickly recording your screen and audio. While it’s not an ideal screen capture solution because it lacks the editing features of some of the other tools in this collection, some users prefer to use Zoom because it’s quick, easy, and familiar.
Snagit offers numerous benefits as a screen capture software. Its intuitive interface and user-friendly features make it easy for users to quickly capture screenshots, record screen activity, and create professional-looking visuals. With its robust editing capabilities, including annotations, text overlays, and effects, Snagit allows users to enhance and customize their captures. The ability to capture scrolling webpages and long documents is a notable advantage. Moreover, Snagit provides options for easy sharing and integration with various platforms. However, Snagit’s pricing structure might be considered a drawback for some, as it is a premium software with a cost associated with its full range of features.
OBS Studio is a popular choice for screen capture and especially live streaming. Its open-source nature allows for extensive customization and flexibility, providing users with a wide range of options to tailor their recording and streaming setups to their specific needs. OBS Studio supports various video and audio sources, including webcams, microphones, and desktop applications, allowing users to create professional-quality content. It also offers advanced features like scene transitions, filters, and chroma keying, enabling users to enhance the visual presentation of their streams. However, OBS Studio also has constraints to consider. Its powerful features and customization options may result in a steeper learning curve, making it less beginner-friendly compared to more straightforward screen capture tools. Additionally, due to its resource-intensive nature, OBS Studio may require a powerful computer system to handle high-quality recordings and streaming without performance issues. Overall, OBS Studio’s affordances of customization, versatility, and advanced features make it an attractive choice for experienced users, while its constraints may pose challenges for beginners and those with less robust hardware.
ShareX for Windows offers several benefits as a screen capture software. It is a free and open-source tool with a wide range of features and customization options. ShareX allows users to capture screenshots, record videos, and even capture scrolling webpages or specific regions of the screen. It supports various capture methods, including full screen, active window, or specific regions, and provides a comprehensive set of annotation tools for editing and enhancing captures. Additionally, ShareX offers integration with popular platforms and cloud services, making it easy to save, share, and upload captures. However, one potential drawback of ShareX is that its extensive range of features and settings may be overwhelming for some users, particularly those seeking a more straightforward and simplified screen capture solution. Additionally, the abundance of options and settings might require some time and effort to configure and optimize according to individual preferences. Despite these considerations, ShareX remains a popular choice for those seeking a powerful, customizable, and free screen capture tool..