Heard Wonders About Camtasia But Can’t Afford It? Try ActivePresenter [Windows]

Jessica Cam Wong 24-01-2012

activepresenter reviewDo you have a vast knowledge about, say, Windows or Gmail, and would love to share that on YouTube? Many tech gurus on YouTube record their tips using Camtasia Studio, the leading screen-recording software that bundles a compositing suite. Does that mean you must have Camtasia as well? If you can afford it, go right ahead.


There are other options 5 Free Screencasting Apps for Creating Video Tutorials Read More when it comes to recording your screen, however. Camstudio is a simple open-source screen recorder that’s great for someone who’s starting out his or her YouTube show The Best Settings & Formats for Capturing Videos for YouTube Read More on software tips and how-to’s. If you’re looking for something that allows you to enhance your videos even more, check out what ActivePresenter offers. ActivePresenter is a screencasting software that you can use to author training tutorials and software walkthroughs. Let’s see what other features ActivePresenter has for us.


ActivePresenter comes in three different versions: Free, Standard and Professional. You can read the feature comparison here, but basically, the Standard and Professional versions allow a bit more interactivity with the final video product and can export to a few more formats than the Free version (e.g. Flash, HTML, AJAX, PDF). The latter has the same capture, editing and audiovisual features that are offered by the Standard and Professional versions. In this article, we’ll be testing the Free version.

Once you download the latest release of ActivePresenter, you can create a new project or capture and start recording your whole desktop, a specific application window or simply in any of the preset sizes, which include HD resolution (1280 x 720) and full HD (1920 x 1080).
activepresenter review
After you are done with the recording, you’ll be taken to the editing window, where you’ll see a timeline on the bottom to visualize all the items on your screencast. If you’ve ever worked with Windows Live Movie Maker How To Watermark Your Videos In Windows Movie Maker If you want to protect your work, make it more distinguishable, and add a professional touch, you should consider adding your watermark. Read More or iMovie 5 Awesome New Features In iMovie '11 [Mac] Read More , you’ll know that on the timeline, you can shrink the duration of certain items, move things around, and customize your demo even further.
activepresenter free
Basically, this where you can make a montage with all the elements you envision in your tutorial. You’ll be able to insert all types of elements to enhance your screencast, including annotations, callouts, voice-overs, mouse-clicks, etc.
activepresenter free

Not only can you add other videos PiP style Two Ways To Sneak A Peek At Videos While You're Working Watching videos is fun. OK, let’s face it, it’s addictive. But unfortunately, there are some other things we have to do. We can’t always watch videos - or can we? What if you could watch... Read More , you can also edit your screenshots with the built-in image editor, which you can use to crop the image, add text and lines to highlight a specific section, and more.
activepresenter free
Once you’ve got all the frames in the desired order, have added all the necessary annotations and overlays, and have the most satisfying screencast with synced audio and no hiccups, you can export your work in several formats.
activepresenter review
If you’re on a quest to produce your very own incredible tutorials, you should definitely give ActivePresenter a try. Its interface may look intimidating, but it’s actually pretty painless to create great presentations.

For other ways to build tutorials or even product demos, definitely check out Wink 4 Tools for Creating Screenshots and Screencasts Read More too. It involves a bit more manual work as you’re in charge of every video frame, but it can produce some great video walkthroughs.


What’s your favorite screencasting software? Let us know in the comments section below!

Related topics: Presentations, Screen Capture, Screencast, Video Editor.

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  1. Eddie
    June 30, 2012 at 8:10 pm

    Only your review I went for the free version and I love it. It is absolutely a fine free program that most will want. It doesn't record sound from the system, but it does a fine job with a microphone. I would whole-heartedly recommend this to anyone looking for alternatives to the "big guy" (I happen to own, b-t-w).


    • Jessica Cam Wong
      July 1, 2012 at 7:21 pm

      Hmm, I didn't know you couldn't record the sound from the system. I guess one workaround would be to use the microphone and put it very close to the sound source in your computer to record the system sounds. Perhaps you can email the ActivePresenter developers to ask if such a feature exists.

      • Eddie
        July 1, 2012 at 8:50 pm

        I went to the site and found, indeed, you can not record system sounds. They say that it's on their "to do" list but I'm not holding my breath. But, still, it is a great piece of software that doesn't bog down the system even when recording cpu-intensive programs. I have an older Lenovo desktop that I put 6GB of ddr2 ram in. It has dual-core cpu and 2.33 Ghz cpu. Nothing fancy, but I wouldn't buy a faster one when this one can do nearly everything I throw at it.

        • Jerry
          July 6, 2012 at 10:41 am

          Hi Eddie,
          Actually, you can record system sounds with ActivePresenter. Just select "Stereo Mix" as the recording device.
          This is a hardware related function rather than software related.
          You can google "stereo mix" for more information on this, there are also many guides out there on how to enable "Stereo Mix" to record what you hear.

        • Eddie
          July 6, 2012 at 12:24 pm

          I humbly stand corrected. I went to Lenovo and updated the audio driver and BAM! Now, I can record system sounds, but the mic is "currently unavailable" when I pull up recording devices.