5 ways to capture and record your computer screen

The ability to take a picture or record video of your computer screen is useful in many situations. Working with tech support, capturing images of webpages to include in presentations (this is good back up in case of sketchy Internet connections), and writing directions to explain a process are all situations made easier by including a few images or a video of what it is that you are doing.

1. Snapz Pro X. This is my software of choice and I use it almost daily. At $69, it is a little pricey, but you can download the free trial run to take it for a test drive first. Snapz Pro X allows you to record anything (including video) on your Mac and save it as a JPEG or QuickTime movie. Snapz Pro X also offers a nice set of tutorials to help get the ball rolling.

2. Screeny. This handy little app for Mac can take screenshots or record video and only carries a $15 price tag. Screeny allows you to capture your videos or images at any size by clicking and draging to resize the capture area or enter the exact pixel dimensions (this is pretty common in most screen capture apps). Screeny is available in iTunes or the Mac App store.

3. Jing. This is a free download available for PC or Mac. Jing allows you to capture a picture or create a video of what you see on your computer screen. Sharing is also made easy with the ability to quickly upload your images to the Internet, email, an instant messaging service, Twitter or your blog. Jing also has a nice tutorial center with demonstration videos.

4. Screenshot Plus. This is a free widget for Mac that lives in your Dashboard. Screenshot Plus allows you to take full screen captures or just grab smaller sections of the screen. You can also focus just on a certain window, desktop icons, or other widgets. Once you’ve taken an image, it is saved to the clipboard or to the hard drive and can be exported to any application directly from this widget. Screenshot Plus also has a timer feature that allows you to set up the shot on your computer screen and then have the image captured for you.

5. Print screen. This is a pretty basic option that is built in on most PCs running Windows. Press the PrtScn button on your keyboard to capture your entire screen or press Alt+PrtScn to capture a specific area on your screen. Open the Paint application and paste your image into Paint to edit or resize.

Bonus Round: Skitch, which I’ve talked about in the past, also has a built in screen-capture tool. You can quickly capture a section of your screen and then add annotations or make edits in Skitch. I have started using this free tool almost daily as well. Currently this app is only available for Mac.

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Amber Nutt

Amber Nutt is an Education Support Technologist at the University of Kansas.
  • http://www.aaronsumner.com/ Aaron Sumner

    Also on a Mac, Command-shift-3 captures the whole screen; command-shift-4 lets you select what to capture.

  • http://www.aaronsumner.com/ Aaron Sumner

    Also on a Mac, Command-shift-3 captures the whole screen; command-shift-4 lets you select what to capture.

  • http://www.educationtechnologyblog.com Jonathan Wylie

    The Windows Snipping Tool is also very good, especially as it is free. Available on Vista onward, and much better than the Print Screen button.

  • http://www.aaronsumner.com/ Aaron Sumner

    Thanks for the addition to the list, Jonathan!