Screencast or screen capture – why not both?

Screen capture software allows you to capture a region on your screen, a file or a scrolling window. Much like the Windows print screen command does, but with more control and lots of other features. Screencasting software allows you to do a ‘video’ of what’s happening on your screen.

I have high hopes that we will be able to do either one of these or both, starting with how to use our catalogue.

Unfortunately, like any good software, it costs money. However, Techsmith, the creators of widely respected screencasting software Camtasia Studio and screen capture software SnagIt is making a special offer. You can download an older copy of each package from the web (Camtasia 3 – version 5 is the current and SnagIt 7.2.5 as opposed to current 8.2). If you then choose to upgrade from that to the current version, you get it at a cheaper rate. Upgrade or no, its worth looking into.

Sounds great and I have already downloaded both, without planning to upgrade. However, be aware that not all is wonderful – according to comments on the Download Squad blog post which highlighted these offers, some users had trouble installing and using the software and ended up uninstalling. I had no trouble installing, but haven’t yet tried using them. Will keep you posted. In the meantime, why not get a copy of each for yourself and see what you can do with them for your library.


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    • snail on December 5, 2007 at 1:13 pm

    I’m currently using fireshot, an extension for firefox, that’s filling my screenshot needs rather nicely. It makes it really easy to add comments to the image, not to mention circling and blocking important bits.

    • E on December 5, 2007 at 11:52 pm

    Another one I know of a BB FlashBack which allows grabbing screen captures, adding audio, some manipulation and editing, and can convert to various formats such as Adobe Flash, AVI and Powerpoint.

    On the free/open source side, there’s CamStudio which looks pretty mature, and Wink which is similar, but based on screen captures (stills) or any other images, rather than actual moving video of the action. Would be good for publishing a set of powerpoint slides or similar with voice-over and or text-over.

    Evan (the spousal-underunit)

    • Michelle McLean on December 6, 2007 at 11:03 am

    Great alternatives guys, thanks!

    • Gilly on December 20, 2007 at 12:57 pm

    Hi there
    thanks for the great blog… just a quick note about Camtasia 3. It’s not compatible with Windows Vista (am just going through the upgrade myself as this is truly a great product… though expensive!)

    • Michelle McLean on December 20, 2007 at 10:38 pm

    Thanks for the comment and the note about Vista. Have avoided having to get it so far myself, so its useful to know.

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