Create Screen Capture Videos using QuickTime Player for Mac
In this lesson I show you how to create screen capture videos. Recording your screen is perfect for training or demonstration purposes. I have been creating screen capture videos for several years as a way for my college students to review material we’ve covered in class, especially for courses on software, like Photoshop.
There is a variety of software you can use to make screen capture videos.
Here’s a partial list:
- QuickTime Player (comes free with Mac OS X)
- Camtasia (Mac and Windows)
- Screenflow (Mac)
- Snagit (Mac and Windows) – an affordable alternative to Camtasia.
- Jing (Flash based – Web app)
- Tiny Take (Windows)
You can also capture what you’re doing on your iPad or iPhone with Apple QuickTime Player. You will need a newer iPhone or iPad and a newer Mac computer running OS 10.10 or later. Here’s an example of a video where I did that.
I won’t be teaching specifics of any particular software except QuickTime Player. Most of the software companies have their own free training.
What I use
I use QuickTime Player for my simple screen captures, simple webcam videos and also audio recordings. I’ve grown to love this little app. It starts up quickly and I use it a lot! I think it’s quite under-rated and almost forgotten about by most people.
For more extensive and “fancy” editing I use Camtasia for Mac for my screen recordings. I have used other software as well, but it’s something that works well for me. When I started out, I used Jing for a bit, but found it somewhat limiting. Techsmith makes Camtasia for Mac and Windows, Snagit, Jing, and other apps.
Once you know the theory of screen capture and how to set things up, you can transfer that theory to any other screen capture software.
In the video I go over a few setup tips.
The screen area you are recording should be small – ideally at the size of your final video. For example if you’re doing final videos at 720 x 1280, then capture an area on your screen of that same size.
Before you record your first screen capture videos, read and watch the next video lesson for an insider trick.
In Quicktime, the editing features are quite minimal, so you may find that a bit frustrating.
Video Best Practices
Techsmith has a blog post with some more general tips on Screen casting and editing. You can read it here.
Download the free trials first
I suggest you test out some of the software first. You need to make sure your computer will work with the software.
Also, if that software can also edit your web camera video clips, then you can do more with your videos, than if you just use Quicktime. That’s one of the reasons I use Camtasia. It can also combine web cam and screen captures into one video. That’s handy too!
Check out all the blog posts in this mini course:
- Making Connections
- Your Biggest Fear
- How to Look Younger on YouTube – without getting plastic surgery
- Webcam Setup and Capture tips using Quicktime Player
- Lighting Tips for Webcam Videos
- Zoom your webcam or get close?
- Get better colour from your webcam
- Basic Video Edits using QuickTime
- Create Screen Capture Videos
- Insider tips for recording full screen video