Screen capture for free

There are times when either you or your students are required to show something you have done on the screen of your PC. Sorry Macs. This post is only for PC owners.

Searching for “Free” software these days results in hundreds of links to “free downloads” that then have to be paid for (and are often “toxic” virally). Like for example Obviously, looking for some surefire solutions I checked that as well hoping that it will fullfil the promise of being camtasia :-).

Well, Camstudio may be really a nice tool if it was not for the advertising/ makertising component which pissing off my antivirus makes me constantly hypertense about the privacy of my files. If you switch off real time scanning, yes that is a tool which does what it says, for free!!

We all know that education is seriously underfunded, so experimenting/exploring etc needs to be done for free, right? 30-40 days of trial period is not enough…

Not used it in anger yet, but a hidden gem from Microsoft of all people, is “Expression Encoder 4”. The only limit I can see is videos are limited to 5 minutes, which sounds like a great safety valve.  It simply makes you think what you really need to say. Plus nice tool layout is an asset.

Anyway, here’s a link which includes a (safe) download link, install instructions (you do NOT need to register or have the license key/code it asks for (you just ignore that bit and click “continue” – WONDERFUL!), and a tutorial on how to set it up for optimal video and audio quality.

Don’t know if it allows you to draw on screen, add captions etc yet, but the best and safest I’ve seen so far.

You get what you pay for. Most of the free options will contain limitations such as file  type (flash not compatible with all devices), web only hosting with limited privacy, length of clip, and little if any editing options.

Here a few free ones:

I still think that Techsmith Camtasia is an easy to use option for most teachers. It is intuitive, compatible, and has many simple editing options. However pricey it is.

I use Jing and MS Encoder and acctually cannot complain. 🙂