Recording Screen Activity

Recording screen activity is usually reserved for demonstrating software, but more and more these days incorporating a “talking head” with an onscreen presentation is a great way to deliver information heavy learning content. This can all be done using free software and online tools.

Recording onscreen activity may be required to present content in a presentation format or to demonstrate using software as a demonstration.

Video talking about software simulations and demonstrations

Authoring Tools

Adobe Captivate

Adobe Captivate is primarily an authoring tool and we’ll explore further in the next level. One of the features is to record on screen activity with a talking head (via the webcam. One of the main advantages of using software like this is the ability to add further call outs, images in post production and to easily incorporate into existing eLearning productions.

Here is an example of a video created using Adobe Captivate video demo including text, callouts and images.

Adobe Captivate Video Demo

Snagit and Camtasia

Snagit and Camtasia come from a company called TechSmith.

Snagit “creates images and videos to give feedback, create clear documentation, and show others exactly what you see” and Camtasia “creates professional-looking videos. Records your screen and edit videos with a powerful, yet easy-to-use video editor.” They are widely respected and used, and provide a robust solution to create high quality videos for screen presentations and software demonstrations.

Other Tools


PowerPoint comes to the rescue again. In this easy to follow video, the presenter goes through step-by-step how to enable screen recording and then recording your screen from within PowerPoint.

This feature in PowerPoint has changed considerable the last few years so be sure to watch recent videos on how to use this feature, as it is found under the Recording tab in PowerPoint. In the past it was found in the Insert tab.


OBS Studio is a free and open-source cross-platform streaming live through online streaming services such as Twitch, YouTube, Facebook and many others. OBS also allows recording your onscreen activity.

There are versions of OBS Studio available for Microsoft Windows, macOS, Linux distributions, and BSD. OBS Project raises funds on Open Collective and Patreon.

I personally use OBS for most of my onscreen presentations these days.

Here is a video sample of a presentation using OBS and Prezi.

Find out more here –


Loom allows you to “record quick videos of your screen and cam. An essential tool for hybrid workplaces.

Some great insights into the Loom product available via their blog here.

Free version available via the Loom website.


Tango doesn’t create videos, however I thought it interesting enough to include here as it does record your onscreen activity. Instead of creating videos it creates documentation that breaks down the step-by-step process of using the online product. You “record your steps” and Tango creates the document.

Tango is a chrome extension that allows you to “create process or product documentation on-demand. Build your team knowledge base effortlessly. Train teammates and customers faster.”

Some cool examples here on their website.

Further research and ideas

Kevin Stratvert is a well respected and popular YouTuber who talks about tech, tips and software.

In this step-by-step tutorial, learn about the top 5 best free screen recorders. These screen recorders are free, show no watermarks, have no recording limits, and allow you to export at high quality levels. I personally use OBS as my screen recorder for all my YouTube videos.