Why You Need Audio Descriptions to Make Online Course Videos Accessible

caption online video courses

Not only does the ADA Section 504-refresh highlight the need for audio descriptions in higher education videos, but it’s also an accessibility best practice that has the potential to benefit all students.

Learn the different types of audio descriptions, how they work, and how to create them so your institution stays compliant.

Are audio descriptions like captions?

Sort of.  Here’s the difference: captions use text to describe what’s being heard on-screen. Audio descriptions (AD) talk through what’s being seen. Put another way, captions help people who are hard of hearing, while audio descriptions help people who have difficulty seeing.

Audio descriptions are also sometimes called ‘video descriptions’ or ‘descriptive narration tracks.’ They all refer to the same thing – an option that gives you all the information from a video without ever opening your eyes.

You’ve probably watched movies that have embedded audio descriptions, even though you didn’t use them yourself (or even know they were there!). Ever see the AD symbol on a DVD? That means the movie has an audio description track that can be turned on as needed. Many movie theaters offer audio description support, too.

Audio descriptions icon

An example – what they sound like
Although visuals are a core strength of video’s ability to convey information, it can be difficult for people with sight loss to understand what’s going on based on standard audio alone. Audio descriptions bridge the gap by narrating what occurs on screen so everyone can understand the meaning.

Here’s an example that demonstrates how audio descriptions can describe important on-screen action that makes the video easier to understand for sight-challenged viewers.

Audio descriptions icon on a still-frame of a popular movie clip, The Lion King

In higher education, audio descriptions are important and providing them is legally required. This is good news because it makes crucial on-screen visuals in online and blended courses available to every student.

Audio descriptions help many types of learners

Audio descriptions help people with a visual disability (more than seven and a half million adults in the United States alone) as well as students with lesser degrees of vision loss.

They can help other students, too. Some people learn better with both audio and visual inputs or are primarily auditory learners. Non-native speakers may like hearing audio descriptions to better understand the language. Students on the autism spectrum can benefit from hearing social/facial cues read aloud.

Student on a jostling bus, using headphones to listen to a video lesson with audio descriptions

Some students turn on audio descriptions simply because they prefer to hear the video lesson. Whether they’re jogging, reviewing a video lesson at night with headphones while their roommate sleeps, or watching videos on a jostling bus, there are many reasons why having the option to treat the lecture like a podcast makes sense.

How to add audio descriptions

There are two main ways to add audio descriptions:

  • Embedded voice descriptions – In this method, audio descriptions are their own separate digital “track,” behind the scenes. They can be turned on as needed. This is the most advanced and versatile method because all students have the same version of the video, and only listen to audio descriptions if they need them.

The best of today’s accessible video platforms now offer features that make it easy to add audio description tracks to videos. In TechSmith Knowmia, formerly TechSmith Relay, you simply log in, go to your video, click on the ‘Accessibility’ tab, and then ‘Manage Audio Description.’

Screenshot of how to add audio descriptions in TechSmith Relay. Click on Accessibility and then Manage Audio Descriptions

Then, upload your audio description track, which can be an Mp3 or M4A file type. Once your video has an audio description track, students can easily turn it on by clicking the AD Track button on the video player.

Screenshot of what video looks like once an audio description track is included, with the AD icon
  • Separate video – Usually only used when embedded tracks are not available, this involves creating a duplicate video with audio descriptions permanently part of the audio, or “burned in.” There’s no option to turn on or off the audio description narration with this method. While this is great for students who always use the narration, having two copies of every video can be confusing and double bandwidth and storage costs.

Create audio descriptions yourself, or outsource

The easiest way to create audio descriptions is to outsource it to a company who does this as a service. Many of the same vendors who create captions can also create audio descriptions and usually charge about $15-$30 per minute.

Another option is to create audio descriptions in-house. It’s more affordable, and you retain complete control of the wording and phrasing.

An instructor creating audio descriptions

Before you begin, learn from those who have done this before and can share best practices. There are a number of preferred ways to explain what’s happening on-screen. It’s helpful and will save you time when you understand common practices. One great resource is the Described and Captioned Media Program (DCMP), which has a handy description key and other resources with tips and techniques that will make your audio descriptions easier to create and understand.

When you record your audio descriptions, keep in mind that they don’t need to synch perfectly with the visuals. As long as they are approximately nearby the on-screen action, they will be effective.

Another tip is to time your narration so that it doesn’t interfere with on-screen dialogue or other audio in the original video. Record audio descriptions in the empty spaces in between the existing audio. You don’t need to verbally explain every single thing that happens on the screen, as long as you describe the gist of what’s happening.   

Alternatives to audio descriptions

An annotated transcript is an alternative to audio descriptions. Instead of narrating what’s happening visually, you write it out and provide it separate from the video.

For example, if a complicated chart is shown in a health sciences video, an annotated transcript would include an extra section that describes what the chart looks like, in detail.

One benefit of this method is that deaf and blind students can use assistive devices to ‘read’ these transcripts, whereas audio descriptions are only helpful to those who can hear. Extended transcripts may also help other types of students who want to review material through written words, or struggle to process visual information for other reasons. Cons include extra time creating the transcript and maintaining another resource.

Health sciences instructor explaining a medical skeletal model in a video lesson

A final alternative to audio descriptions is simply to verbally describe all visuals within your original video. This takes the concept of providing an AD track and makes it part of the video itself. This method works particularly well for educational videos and demonstrations where descriptions of on-screen action are a natural addition.

For example, if you’re making a video lesson with a chart, verbally explain the main points. If you’re hand-writing a calculus proof, talk through it as you go. Demonstrating a chemistry experiment? Describe what you’re doing along the way, so students have the audio and visuals.

There’s a lot to understand about audio descriptions. This topic will continue to grow as more video platforms offer this functionality, and more colleges and universities begin including audio descriptions alongside video captions as standard accessibility accommodations.

Learn more about TechSmith Knowmia and its accessibility solutions including Audio Description track support.

Dayna Christians

Marketing Content Strategist at TechSmith. I love photography, web design, and baby giraffes, not in that order.

Simplified User Interface: The Beginner’s Guide

Mocked-up website with a simplified user interface

It can be difficult to onboard users to new and complex interfaces and workflows. Too much information can easily overwhelm the user and make it difficult to keep the focus on the essential feature or functionality.

Additionally, software updates tend to be frequent. These regular updates, coupled with localization processes, can make documentation work in the software industry quite demanding for technical content creators. How can we face these challenges without having to constantly update supporting content?

What if we designed our visual content in a way that is easy to follow, and is able to withstand future UI tweaks?

Let us introduce a design technique used by TechSmith’s User Assistance team and others – it’s called simplified user interface.

Simplified User Interface: What is it?

A simplified user interface (SUI) is a visual representation of a software interface that removes  unimportant elements and reduces them to simpler shapes.

Simplified User Interface graphic showing PowerPoint UI
An example of SUI (pronounced “sue-ee” by the TechSmith User Assistance team).

The elements that are fundamental to the instructions or for the user to understand are purposefully kept visible and the SUI graphics serves as a visual aid to support the instructional content given, via the sub- or figure text.

SUI graphics allow for easy-to-follow instructions which enable the reader to get to the point quickly and avoid distractions.

Keep it simple, Stupid!

SUI graphics leverage the famous K.I.S.S. (Keep it simple, Stupid!) principle: systems perform better if they are kept simple and when unnecessary complexities are avoided. By reducing the graphics to a simpler state and by removing distractions, we can allow the user to focus on only the essential information, which creates a better experience.

Josh Cavalier,an eLearning expert, describes cognitive load as the “amount of information being processed by the brain”. When you reduce the amount of distractions for your audience, they are better able to focus their attention on what is important.

Simplified User Interface graphic with one menu item exposed
In this example, only a single menu item is shown so as direct user attention to something specific.

In a recent blog post from The Interaction Design Foundation, it’s explained that a user is focused solely on how useful something will be for them. This is true for both the product design itself but also for the how-to documentation and instructions.  If it’s hard to understand how to use a product, the value that it has to offer, or how a product can solve a particular problem, then users will struggle.

SUI graphics build upon these principles: using a simplified user interface in help documentation can aid in user success by giving them only the information they must have in order to be successful, increasing their success and satisfaction with a product.

Keeping content up to date

Keep your content current, longer. A quick survey with attendees at STC Technical Communication Summit revealed that keeping content up to date is one of the biggest challenges faced by technical communicators today. And that makes sense, if we look to software as an example: release cycles are shortening and new features and functionality are being added frequently. And with each feature addition and related tweaks to the user interface, the instructions that the technical documentation team laboriously put together are at risk of becoming quickly out of date, even if only slightly. So what is a technical communicator to do?

Again, simplified user interface graphics can play a strategic role in one’s content strategy. The removal of a button or addition of a feature will easily confuse the user if this change is not reflected in a precise screenshot. However, a simplified user interface graphic can often sustain multiple software versions and updates before needing further updates. The simplified design is more forgiving to minor interface changes and additions as it is already an abstract representation of the interface. Technical content creators can use this technique to extend the shelf-life of their visual content or even for repurposing content in similar scenarios.

Faster content localization

Any content creator who has been through the localization process knows that it can be time-consuming and expensive to create screenshots and graphics for each locale. Yet, the localization of onboarding materials and other graphics can be trivial for any organization that wants to be successful internationally. As Day Translations points out, we should all “scrap the idea that English is the language of business”. It’s important to cater to different customer bases by providing them with content that speaks to them…in their native language.

Most technical communicators know the effort it takes to create and manage unique screenshots for each language. In order to simplify this task, one can design the content to use SUI images instead of language-specific screenshots. The same graphic can often be repurposed across multiple languages with little to no adjustment. Additional information or instructions can be conveyed through the sub- or figure text.

Simplified User Interface used in both German and English dialog boxes.
In this example, the same SUI graphic is used in the software preference dialog for all languages.

Again, this is another area that helps to reduce creation and maintenance efforts while still providing the user with clear instructions.

How to create a Simplified User Interface Graphic

Creating a simplified user interface (SUI) graphic is easier than you think. The best way to get started is to begin with a screenshot and then transform it. To do this, you need screen capture and image editing software. At TechSmith, our tool of choice for creating SUI images is Snagit because it provides both of these functions, though there are other capable image editors.

Step 1: Capture the screenshot

Using Snagit, capture a screenshot of the user interface you want to turn into a SUI graphic and open it in the Snagit Editor. Crop the screenshot to the dimensions of your desired output.

Screenshot of a web page for Bridge Street Insurance featured a Request a Quote call to action button

Step 2: Simplify the screenshot

Simplifying an image is a process that involves covering up and removing visual noise like unrelated text, menus, buttons, or tool tips to reduce an image’s complexity and focus attention on the important parts. Snagit provides two ways to help make this an easy process with the Simplify tool available in Snagit.

The first option is to simplify a screenshot manually by selecting the Simplify tool, and using the graphic elements to hide unimportant details in your image and direct attention to the ones that matter. After choosing the Simplify tool, Snagit automatically detects the colors in your screenshot, creates a color palette, and provides a set of tools that match and are ideal for simplifying images.

The second way option is to automate the process. Snagit’s Auto Simplify feature recognizes shapes and text and then automatically covers them with the themed elements. Remove, add, and change the color of any of the elements Snagit adds to achieve the look you want.

Watch the tutorial below to see the Simplify tool in action!

Step 3: Save it

When you are done, save your file as a .png or .jpg file to be used in your documentation. We highly recommend also saving your final image as a .snag file. This is the Snagit project file type and it allows you to reopen the project to edit and adjust the image later on. This makes updating your image easy so you won’t need to recreate your SUI graphic every time.

Bonus Tip: Use a tag to easily access this file any time in the Snagit library.

Key takeaways

The benefits of using Simplified User Interface graphics in your technical documentation are twofold: First, these graphics visually enhance your instructions and improve the onboarding experience for your users. Second, the graphics make technical communicators’ jobs easier, as they reduce the need for screenshot updates and help with localization.

Integrating SUI graphics into part of one’s content strategy is therefore a smart business decision that all content creators should consider, regardless if your favorite aspect is the improved user experience, having evergreen content, or faster localization. Even just a few simplified user interface graphics can make a big difference!

If you aren’t using Snagit yet, download the free trial today, and get started creating your own SUI graphics!

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in May 2012 and has been updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.

Allison Boatman

Allison Boatman is a member of the Marketing Team at TechSmith.
Follow her on Twitter @allisonboats

She can often be found aimlessly wandering around local craft stores.
Personal motto: "Work hard, stay humble."
Favorites: Alaskan Malamutes, Iceland, and 90's pop culture.

Snagit vs Snipping Tool on Windows

Snagit vs. Snipping Tool

When taking a screenshot or recording your screen on a PC, it’s easy to assume that the Windows Snipping Tool will be ‘good enough’ to satisfy your screen-capturing needs. But that’s not always true.

Being able to save time while improving the quality of work is something we all strive for, and the built-in Snipping Tool just doesn’t quite cut it. That’s where Snagit steps in. With its wide range of cutting-edge features, Snagit makes it easier than ever to share information through screen captures. 

But that’s not all…

Snagit vs Snipping Tool Comparison Chart

SnagitSnipping Tool
Capture Screenshots
Multiple Sharing Options
Basic Markup
Scrolling Capture
Advanced Editing
Grab Text (OCR)
Smart Move
Step Tool
Screen Recordings Including Webcam and Audio
Screen Draw While Recording
Create Animated GIFs
Share Link
And More!

While there isn’t a completely free version of Snagit, it does come with a free, full-featured trial to get you started. Which is the best way to try out its advanced features for yourself. 

Speaking of advanced features, here are our top five reasons you should consider choosing Snagit over basic built-in screen capture software, like the Snipping Tool.

When is Snagit Better than the Snipping Tool?

1. When you need more than basic screenshots

If all you need is a basic screenshot every now and then, the Snipping Tool will probably serve you just fine. However, if you use screenshots a lot in your daily routine, it may be worth upgrading to a better tool.

 

With Snagit, you’ll get advanced screen capture features that let you:

Snagit is flexible enough to grow with you and your work. According to a TechSmith study, 97% of those who create images like screenshots, infographics, and charts to support communication at work say it makes their messages more effective.

Chart showing statistics on the impact of the effectiveness of a message.

Snagit’s editing functions also make it stand out. Whether you need to trim a video, combine different clips, or annotate your footage with customizable Callouts (such as shapes and text) — you can!

With Snagit, you can even record your screen and webcam alongside your computer audio and internal or external microphone. And when you want a video but only have a selection of images, don’t worry, with Snagit, you can easily create videos with images

On the flip side, when you want to take a single frame from your video and save it as an image, perhaps to create a video thumbnail, you can.

​2. When you’re worried about wasting time

While the Snipping Tool could seem like it’s the quick and easy option, it actually ends up wasting a lot of time. 

Once you’ve captured your screen with the Snipping Tool, you’ll have to use another tool to edit your screenshot with any kind of professionalism. The Snipping Tool only comes with a pen tool, highlighter, and eraser — which can make for a pretty sloppy result in the end. 

Snagit has these tools as well, and so much more. Like the Callout Tool and the Step Tool that transform your haphazard edits into professional and clean looking documents.

Comparison image of Snipping Tool's draw option and Snagit's wider range of options.

Snagit makes sharing super simple. Using Snagit’s integrated Share button, you can instantly send images to destinations like email, Microsoft Word, Dropbox, Slack, and more, with just one click.

You can also use TechSmith’s Screencast to share your Snagit media with a unique link, which will be available to anyone, regardless of whether they’re a Snagit user. 

3. When you need image editing capabilities

Snagit is loaded with professional-looking shapes, arrows, callouts, and stamps to keep your markups looking slick. They’re all customizable too.

Image of Snagit's blur tool and Snipping Tool's drawing capabilities.

With annotating tools and special effects, Snagit simplifies the editing process and makes it easy to enhance your images. 

You can also blur out sensitive information, simplify your screenshots, and create numbered document steps.

4. When you want to copy text from an image

One of the best features in Snagit is the ability to extract text from an image. Yes, you read that right — if you have an image that features text, Snagit can help you copy, paste, and even edit it! 

Snagit uses Optical Character Recognition (OCR), to recognize the text. So if you can see it on your screen, Snagit can see it too. You can even use this feature to help translate text.

5. When you want to create quick (and professional-looking) guides

Snagit is essentially your one-stop shop for creating quick how-to content. You can easily capture any process from your computer screen, mark up your screenshots with arrows, callouts, and numbers, and combine them all into one, organized piece of content.

Completed training manual using Combine Images.

Snagit is the perfect way to create visual step-by-step instructions, how-to guides, user documentation, and more.

Better yet, if you make guides all the time, Snagit comes loaded with a bunch of different templates you can take advantage of.

And there you have it! Five reasons you should choose Snagit over the Snipping Tool. 

If all you need to do is take screenshots, then the Snipping Tool might work out just fine for you. But if you’re a busy professional who needs high-quality screenshots, recordings, and GIFs, then we’re willing to bet that if you try Snagit, you won’t go back.

Clémence Daniere

Content Marketing Specialist Contractor at TechSmith where I write, edit, and create content that informs and entertains. I also read too many books.

How to Use Snipping Tool on Mac

Snipping tool for Mac

Are you asking yourself: “Where is my Mac snipping tool?”

Mac’s screenshot tool is not like Windows’ snipping tool, but don’t fear we’re here to help! 

In this blog post, we’ll explain how to screenshot on your Mac and what features it provides. Plus, we’ll show you some third-party options that take your screenshots to the next level. 

So whether you need a simple how-to guide, or simply want to review your options, we’ve got you covered. 

Let’s dive in!

Snagit: The best snipping tool for Mac

Snagit’s comprehensive, yet easy-to-use feature set makes it the go-to screen capture tool for professionals.

Try it for Free!
Illustration of a how-to guide made with snagit

What is the screenshotting tool on Mac?

Bring up the Screenshot toolbar on your Mac by pressing Shift + Cmd + 5. You should see this pop up on your screen:

Each icon on the toolbar serves a different purpose. You can capture a part of your screen, full screen, and even screen record. This allows you to take a video of your screen rather than a picture.

Using keyboard shortcuts to capture your screen

When you press a combination of keys – shift, command, and a number by default – you can activate certain capture settings.

  • Press Shift + Cmd +3 to capture your entire screen.
  • Press Shift + Cmd + 4 to turn your mouse pointer into crosshairs and select a portion of the screen or a specific window.

What features are in Mac’s screenshotting tool?

Mac has different options to edit your captures before and after you snip them. 

Use the Options menu to select different settings. For example, you could choose to set a timer and show or hide the cursor in your capture.

Screenshots are saved to your desktop by default. In MacOS Mojave or later, you can change the settings to save your captures wherever is most convenient!

After capturing your screen, open your screenshot, and add small annotations by drawing, adding text, and creating shapes. Plus, crop and resize your image to fit your needs. 

Image of Mac's capture options.

The best snipping tool for Mac: Snagit

While the built-in option on your Mac is great for the basics, if you take a lot of screenshots, it’s worth considering alternative screen capture tools like Snagit.

Capturing your screen is so easy with Snagit. Just open the menu and click the red Capture button.

Snagit can record your screen, grab text from your screen, take a scrolling screenshot, and much more. The capture options are (almost) endless.

Snagit's Mac menu.

Snagit’s easy-to-use editing features make a huge difference

Mac built-in tools can draw arrows, add text boxes, and include shapes, but Snagit goes further. 

With Snagit, you can use text recognition to edit the text right on the screenshot! Plus, use Smart Move to move around elements, and transform busy screenshots into easy-to-understand visuals with Simplify. 

GIF of Snagit's Smart Move feature.

It’s easy to use and convenient when you need to rearrange a few elements on a page.

And, when you are looking to add privacy to your captures, blur out information wherever you need!

Snagit takes your screen recording to the next level

With Snagit, you can record your screen, camera, and audio at once. This feature makes giving presentations super easy. Plus, draw on your screen while you record to add clarity and instruction to your video.

Snagit’s Video from Images feature takes presentations to another level. After you’ve taken a screenshot of the data you want to share, turn it into a video to provide further information to your team.

Plus, you can make fun GIFs of your videos to celebrate any occasion with your team.

Create a video from images with Snagit!

Sharing with Snagit

Once you’ve got your screen capture, you’ll want to share it with your team. Snagit makes it easy! Just press the Share Link button and a unique link will be copied to your clipboard. Simply paste that link anywhere and send it to whoever. 

The recipient does not need to have Snagit themselves to watch, react, and comment on the video. You can truly communicate with anyone. 

Don’t let built-in tools hold you back

Snagit’s comprehensive, yet easy-to-use feature set makes it the go-to screen capture tool for professionals.

Try it for Free!
Illustration of a how-to guide made with snagit

Clémence Daniere

Content Marketing Specialist Contractor at TechSmith where I write, edit, and create content that informs and entertains. I also read too many books.

How to Screen Record on Windows 10 & 11 (With Audio)

Digital illustration of a desktop computer with a Windows logo on the screen, indicating a guide for screen recording on a Windows operating system. A camera icon with focus brackets is positioned to the right of the monitor, symbolizing a webcam or video capture function. A control panel with buttons and dials is seen to the left of the screen, suggesting software tools for video recording.

Have you ever wanted to record your screen on Windows, but found yourself getting frustrated by the limitations of built-in tools? Odds are that if you’ve tried using a basic tool, you’ve struggled with one or more of the following obstacles:

  • You can’t record file menus or dropdowns
  • You can only record one window at a time
  • You can’t add effects or callouts
  • You can’t record your audio simultaneously

Well, there is a better way. In this guide, we’ll walk you through the steps of how to record your screen on Windows 10 & 11 using a range of different tools. So you can find the best screen recorder to suit your needs. 

Easily record your screen with Snagit

Record video of all or part of your screen with system audio, voiceover, and webcam.

Try Snagit for Free
illustration of snagit's screen recording interface

How to screen record on Windows 10 & 11 with Game Bar

The Xbox Game Bar is readily available on Windows 10 and Windows 11 computers. Initially designed for gamers wanting to capture their gameplay, it can be used to record anything!

Here’s how to make a Windows screen recording using the Game Bar:

Open the Game Bar

Starting up the Game Bar is super easy. All you need to do is press the keyboard shortcut Windows logo key + G at the same time. This will open a control panel near the bottom of your screen.

Choose your audio inputs

In case you want to narrate or add a live commentary to your screen recording, click on the Record Mic option. But remember, you can record your audio separately and add it later if you prefer. 

You might want to think about the equipment you’re using and whether you’ve got the best microphone for recording videos. It’s not a deal-breaker, but it can make a difference.

Start recording

Next, start your screen recording by clicking on the bright red recording icon. Then, when you want to stop recording, click on the red recording panel that appears in the top right corner of your screen. 

All screen recordings are automatically saved on your laptop as MP4 files and can be found in the videos folder.

How to screen record on Windows 11 & 10 with Snagit

When you need to show a process or walkthrough with a short video that doesn’t require much editing, then a screen capture tool like Snagit is the perfect tool for you.

It’s easy to use, has high video quality, and comes with a range of features, from basic trimming and editing to more advanced tools that let you turn screenshots into videos

Short and informal screen recordings are great for off-the-cuff videos that explain and convey information to others. For many people, these are the types of recordings they make the most, which is partly because they only take seconds to create!

 

In this section, we’ll walk you through the step-by-step process of video recording your screen using Snagit. 

Choose what you want to record

To start, open Snagit and select the video tab from the start menu. Make sure that Region is selected from the drop-down menu, as this will make it easy to record just part, or all, of your screen.

Image of Snagit's capture Menu with arrows indicating where to click.

When you’re ready, hit the red Capture button — you can’t miss it! Then, the crosshairs will appear, so you can select the area that you want to record.

You’ll notice that the selection will automatically snap to the windows you have open. However, to manually select a portion of your screen, just click and drag the crosshairs accordingly.

How to use the crosshairs to select a recording region in Snagit

Step 2: Choose which audio to record

With your region selected, it’s time to choose your audio input settings.

To record your voice, select the Record Microphone option. To record the sounds that come from your computer as well, make sure to select Record System Audio.

Snagit can even record your webcam alongside your screen so that your face appears in the screen recording. It’s a great way to bring more personality to your videos and connect with your audience.

Image of Snagit's Capture menu with arrows indicating where to click.

Step 3: Start your screen recording

Click Record. Snagit will then give you a three-second countdown and anything that appears in the recording area will be captured in your video.

Snagit will give you a 3 second countdown before it starts recording

Once you’ve recorded everything that you want to be included in your video, click Stop.

Recording toolbar

Step 4: Trim your video

Once you’ve stopped recording, the Snagit Editor will open in a new window and your video will open in a new canvas, ready to be edited, trimmed, or shared. 

Of course, once you’re finished with your screen recording, you’ll probably want to edit it a little. Even the most carefully planned recordings will likely have something you want to cut, and with Snagit, you can easily trim your recording to remove unwanted clips.

How to trim a video in Snagit

On the other hand, to bring multiple clips or snippets together and produce a longer video, you can use Snagit’s Combine Videos feature. This allows you to merge several clips together and create one cohesive video.

Step 5: Save or share

To save your video, simply go to File and click Save as…, from there, all you have to do is decide where you want to save your file, and click Save.   

However, you can click on the Share Link button in the top-right corner of the Snagit Editor too. This will automatically upload your video to Screencast

The link to your video will be automatically copied to your clipboard so that you can share it instantly with anyone. Simply paste the link into an email, a direct message, a Slack channel, or any other form of communication and send it!   

How to make a professional-quality recording on Windows 10 & 11 with Camtasia

While Snagit is perfect for creating short and informal videos, there’s nothing better than Camtasia when you need to add more polish to your screen recordings.

 

While many screen recordings don’t need to be overly complex, sometimes you might want to add closed captions, effects, and animations to your videos.

Step 1: Choose your recording options

First, open Camtasia and click the Record button.

How to record your screen using Camtasia

From here, the Camtasia recorder allows you to fully customize the controls for your recordings.

Customize your recording controls with Camtasia

Step 2: Select the region you want to record

Similarly to Snagit, Camtasia lets you choose to record your whole screen or a specific part of it. You can choose from one of the pre-determined regions or choose “select an area to record” to select a custom region.

Pro tip: If you do plan on recording your entire desktop, it might be worth tidying it up a little to ensure there is nothing distracting or unwanted in your video.

Select a custom region to record with Camtasia

Step 3: Record your audio

Just choose which microphone you want to record from and decide whether you want to record your computer’s system audio.

Then, when you’re ready to stop the recording, click the recorder icon in the taskbar. We told you it was easy! 

How to select your microphone using Camtasia

Step 4: Edit your video

While you can do some simple editing in Snagit, Camtasia comes with a much more powerful and feature-rich built-in video editor. 

How to trim a video in Camtasia

When editing your video, the first thing you’ll want to do is cut out any mistakes and errors. You can do this by selecting them with the playhead, and clicking Cut. You can also trim footage from the beginning and end of your recording by dragging either end of the clip in the timeline.

Once you’ve trimmed your footage accordingly, you can play around with Camtasia’s more advanced features and add a wide range of different effects and animations!

Step 5: Produce and share

Finally, once you’ve perfected your video it’s time to share it with the world. Whether you’ve recorded a webinar or an entire lecture, there are loads of platforms you can use to host your video.

Depending on your audience an online platform like YouTube or Vimeo could be the perfect place to host your video. If, however, you’d rather share it with a select group of people then Screencast might be a better option. 

How to share videos using Camtasia

And that’s all there is to it! Whether you want to use the built-in tools, like Game Bar, or third-party software such as TechSmith’s Snagit and Camtasia, you now know how to screen record on Windows, with audio.

Screen recordings are a great way to produce clear communications for your audience. This means you no longer have to schedule Zoom calls to walk a coworker through a process or have countless meetings to explain simple tasks. From now on, you can just send them a screen recording!

Clémence Daniere

Content Marketing Specialist Contractor at TechSmith where I write, edit, and create content that informs and entertains. I also read too many books.

Email Will Never Die. Here’s How to Make It Better

An open envelope with a ton more envelopes flying out of it.

We all hate email, right? Yet, a new survey by TechSmith shows that’s where most of our communication at work happens. 

Despite relying on it, survey respondents had much to say about how ineffective email can be. When asked what the biggest hurdle to effective communication is at their organization, people responded with things like:

  • “Too many emails received daily. We don’t necessarily have time to read everything.” 
  • “Back and forth email is very inefficient and can lead to missed deadlines.”
  • “People haven’t read their emails.”
List with icons and text: Too many emails received daily, inefficient communication method, people don't read their emails

So why do we do this to ourselves? If email is going to stick around, and the research shows it is, we must use it more effectively so we can all reach inbox zero.

In this post, we’ll cover why email isn’t going anywhere, why it’s so hard to get right, and simple steps (with examples!) you can take to make sure people actually read your messages.

The future of work is async

New research shows asynchronous formats like video messages are emerging as a welcome replacement for meetings.

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Illustration showing a browser window, mobile screen, and various workplace communication icons. The browser displays a selected area within a webpage layout, a user avatar with a speech bubble, and an exclamation mark notification.

Why email isn’t going anywhere

Email is a staple of most business communications for a reason. It’s a faster, more efficient way to communicate information than setting up a meeting and allows you to reach people both within and outside your organization easily.

Emails also provide a written record of decisions, requests, and other helpful information to archive and reference later. 

Graphic with title: Where does most of your communication happen at work? (Top 3) Then a bar chart indicating amounts, Email 79%, Meetings 64%, Chat/Instant messaging - 61%, Phone Calls 35%, In-Person conveos 28%, Project Management Tools - 9%

What makes email hard to get right

To send a successful email, you have to convey your message effectively. Otherwise, you will face misunderstandings or an onslaught of back-and-forth messages as people seek clarification. Email begets more email.

Or worse, people just won’t read your emails at all. 

Unfortunately, the text-based nature of email can make it challenging to get right.

Email lacks non-verbal cues

When you can’t hear someone’s tone or see their facial expressions and body language, it can be easy to misinterpret the intent of what they’re trying to say. What could have been meant as a friendly message could unintentionally come across as harsh or negative.

Not everyone is good at writing

Effective email communication relies on strong writing skills. Not everyone has the ability to express themselves clearly and concisely in writing, which can lead to confusion or miscommunication.

Wall of text? Next!

Some things are just hard to explain with text. To avoid potential misunderstandings, people tend to overcompensate by providing too much context or clarification. 

No one has time to read a five-page essay during the workday. Either people will skip over your message because the length is intimidating, or your key points will get lost in the mix.

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5 simple ways to send better emails

It may seem like there’s nothing you can do to stop the deluge of emails that pile up in your inbox every day. Here’s the thing, if you take the time to improve your email game and send more clear, concise messages, it will help reduce the unnecessary back-and-forth, freeing up some of your precious time.

1. Get to the point quickly 

If you are sending an email because you need someone to take action, make it clear from the beginning. Avoiding lengthy introductions can help ensure your request or deadline doesn’t get lost in the mix.

If you think context will help, include it after you’ve made your main point. Your recipient will have the option to continue reading if they need to, and you won’t be wasting their time if they don’t.

2. Keep it short

You also want to keep your email as brief as possible without leaving out the necessary details. It’s a balancing act, for sure. Try taking a moment before you start typing to clearly define the purpose of the email. What do you want the other person to do? (And if there are deadlines involved, don’t forget to state them!)

Challenge yourself with a maximum word count. According to Boomerang, the sweet spot for an email is about 50-125 words.

3. Include visuals for clarity

What’s the saying? A picture is worth a thousand words? That’s true! A simple way to make any email more clear and concise is to incorporate visuals like annotated screenshots, charts, or infographics to explain a concept or demonstrate a process.

A whopping 97% of people who use images in their communication at work find it effective. They report that images reduce misunderstandings and save them time.

Whether you’re trying to explain a process or providing feedback on a project, instead of typing out the explanation, take a screenshot! With a screen capture tool like Snagit, you can capture the slide deck or application you’re referring to and use annotations like arrows or callouts to add context.

Side-by-side of two email messages, one has little text and images, the other is just a big wall of text you don't want to read.

4. Structure your email

A little formatting goes a long way! Avoid large blocks of text that can be intimidating or hard to read by breaking your message up into short paragraphs. If you need to outline a process or steps, use a numbered list to make it easier for the recipient to read.

5. Send a video instead

What do you do when you need to share information that isn’t quite worth a meeting but too difficult to convey in an email? You send a video message! Don’t even get me started on all the meetings that can be replaced with video.

If you’re struggling to get your message across, but can’t find time on that person’s calendar, try recording a quick, informal video message. 
Just record your screen (we recommend Snagit, of course) while you talk someone through the steps of the process or your feedback on their project. Then you can email a link to your video that the person can watch at a time that works for them. No meeting or novel reading is required.

Email doesn’t have to be terrible

And there you have it! Transforming the way you communicate may seem like a daunting task, but it’s the small things that often bring about the most change. Start by trying out just one of these approaches and see what happens! 

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Danielle Ezell

Danielle Ezell is a Marketing Content Strategist at TechSmith, where she writes about effective workplace communication, offering tips and strategies for using images and videos to collaborate more effectively in hybrid and remote environments.

Information Overload is Real: Here’s How to Manage It

Stylized illustration of a person sitting at a desk and working on a laptop, they are surrounded by chat bubbles, meeting invites, and other informational elements.
Decorative image with text 50% of workers say the number of emails, meetings, and other messages during a typical workday negatively impacts their productivity.

The constant flow of communication at work can cause problems like decision fatigue, burnout, and feeling overwhelmed.

In this blog, we’ll discuss why information overload happens, its effects, and, most importantly, how to avoid it.

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What is information overload?

First, let’s define information overload. The term “information overload” refers to the feeling of being overwhelmed by an excessive amount of information being presented all at once. In this state, making decisions or prioritizing tasks is often harder because there is simply too much to process at once.

Bertram Gross, a professor of political science, originally coined the term. Still, the concept of information overload was popularized by Alvin Toffler, a writer and futurist, in his book “Future Shock,” in 1970. 

Unfortunately, info overload today is common in the modern workplace, where digital technology has made it easier to send and receive messages at a record pace. 

As companies embrace more flexible arrangements like remote and hybrid work, the reliance on digital communication channels will only increase, making it more important than ever to find better ways of managing information.

Causes of information overload

Technology has certainly played a role, but information overload occurs frequently in the modern workplace for various reasons.

Increase of digital communication tools

While tools like email, instant messaging apps, project management, and video conferencing can make collaborating at work easier, their overuse can lead to overwhelming messages and notifications. 

The more information we receive via meetings, emails, and chat threads at work, the more likely we feel overwhelmed. Sorting through an endless sea of messages to determine what information is actually essential to your work can be both time-consuming and mentally taxing.

Each tool, with its stream of information, demands our attention and contributes to information overload.

Unclear communication

When a message is ambiguous or vague, there’s often a need to repeat information or add clarification. This results in you having to send the same basic message in different formats.

Let’s say you’re working on a website redesign and want the designer to change the color of a button from yellow to orange and send an email asking for the change. However, there’s more than one button on the page, so your designer replies asking for clarification. Then there are questions about the shade of orange to use, etc. 

A simple request can easily turn into an endless back-and-forth when the original message lacks clarity. A TechSmith survey found that 74% of workers have to repeat themselves or clarify information at work, and 67% experience misunderstandings due to unclear communication.

Image with decorative elements with the text 74% of workers say they must repeat themselves or clarify information at least sometimes.

Unfiltered data and information

In the digital age, organizations can access massive amounts of data, like sales figures, customer feedback, and performance metrics. 

Sifting through this vast amount of data to find relevant and actionable insights can be overwhelming, especially if you lack the adequate skills or tools to organize the information meaningfully. 

This can make it challenging to understand the relevance of the data or how to use it effectively, leaving employees feeling overwhelmed or suffering from information paralysis.

Consequences of information overload

Dealing with constant streams of information can have significant downsides. It can make individuals feel overwhelmed but also harm workplace productivity. The consequences of information overload include the following.

Decreased focus and concentration

The human brain only has so much bandwidth; when it gets overloaded, it’s harder to focus. You might find yourself constantly switching between tasks without fully engaging in a single one– a phenomenon known as context switching.

The constant ping of notifications and emails to sift through makes it challenging to concentrate on tasks that require deep thinking, reducing the quality and efficiency of our work. 

Communication breakdowns

You would think that more communication would make employees more informed, right? When TechSmith surveyed workers about their communication habits, it found that the more people reported feeling overwhelmed by the volume of communication they dealt with, the more likely they were to experience misunderstandings and have to repeat information. 

When the amount of information is just too much to keep up with, we might skim instead of read and overlook important details. This can lead to misunderstandings and time wasted clarifying or fixing issues that arise from poor communication.

Decision fatigue

When we’re presented with too many options or conflicting information, it leads to information paralysis. Basically, we get so overwhelmed by the options that the fear of making the wrong choice stalls the process altogether. 

Consider how it can feel at the grocery store when you’re looking for something like cereal but you’re bombarded with too many options. You might spend several minutes reading labels. Suddenly, all the choices blur together, and you leave the aisle with an empty basket, forgoing cereal altogether.

Lack of work-life balance

I’ll be real with you: I have about 15 unread Slack messages, and it’s stressing me out. We feel pressure to read, respond to, and manage all the information that comes at us during the workday. The fear of missing something important is real. 

This feeling of being “always on” can allow work to creep into our personal lives, leading to stress and burnout. While burnout can hurt our productivity and engagement at work, it can also affect our health.

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Strategies for managing information overload

The only thing that might feel more overwhelming than dealing with information overload might be preventing it. Here’s the thing: there are small steps you can take right now to avoid information overload and improve your life at work. 

Set priorities

Not all information requires immediate attention or response. Focusing on what’s important can help reduce the burden of constantly responding to everything.

While there’s no one-size-fits-all approach, the Eisenhower Matrix is a popular time-management approach. Basically, you divide your tasks into four boxes: the tasks you’ll do first, the tasks you’ll schedule for later, the tasks you’ll delegate, and the tasks you’ll delete.

You can adapt this method to help you make quick, effective decisions when handling communication at work. As you check your email, messaging app, or other inboxes, organize messages into four categories:

  1. Urgent and important: These messages require immediate attention and are critical for your current work projects, like time-sensitive decisions or urgent issues. Respond to these communications as soon as possible.
  2. Important but not urgent: Messages that are important but don’t require an immediate response, like requests for feedback or non-urgent updates. Schedule a specific time to respond, like a daily or weekly block on your calendar.
  3. Urgent but unimportant: These messages might seem urgent but are not directly related to your work. Often, these can be requests or questions that someone on your team can better deal with. Delegate these messages to the appropriate person whenever possible. 
  4. Neither urgent nor important: These messages are neither urgent nor important, including spam, unsolicited sales emails, and informational newsletters. Deleting or unsubscribing from these communications can reduce clutter in your inbox.
Visual representation of the Eisenhower Matrix for Workplace Communication. There are four quadrants showing important - urgent: respond as soon as possible, important - non urgent: schedule a time to respond later, not important - urgent: delegate to the appropriate person, and not important - not urgent: delete or unsubscribe to reduce clutter.

Leverage technology wisely

While the tools we use to collaborate and communicate at work can create information overload, we can also leverage them to help prevent it. 

Create filters and rules

Email platforms let users make filters/rules to sort incoming messages into folders based on sender, subject line, or keywords. Utilizing this feature can help reduce the time you spend sifting through messages.

Screenshot of the setting in Outlook where you can set up rules for specific messages.

Customize your notification settings

Reduce distractions by customizing app notifications to only alert you for important messages or mentions. This can minimize distractions from ongoing discussions that don’t require your immediate attention. Then, you can schedule dedicated blocks throughout your workweek to go through the less-urgent messages.

Screenshot of the notification settings in Slack where you can limit the amount of notifications you receive.

Add clarity to your communication with visuals

Visuals can convey complex information quickly, saving time for the person sending and receiving the message. You don’t have to be a professional graphic designer to leverage the power of visual communication at work. Screen capture and recording tools like Snagit make it easy for anyone to take a quick screenshot or video, add context and share with a link. 

Provide clear, actionable feedback

Feedback is more straightforward to understand when you can show exactly what you see on your screen and the changes that must be made. It’s so much faster to take a screenshot of that slide deck and point an arrow at the typo you caught than try to explain with text alone that it’s on slide 13 in the paragraph about what sea otters eat for breakfast.

Screenshot of an annotated screenshot shared in Slack to provide feedback.

Demonstrate a process

When explaining a process or workflow, a video message can show each process step in action without needing to schedule a meeting or write lengthy instructions. Try not to get intimidated by video. You can make simple video messages by recording your screen and showing the steps like you would during a Zoom meeting. 

With Snagit, you can add arrows and step numbers to your screen while recording to clarify the process. Even better, when that person needs a refresher, they can re-watch the video as needed without interrupting your day.

Conclusion

It is easier than ever to send messages at work, which means we have to be more thoughtful about how we share information. Using visuals such as images and videos can help you convey your message clearly, reducing unnecessary back and forth.

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Danielle Ezell

Danielle Ezell is a Marketing Content Strategist at TechSmith, where she writes about effective workplace communication, offering tips and strategies for using images and videos to collaborate more effectively in hybrid and remote environments.

How to Record Your Screen (With Sound)

How to Record Your Computer Screen

Whether you’re a software developer who needs to create a how-to video, you need to record your screen for a presentation or simply want to make a helpful YouTube video, being able to capture a screen recording is essential in today’s world. However, knowing how to screen record on a laptop or PC with sound will make your videos even more impactful. 

Regardless of who you are or what you do, there’s a good chance you’ll need to capture different types of screen recordings depending on your audience, the purpose of your video, and even the length of it. 

For example, a how-to video (often referred to as a screencast) demonstrating a brand-new product will probably need to be longer and more polished than a simple video showing a colleague how to take screenshots on their computer

These factors will also influence your decision when finding the best screen recording software. If the key purpose of your videos is knowledge sharing, you’ll want to make sure that the software you use can also record sound, as giving your viewers audio instructions will make it easier for you to convey information and for them to digest it. 

In this article, we’ll look at how to record your screen with audio so that your viewers can hear what you’re saying and see what you’re doing. We’ll also discuss the difference between using built-in screen recording tools and third-party software such as Camtasia and Snagit. 

By the end of this article, you’ll know exactly how to start a screen recording on your laptop, PC or Mac.

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illustration of snagit's screen recording interface

Should I use a free screen recorder?

Maybe. You can use free apps like QuickTime (on Mac) or Xbox App (Windows), but if you’re comparing different screen recording tools, make sure you get a screen recorder with sound recording and video editing options built-in. Not all software offers this level of functionality, but these ‘extra’ tools can have a significant impact on the screen recordings you create.

The problem with many built-in screen recorders that come as standard on your computer  (and some third-party ones) is that they limit you to just recording. This could leave you needing extra tools and software just to edit and share your videos.

How to choose your desktop screen recorder

The first thing you’ll need to do is choose the screen recording software you’ll use. 

Snagit is great for simple, short desktop recordings, while something like Camtasia might be better for longer, more complex jobs. However, recordings made with Snagit can be easily shared from your captures folder with Camtasia and assembled into longer, more complex videos there.

Which screen recorder is right for you? Snagit vs. Camtasia.

Today, we’ll show you how to screen record your full screen with Snagit for simple recordings and Camtasia for more polished videos.

Snagit is better for short, quick desktop screen recordings

Short, simple recordings that won’t require much editing can be done with something like Snagit.

Snagit is great for screenshots and quick and easy screen recordings. You can convey a complex idea or process — that’s too hard to explain via email — when you don’t have time to schedule a meeting.

Here’s how to do it.

Step 1: Choose what you want to record

Step 2: Decide whether to record your webcam, microphone, and/or system audio (each one can be toggled on and off individually, so you can record all or none of them along with your screen)  

TechSmith's Snagit screen recorder menu with options.

Step 3: Trim your video

Step 4: Save or share

When your video is ready, use the Share menu to save the video or click “Share Link” and a URL will be automatically copied to your clipboard.

Snagit Screen Recording Hotkeys

Start Screen Recording

Windows: Shift+F9

Mac: Control+Shift+Spacebar

Pause/Resume Screen Recording

Click the start recording button or press:

Windows: Shift+F9

Mac: Control+Shift+Spacebar

Stop Screen Recording

Click the stop button or press:

Windows: Shift+F10

Mac: Control+Shift+V

To configure your keyboard shortcuts, see Customize the Snagit Hotkeys.

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illustration of snagit's screen recording interface

Camtasia is better for polished, professional-quality screen recordings

Longer or more complex recordings may need more editing. With Camtasia, you’ll have a built-in video editing suite full of advanced tools you can use to create stunning videos.

For example, Camtasia allows you to enhance the video by zooming in on areas of emphasis, changing the size and path of the cursor, and adding text or graphic call-outs. These are just some of the features that make Camtasia great for creating professional videos, such as training videos, product demos, and software marketing content. 

Here’s how to do it:

Step 1: Choose your recording options

TechSmith's Camtasia screen recorder menu with options.

Step 2: Choose the region you want to record

Step 3: Record your desktop with audio (depending on your needs)

Step 4: Edit your video

Step 5: Produce and share

Camtasia Screen Recording Hotkeys

Start/Pause Screen Recording

Click the start recording button or press:

Windows: F9

Mac: Command+Shift+2

Stop The Recording

Click the stop button or press:

Windows: F10

Mac: Command+Option+2

To customize the shortcuts for your keyboard, see Customize Camtasia Shortcuts

How to record your screen with sound

Including audio with your screen recordings can enhance the viewer’s experience, and narrating what you’re doing on screen, or providing step-by-step instructions, can be especially helpful when creating how-to videos.

By using voice-over narration, you’ll provide additional context and support for your visuals, which will help viewers understand what’s happening on the screen and why. This also provides an opportunity to give viewers commentary and insight that may not be apparent from the visuals alone – no matter how crisp or clear your video is!

Sound is also useful for other screen recordings. For example, keeping the original audio in clips taken from webinars and virtual meetings will provide extra context and insight into the conversations that took place. Even if you were to provide a transcript of the conversation with the video, there are small nuances in speech that can often be missed without sound. 

Whether you’re recording for professional or personal purposes, having the original audio can be critical for communicating your message effectively. By including both voice-over narration and original system audio, you can create more engaging and informative screen recordings that will better connect with your audience.

Man recording video of himself presenting content.

To record your voice, select the microphone from the start menu on Snagit. Select the system audio option when you need to record the sounds that come from your computer, like the beeps and boops you hear.

When you record your screen you can include typing the address into your browser and show all your mouse clicks and movements to let people see exactly where to go and how to get there.

You can include video and audio when you record your screen too. Use microphone audio to narrate your video from your computer’s built-in microphone or an external mic. You can also record your system audio (that’s the sound that comes out of your speakers). 

Now you have all the information you need to create audio-enabled screencasts! Never again will you need to ask, “How do you record screens with sound?” or “How can I record my screen?”

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Computer screen recording FAQs

Can I screen record with sound?

Yes, with the right software recording your computer screen with sound is easy. While some computers and operating systems come with built-in tools to record your screen, not all of them include features to record audio.

Depending on your computer, downloading software such as Snagit or Camtasia could be the easiest and most effective way to record your screen with sound just by clicking a button on the toolbar.

How do I record my computer screen?

Depending on your computer and operating system, you may or may not have a built-in tool to record your screen. Either way, third-party software such as Camtasia and Snagit offer more advanced features than most built-in screen recorders.

How to screen record on Mac?

You can use the built-in Quicktime Player to capture a screen recording on your Mac, or you can use third-party software such as Camtasia or Snagit which offer more advanced recording features. For example, with the Camtasia Recorder, you can record your screen and your webcam at the same time, as well as sound from both your microphone and system audio. 

How to screen record on Windows?

To record your screen on a Windows computer, you can use the built-in Xbox Game Bar, or third-party software like Camtasia or Snagit, which offer more versatile recording and editing tools. Not only does Camtasia let you record your screen, webcam, microphone, and system audio all at once, but you can also edit all mp4 files either separately or together. 

How to screen record on Chromebook?

To screen record on a Chromebook, you can use the built-in Screen Recorder, or third-party software such as Camtasia or Snagit to capture your screen, audio, and webcam footage. Camtasia and Snagit offer cutting-edge editing and recording tools to help you record and edit like a pro. With Camtasia, you can even create split screen videos and add a range of animations to your footage.

Clémence Daniere

Content Marketing Specialist Contractor at TechSmith where I write, edit, and create content that informs and entertains. I also read too many books.

How to Generate AI Voice: Enhancing your Workflow with AI

Image of Audiate using AI to generate a script

AI has reshaped the way we work, create, and communicate with each other. Its recent surge in popularity has drawn a lot of attention, but not all positive. Uncertainty and fear hovers around machine-learning AI.

But there is no need to worry. With Audiate’s AI capabilities, you can easily enhance your workflow to benefit you. And not the rise of the machines. 

However, it’s clear that the capabilities of AI are interesting. Workflows are shaped and changed by generative AI every day.

Notably, AI voice generators have taken content creation to a new level of efficiency. You can turn your text into a voice of your choice with the click of a button.

The first step is learning how to generate AI voices, also known as translating text to speech. This means that generative AI uses data patterns and innovates new content that fits your needs.

Introducing Audiate

Audiate’s AI seamlessly integrates generative AI principles with your video editing needs. This leaves you with an easy and efficient video creation workflow.

It’s time to stop spending time laboring over manual transcription. With Audiate, AI acts as your personal scribe, transcribing your speech into text one word at a time. Or, you can transform your text to speech with these updated features.

Two new AI-powered functionalities, Generate Script and Generate Audio, allow you to create near-instant audio projects. No writer or voice actor needed. Audiate can read text out loud, turn your text to audio, and has different text-to-speech voices to choose from.

Plus, Audiate’s text-based editing capabilities allow you to edit the text to fit your needs. Once your text is edited, it’s ready to be turned into an AI voice-over.

From basic recording to advanced editing features, Audiate is designed with you in mind. 

Are you ready to revolutionize the way you work? Let’s dive in.

Generate Script

Do you have a video idea, but don’t know how to realize it into a full-blown script? And there are no writers at hand? No worries, we got you covered.

You can create a script with Audiate! Just explain your idea and simply specify the desired length and style. Audiate will match your idea, time constraints, and stylistic choice to get you a script perfect for you! It’s that easy.

You can then use Audiate’s text to voice generator too, but we’ll dive into that later.

Audiate's "Generate Script" feature has different options to choose from so you create the script that right for you.

If the script is not perfect the first time around, you can also edit it to your liking. Audiate’s text-based editing abilities make it super easy. Or, ask for an instant rewrite of it that leans toward new concepts. The possibilities are endless.

After you are happy with your script, Audiate can also create a summary that aids with the marketing and promotion of your video. 

And, are you trying to market outside of English-speaking countries? Audiate can also translate your script into 6 more languages. You now can reach a wide audience while keeping your message the same. 

Audiate's menu of languages to choose from so you can translate your script into any of 7 different languages.

It’s time to take your content creation workflow to the international level with Audiate.

Audiate’s text-to-speech generator reads out loud using AI voices!

It’s easy to generate text with Audiate

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Generate Audio

Have you ever heard the sound of your voice in a video and cringed? You’re not alone. Audiate is here to help with generative-AI voices. We promise, you never have to hear your voice again!

Now, that is a truly game-changing feature. 

Audiate’s automated transcription and voice recognition capabilities allow you to generate an AI voice right from your text. Or, you can make it super easy. Just use the script that Audiate generated for you earlier and add audio to match. Video creation has truly never been easier. 

Here’s how you do it.

First, you need a script

You can either upload your own text or use one created by Audiate’s Generate Script feature. 

If you have your own voice recording, you can use that too. Just record your text in Audiate using your voice. Don’t worry, you can change it to an AI-generated voice in a few quick steps.

Once you have a script or a voice recording uploaded to Audiate, open the Generate Audio menu. 

Image of Audiate's Generate Audio menu open, showing the different options that create audio.

Click through the wide range of options available to you. 

You can customize voices between a variety of languages and people. Female and male voice options allow for you to refine your audio to your liking. 

Second, choose the voice that conveys your message’s intent

Whether that be friendly, cheerful, angry, or more! Audiate uses realistic AI voices so your recordings always turn out professional.

If you have a voice recording and a script, you can also combine the two into one. This allows you to add details you may have missed after you’re done recording.

Just toggle “Apply to entire project” before you generate the audio, and watch it all come together.

GIF of voice recording and script being integrated into one text to speech audio recording.

This feature seamlessly integrates multiple selections into AI-generated speech. 

Lastly, here’s a bonus feature

You can also create presets. Save your most-used voices so you can easily come back to them later. 

Image of User Presets that has a Favorite Voice option for use later on.

Presets make it easy to stay organized and apply audio settings quickly. 

Whether you need to create a script for your YouTube videos, marketing content, or social media platforms, you can count on Audiate to have what you need.

With Audiate it is that easy to transform your text to AI-generated speech. Try Audiate, your new favorite text-to-speech software, now to see how you can transform your content.

Audiate’s AI Will Transform Your Workflow

The text-to-speech feature is here to save the day.

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Clémence Daniere

Content Marketing Specialist Contractor at TechSmith where I write, edit, and create content that informs and entertains. I also read too many books.

The Best Way to Take a Screenshot on any Computer

Screen Capture: The Best Way to Take Screenshots

Do you often need to save or share what you see on your computer screen? While mobile and desktop operating systems offer basic screen capture tools built-in, most have limited functionality.

Do you find that the built-in tools on your devices don’t offer as many functions as you’d like?

That is why there are also third-party apps, like Snagit. It’s the perfect tool for people who take lots of screenshots and need more robust tools than the ones built into their devices. 

In this blog post, we’ll show you how to take a screenshot on both Mac and Windows using built-in tools like the Windows Snipping Tool and third-party programs like Snagit. 

Capture your screen today!

Download a free trial of Snagit to quickly and easily take screenshots of your computer screen, mark them up, and share them.

Download now!
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So whether you need to learn how to capture your screen on your computer or how to take, edit, and annotate screenshots, we’ve got you covered!

How to take a screenshot on PC

To take a screenshot on your Windows  7, Windows 8, Windows 10, or Windows 11 computer, there are several methods you can use.

Capture the whole screen on Windows

To capture an image of your entire screen, simply press the Print Screen button (PrtSc). This will copy the screenshot to your clipboard. You can then open any program that allows you to insert images, such as Paint, Microsoft Word, or PowerPoint, and paste the screenshot by pressing Ctrl-V.

The downside to this method is that it captures everything visible on your monitor. 

If you only want to capture the window you currently have open, you can hold down the PrtSc button at the same time as the Windows key Alt.

Capture parts of the screen on Windows

The Snipping Tool (available on Windows 7 and later versions) allows you to capture a specific area of the screen, as well as add notes and save the image in different formats.

You can open the Snipping Tool by searching for it in the toolbar search. Use the Windows-S shortcut to open Windows search and type in Snipping Tool.

Image of Snipping Tool UI right when you open it.

Just follow the instructions, and take as many screenshots as you need!

How to take a screenshot on Mac

These methods work with versions of macOS–10.10 (Yosemite) or higher.

Capture the whole screen on Mac

Here are the steps to follow when taking a screenshot on a Mac:

Press the Shift+Cmd+3 to screenshot your full screen. 

Next, you can either click on the preview that appears in the corner of your screen or open the screenshot from your desktop to edit and/or share it.

Capture parts of the screen on Mac

Shift+Cmd+4 turns your mouse into crosshairs. From there, you can select a window or drag and drop the crosshairs, selecting the area you’d like to capture.

Click the command, shift, and 4 button at the same time to take a partial screenshot.

To capture a screenshot on a Mac, press Shift+Cmd+5 simultaneously to open the screenshot tool.

Hotkeys Command Shift 5 opens up the screenshotting tool for a Mac.

With the screenshot tool open, you’ll notice several new options for taking different types of screen captures, including recording the entire screen and recording a portion of the screen.

Expert Tip: If your MacBook has a Touch Bar, you can capture it in your screenshot by pressing Shift+Cmd+6. 

To copy a screenshot of your entire screen to your clipboard you need to press Shift+Cmd+Ctrl+3 at the same time. 

Screen capture using Snagit

With Snagit, you have way more possibilities for capture. The software offers precise capture, image editing, free cloud-sharing, and so much more.

Step 1: Open the capture window

Open Snagit from your menu. If you’re in the Snagit editor, click the Capture button in the toolbar to bring up the Capture window.

Snagit UI with the red capture button.

Step 2: Choose your screen capture settings

Grab your entire desktop, a region, or a window with Snagit’s All-in-One Capture®. Take quick image screenshots. Or even record videos.

Step 3: Click the capture button

Click the Capture button on any tab in the Capture window to start your screen capture. You can also start a capture by using the keyboard shortcut Shift+Cmd+3 or PrtSc keys.

Step 4: Click and drag the crosshairs to selects parts of your screen

Your capture is automatically saved in the Snagit library. Use Snagit and Screencast’s Share Link feature to share your screenshot with anyone!

No matter which method you choose, taking a screenshot should be fast and convenient for you.

Screenshot your computer today

Download a free trial of Snagit to quickly and easily take screenshots of your computer screen, mark them up, and share them.

Download Free Trial
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Clémence Daniere

Content Marketing Specialist Contractor at TechSmith where I write, edit, and create content that informs and entertains. I also read too many books.

When You Know, You Know: Why Technical Writers Choose Snagit

Image of man who uses Snagit with tech writers.

Technical writers have a difficult task, seeing as how they have to explain processes to audiences they can’t see or talk to – and they have to cover every level of expertise. The advancements made over time, from reams of books to easily shareable digital materials, have immensely helped communication.

With all the methods available, why is Snagit the tool technical writers choose?

Selvaraaju Murugesan is head of data science at http://Kovai.co, an enterprise software company offering multiple products in the B2B SaaS area. The company’s goal is to identify business problems and create solutions to help its customers. One of the products is Document 360 which uses Snagit extensively to create technical documentation. Due to his company’s reliance on Snagit, he identified the top seven features that won over their technical writers.

1. Quick Launch Hot Key

GIF of Snagit quick launch from hotkey

With Snagit, you can open the software and use the big red capture button…or you can customize it with your chosen keyboard shortcut. This way, Snagit is always at a tech writer’s fingertips, no matter what else is happening on the screen.

“We love it,” Murugesan said. “You press the Print Screen wherever you are. It’s a no brainer. Your whole area is the canvas, which we absolutely love…we really like that cool feature.”

Of course, your options aren’t limited to Print Screen or to just launching. Snagit comes equipped with ready-made keyboard shortcuts for a variety of uses, but you can also customize them to your own preferences.

2. Quick Style Presets

GIF of a preset in Snagit's menu for adding a black border to your captures.

Each Snagit tool has a variety of default Quick Styles to quickly and easily annotate image captures. This way, a technical writer can use a customized style and save them as Quick Styles to use repeatedly. Not only is it a time saver, but writers can easily adhere to the brand guidelines. For instance, at Kovai.co, writers use different style presets for different products. For the tech-focused products they use one set of presets, and for the marketing-oriented projects they use a separate set.

“We want to make sure our brand guidelines are a little different,” he said. “So we created these presets, and it’s easily available for our technical writers to access…we really love that cool feature.”

3. Scrolling Capture

GIF of a scrolling capture in Snagit.

With Snagit, users can capture the entire contents of a web browser or application window – including the content that goes beyond the visible area on the screen. As a single image, users can capture entire web pages, long documents, wide spreadsheets, and any other window on your screen that requires scrolling.

Clearly, this works well for the documentation needs of technical writers, so they can produce clean, easy-to-understand images.

“It’s very seamless,” Murugesan said. “You take a screenshot and you scroll through and it stitches together…and produces a big screenshot in a panoramic setting. It’s pretty cool.”

4. Grab Text

GIF of text being extracted from a screenshot using Snagit's Grab Text feature.

Snagit is able to detect text in images and convert it to editable text. If you’ve ever had to manually and carefully copy words from a screen, you know how useful this is. iPhone users will be familiar with this feature as well. Once you take the screenshot and select Grab Text, a box pops up with all your text, ready to be copy and pasted anywhere you need. 

“Our technical writers quickly latched onto it,” Murugesan added.

5. Video Capture

GIF of a man presenting information using Snagit.

Snagit isn’t just for still screenshots, either. The ability to make videos with it is one of Snagit’s top features, since it’s a straightforward way to get your point across, without the obstacles of a complex video capture tool. Technical writers love Snagit because they can record videos to demonstrate a process to reach their audiences.

“There are a few use cases we use it for,” he said. “First is for our external end customers to use, but we also use it when support tickets arise and people don’t know how to figure it out. Instead of sending them a document link with a bunch of screenshots in it, our support guy goes and makes a cool video and then sends it to them.”

They have seen measurable success by using Snagit’s video capture feature.

“When we did that, our CSAT score went up by more than 5%,” he said, referring to the customer satisfaction score metric. “It’s all about making sure they get what they need, and they’re happy. We don’t send them a lengthy document, or a documentation link with all the stuff. Instead, here’s one piece – a video, watch it. Your problem is solved. So that was brilliant.”

For technical writers, having the ability to produce screenshots and videos in one app makes it easier for them to reach people in the form they want their information.

“The baby boomers…they like to read rather than watch,” he said. “But millennials and Gen Zs…text? I don’t buy it. Give me a 30 second video, watch it. We mix and match these days.”

6. Snagit Library

GIF of Snagit's library with different tabs for organization.

Snagit has your back. Didn’t think to save a capture? The Snagit Library stores your capture history, including images, video recordings, and animated GIFs. This is especially valuable for technical writers, as UIs change over time, and it’s useful to have past records.

“Sometimes what happens is, you take a screenshot, or we close the laptop, or we forget…and it’s pretty cool you have a time machine,” he said. “I can actually go back to two years ago, and I saved a screenshot – and you got it there.”

7. Turning Your Screenshots into a Video

GIF of a screenshot being repurposed as a video.

With Snagit, you can record and narrate a video to provide additional context for an image. Add arrows, drawings, and audio to communicate with your viewers.

Why do it this way? In the past, if you wanted to provide a video of a tutorial, you had to make sure you were ready to record each step, emphasize the areas of the screen you wanted to focus on, and narrate it – all at the same time. It might go right, or you might have to edit or start over…but Snagit lets you take a series of screenshots and use those to create your video. Technical writers can ensure they have exactly the image they want to share – before recording.

“Creating videos from images with voiceovers is as easy as a walk in the park,” he said. “Our technical writers love that feature.”

Screenshots, video, audio – Snagit helps technical writers meet the needs of their audiences in a variety of ways. There’s a reason Snagit has been the leading screen capture software for decades worldwide. It helps people communicate faster and more clearly…so they can get their jobs done. Do you want to learn more about when to use text, images, or video in your documentation? Check out this article.

Carla Wardin

Senior Marketing Communications Consultant, where I work with all kinds of interesting industries on their content needs. I live on a dairy farm where we’re also raising crops and boys.

The Easiest Way to Shorten a Video for Social Media

Image of a video being cut short by scissors.

Content creators are plentiful in today’s digital landscape. How will you stand out?

Social media content creation is a fast-paced, dynamic process that requires expertise to maintain audience attention. At this point, it’s an art form! The digital landscape is full of social media platforms like TikTok and Instagram. They require high-quality, attention-grabbing videos.

Sure, you could spend a ton of time in a complicated video editor, but we’re going to show you a better way. 

Image of Audiate and Camtasia working together to edit the video in Audiate.

Why are short videos good for social media?

The data tells it all.

Diminishing attention spans: Focus on short-form content. Cater to the shrinking attention span of today’s audience by focusing on short-form, easily digestible content. 

According to StudioCanal, the average watch time per video view was 3.33s on TikTok. The average watch time per person was 5.26! That limits the amount of content your audience is willing to watch!

Platform algorithms: It’s what the apps want! Algorithms often prioritize short videos, which loop quickly, making them more likely to appear on more user’s feeds. With short-form videos, you can reach a wider audience simply because your content will play more frequently.

Audience preferences: No one has the time anymore. Users would rather consume content quickly and on the go. A blog post by Socialinsider states that after exceeding the 15-second length limit, TikTok videos get a 16.55% decrease in the average view rate. Your audience is more than willing to skip past long videos.

What social media platforms are best?

A few social media platforms thrive off short videos. TikTok carved the path to short-form video. They were one of the first popular platforms to limit content to 15-second videos. Although these guidelines have since changed, the platform continues to lean on short-form content for its viral trends and challenges.

Instagram Reels came out as a way for individuals to reach a broader audience. They did so by posting through their already-existing Instagram accounts. This platform is similar to TikTok in its tendency to favor short-form content and trending audio. 

Lastly, YouTube Shorts entered the community by emphasizing shorter-length videos as well. However, they accompany the long videos we all know and love. 

Now it may seem pretty straightforward, but making short videos can be time-consuming and tricky. You only have a few seconds to create the content you want to publish after all.

A great way to save time is by repurposing old content. Instead of creating new content for every social media post, you might want to cut down some of the longer videos you’ve made. Save time by reusing content you already have. That makes it simpler.

Or, maybe you created a video that is just a little bit too long for your social media platforms. No worries, simply upload it to Audiate, edit the transcribed text, and sync your edits to your video.

Time is a precious commodity for us all, and Audiate recognizes that. By streamlining the editing process, Audiate allows you to repurpose your content quickly and efficiently. 

So, do you need to learn How to remix a YouTube video into a short? Or learn how to edit a video for social media? Either way, we’ll show you how.

Easily Create Social Media Videos with Audiate!

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Create short videos for social media in three easy steps

Audiate can help you edit your videos faster so you can spend even more time creating. Audiate is set to be your go-to solution for creating short-form content that captivates your audience. Just use its automatic transcription to precise text editing and seamless audio synchronization.

Turning your long videos into short videos might seem like an editing-heavy task. Luckily, Audiate makes it super easy to accomplish. It’s done in three steps, and you won’t even need to trim any video content yourself.

Automatic transcription

The first step is uploading your Camtasia video to Audiate. There, the software will work its magic by transcribing the spoken content for you. Not only does this save time, but it also lays out the groundwork for your editing process. 

You will have the ability to read the transcription and listen to your audio simultaneously. Doing so ensures a seamless editing process. Have we mentioned how easy this makes video editing?

Image of a script being automatically transcribed by Audiate.

Editing text

Now, delete, edit, and refine the transcription of your video. The text you delete from the transcription will be cut out of your video. So you can focus only on what’s important. You can quickly identify and modify the text to match your video vision. 

The Audiate system empowers content creators to cut through the clutter and focus on what matters most—your message. Remove unnecessary ”ums,” “ahs,” and “likes”, repetitions, and tangents to make the most of your content. 

Image of the transcript being edited in Audiate.

Automatic sync

Your text is edited down to only what you want to say. The software will now seamlessly sync the edited text to the audio and video. This will ensure that the natural flow of speech is maintained while cutting out unnecessary content. Your short-form video now looks professionally edited without the need for painstaking manual editing. 

It’s so easy, we don’t know how we ever edited without it!

Image of an Audiate transcript being exported and linked to Camtasia.

Audiate is truly a powerful ally for content creators looking to master the art of short-form videos. In an instant, you will be able to remix YouTube videos into a short. That means you can also create easily consumed content for all of your other social media platforms. 

Boost Your Social Media Content with Audiate!

Save time and edit with Audiate instead

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It’s time to say goodbye to endless editing and hello to Audiate. Embrace it, save time, and let your creativity shine on social media. It’s a place where every second counts, and your voice deserves to be heard. 

Clémence Daniere

Content Marketing Specialist Contractor at TechSmith where I write, edit, and create content that informs and entertains. I also read too many books.

How to Make a YouTube Intro

Stylized image of a web browser window with a large YouTube play button icon centered on a vibrant green background, suggesting a tutorial on "how to make a YouTube intro."

Everybody is making videos these days. Good ones, bad ones, funny ones, serious ones. Videos for training. Videos for marketing. Videos for social media. Videos for quick updates. Videos to share ideas.

There are even a ton of videos about making videos.

Create your own YouTube video intros!

Ready to start creating cool intros for your videos? Download Camtasia and get YouTube intro templates to use in any project!

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If you’re making videos, or interested in them, you’ve probably noticed that many of the best ones include a short intro section. It’s an ideal technique for giving videos a professional and polished look.

What makes a good video intro?

A good video intro animation is quick and concise. A short opening to your video lets the audience know what it’s about, who you are, and, if applicable, the brand or organization you represent.

It’s for this reason that video intros are often templatized. One of the most convenient things about a good video intro is they can be reused throughout a video series or in all the videos on a channel.

A bit of catchy music along with a few animations or transitions becomes a visual signature for you or your brand.

Do I need an intro for my videos?

It’s not absolutely necessary to add an intro to every video.

Consider the purpose. If your video is a quick one-off that you’re sending to one or a couple of people, it might not be necessary.

On the other hand, if your video will be hosted and shared publicly or is part of a series, then an intro can be a really nice touch. It’s almost always a good idea to add an intro to YouTube videos.

How long should a video intro be?

YouTube video intros should be quick and snappy. Viewers want information as fast as possible, and your videos should reflect this desire.

The best video intros quickly greet viewers, introduce the presenter, and say what the video is about. This can all be communicated through text displayed in the intro sequence.

The intro is not the place to ask for likes, subscribes, shares, and comments. This adds unnecessary length to the intro and delays viewers getting to the content they want. Save the housekeeping for the end.

As far as raw length, 3-7 seconds is a solid rule of thumb.

How to Make a YouTube Intro (Step-by-step)

Making a video intro is actually a very easy process. All you need is some easy-to-use video editing software and, to make things really easy, a selection of video intro templates.

Camtasia comes with a number of video intros that you can use in any project. And TechSmith Assets for Camtasia has more YouTube video intro templates that you can download straight to Camtasia and then customize. 

Step 1: Choose a video intro template

This step can be done from within Camtasia by choosing one from the library. Alternatively, you can download one from TechSmith Assets for Camtasia, which has more free video intros plus other resources like video templates, sound effects, music, and more.

Screenshot of Camtasia library with Intro section open.

Step 2: Add the intro template to the timeline

Camtasia is a great video intro maker because it makes video editing so easy. Drag your video intro template from the Library to the timeline.

Screenshot of cursor dragging and dropping intro template on the Camtasia timeline. Call out reading "Click and drag from Library to timeline.'

Step 3: Customize the intro with Quick Properties

Camtasia’s Quick Properties gives you customization options that make it easy to change text, colors, and logos in your intro template.

Camtasia Quick Properties panel for customizing template items.

Step 4: Add the customized intro to your Camtasia library

Right click the intro media group on the Camtasia timeline and choose Add to Library.

Screenshot showing right-click and choose Add to Library.

Name the intro and choose a folder to save it to. 

Now, you can use the customized intro as a template in any new video you create!

More reading

Now that you know how to create an intro for your videos, you might want to learn to create an outro. YouTube outros have some special features you can use, so learning the ins and outs can be really helpful.

Check out our post 5 Easy Steps to Make a YouTube Outro for everything you need to know about creating YouTube outros.

Ryan Knott

Ryan Knott is a Marketing Content Strategist at TechSmith, where he creates content about easy, effective, and efficient video creation, editing, and tips and tricks, as well as audio editing for creators of all kinds. He/him.

How to Get Good Audio Recordings from Your Home Office

Image of a video being edited by Audiate in a home office.

The rise of remote work came with the need to learn new skills right from home. Learning how to record a voice-over at home, for example, has become a non-negotiable for remote professionals. Weird static, distracting background noise, and uneven audio are all pitfalls that prevent your audio recordings from shining. 

That’s where Audiate comes in. The all-in-one solution for elevating your home office into a home voice-over studio is here. It’s going to make your life easier while making you feel and look more professional.

In this guide, we’ll dive into how you can transform your home office into a professional audio studio. And that’s without fancy equipment. 

Upgrade Your Environment

A lot of unexpected noise is thrown your way when you work from home. Whether it be the laundry machine or a ring at the doorbell, followed by incessant barking, quiet is hard to keep.

The first step to upgrading your audio recordings is to pick a dedicated workspace. Try to find a space that is quiet, far from distractions, and secluded from others. A personal office is a game-changer, but any space can become a dream to work in with just a few adjustments.

Equipment that helps

Equipment can be hard to keep up with, but one must-have is noise-canceling headphones. High-quality headphones can help block out ambient noise. That means you can concentrate on your tasks without any disturbances.

Make sure to upgrade your microphone; your laptop usually isn’t good enough. Usually, headphones include a microphone, but a desk-compatible microphone will do the trick as well.

Plus, consider soundproofing your space with special equipment. Panels, solid doors, and draft stoppers minimize noise transfer between rooms and dampen sound.

But if you don’t want to invest in extra equipment, that’s okay, we get it. The furniture you probably already own, like heavy curtains and rugs, can help absorb and block sound too! Every little change can make a huge difference in your audio quality.

These small changes can make a huge difference. Because when your home office has an optimized set-up, Audiate shines even brighter.

Understanding Audiate

Audiate isn’t just a recording software; it’s your audio ally. It is a powerhouse full of user-friendly features that transform your audio and videos in just a few clicks. 

Audiate has your back! Between editing video audio, recording a voice-over for video, and anything else.

From basic recording to advanced editing features, Audiate is designed with you in mind. Notably, Audiate offers text-based editing directly into the audio editing workflow. Now, you can eliminate hesitations, refine your script, and enhance the clarity of your message right in the text.

Audiate’s Features Make a Difference

Audiate’s features are the difference between crisp and muddy audio

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You can make immediate changes to your audio while recording too. Save time and get optimal results by using real-time monitoring.

Advanced features provide you with the ability to make professional-grade audio recordings. Noise reduction, EQ controls, pitch correction, and more work together to make your voice shine. But, don’t worry, we’ll dive into these in further detail in a few moments. 

Edits that make a difference

Image of the Effects list in Audiate that control how you can edit your audio recording.

Now, you’ve done all you can to reduce noise levels before you start recording. The time has come to learn how to make edits that will transform your audio post-production.

Noise Reduction

Even with extra precautions, there is usually some background noise that can muddy up some of your audio. No worries, Audiate has an effect that can fix just that. 

It’s simple, just select and adjust the dial to fix your audio best. It may seem tempting to turn it all the way up. But that can muddy up the parts of your audio you want to shine, so take your time with the adjustment.

Plosives

Plosives–the “p” sounds that overpower your audio are natural and can give your listener a jump scare. By using Audiate’s pop filter, you can get rid of them.

Plosives are easy to remove. You just need to turn the dial up and down until you have a “p” sound that doesn’t jump out from the rest of the audio.

Image of Audiate voice editor software that minimizes plosives with the Remove Plosives effect.

Delete hesitations and fillers

We all make mistakes. We take a pause that is a little too long for comfort, say “like” and “um” to fill silences and trip over our own words. As much as we may not like it, we all do it. 

Luckily, Audiate automatically finds your hesitations and murmurs so you can easily edit the audio right there in the text. Say goodbye to “ums” and “ahs” with just the click of a backspace.

Image of Audiate interface that has hesitations and mistakes highlighted.

Equalizer

Now, the equalizer feature is a great way to improve the quality and tone of your voice-over at home. Audiate even has refined features within Equalizer to fine-tune your sound quality easily.

This feature can take a muddy and hollow recording and turn it into an audio that sounds clear and full. With EQ, you never have to worry about an unclear voice ever again.

Image of Equalizer feature in Audiate and all of the refined features it has to offer.

Pro tip: Use the Remove Noise feature before Equalizer for the best results.

Volume Leveler

Sometimes we say some words with more energy than others. Or a quote gets added in later on with weird audio discrepancies. Well, no worries.

With the Volume Leveler feature, you can adjust the volume level of individual words to create a uniform recording. Watch as your recording turns from an uneven mess into a nice, even audio.

This effect keeps your voice consistent, calm, and keeps your audio at a professional quality level. 

DeEsser

Some sounds like “s” and “z” in English can become overwhelming when above a certain volume threshold. This adds unwelcome distractions to your voice-over recordings. Audiate can tone down the abrasive noise these sounds make for you!

This effect takes your consonant-heavy recording and turns it into a more pleasing version. It’s super easy to use and a nice upgrade to any audio.

DeClipper

Microphones, no matter the price point, can be finicky. No matter how hard you try, there’s sometimes funky distortion and saturation that makes your audio sound wonky.

Audiate’s DeClipper effect can rectify improper microphone levels by removing distortions and improving overall audio quality.

Consider your audio spikes and too-loud spurts a thing of the past with this handy feature.

Remove Reverb

Now, you may have your own space to record, but empty spaces, large or small, can cause echoes that reverberate through your audio recording.

With the Remove Reverb audio effect, you can remove those pesky audio tails and echoes. So, clean up your hollow, echoey recording easily.

Good luck on your journey

All together, Audiate has an array of features that make a huge difference in your audio recording quality. 

Plus, Audiate automatically links to your Camtasia video editor, so you can easily sync and edit video and audio.

Whether you’re a podcaster, content creator, educator, or professional seeking top-notch audio quality in your virtual communications, Audiate is there for you. It stands out as a versatile and powerful solution for a reason. Just record, edit, and done!

Upgrade Your Audio Quality Today!

Audiate’s editing features are here to make your life easy

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With its plentiful feature set and user-centric design, Audiate will empower you to elevate your audio files effortlessly, turning any recording space into a sophisticated home voice-over studio.

Audio mastery is a journey, and Audiate is your trusted map. Start your journey now and explore its fun features and experiment with the abundant settings. The time has come for you to unlock the full potential of your home office audio setup.

Clémence Daniere

Content Marketing Specialist Contractor at TechSmith where I write, edit, and create content that informs and entertains. I also read too many books.

How to Take a Screenshot on Windows 10 and 11

Image of a Windows machine taking a screenshot.

Built-in screenshot tools for Windows, like the Snipping Tool, can sometimes fill your basic screenshot needs. 

Simply press the print screen button on your keyboard to do so. You can open the snipping tool that way as well.

But what if you need to go beyond the bare minimum? Screenshot your computer screen with more detail, or add extra annotations and effects with Snagit!

There’s a better way!

With the power to easily communicate details and share knowledge, Snagit’s features make it the best screenshotting software for Windows 10. 

From advanced effects and editing tools to detailed capture techniques, Snagit can help you create amazing screenshots with ease.

Read on for an easy-to-follow walkthrough of how to take a screenshot on Windows 11, plus how to store and organize your screenshots.

Simple Windows Screenshot with Snagit!

Download a free trial of Snagit to easily create and share screenshots today.

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How to screenshot on Windows 10 & 11

When it’s time to go beyond basic screenshots, TechSmith Snagit combines powerful features with an easy-to-use interface. You can download a free trial here to start taking great screenshots! 

Step 1: Select what type of image you want to capture

Taking a screenshot with Snagit starts the same – with the print screen button. With Snagit open, simply click the red Capture button. You can also do this from the Snagit icon in your toolbar.

The Snagit user interface with different screenshot options

In the toolbar, you will notice different screenshot options. You can select either All-In-One or Image to screenshot your screen. 

All-In-One gives you the option to select image, video, or panoramic capture. This is a great option if you aren’t sure exactly what type of screenshot you need.

The Image setting will display your options for a still screenshot, including panoramic, window, full screen, and more. This is a great option when you need to tailor your capture dimensions to your screen.

To use Snagit super efficiently, you can program keyboard shortcuts or hotkeys to speed up your screenshotting process.

For this tutorial, let’s use the All-in-One capture setting.

Step 2: Use the crosshairs

If you’re wondering how to take a selected screenshot on Windows, look no further than Snagit’s crosshairs feature. It makes it easy to select the area you want to capture and leave out the rest! 

Hover over windows or regions to auto-select the area, or click and drag across a portion of your screen to make a custom selection.

Use crosshairs to take exact screenshots of your computer screen.

Step 3: Preview your selected region

Release the crosshairs to preview your selection. If needed, use the handles at the edges to make adjustments.

Then, when you’re ready, click the camera icon in the Snagit toolbar to take your screenshot.

Choose the type of capture you'd like to take with Snagit.

Adding annotations and effects to screenshots on Windows

After you capture your screenshot, your images and videos open automatically in the Snagit editor. Then, you have the option to add various annotations and effects such as text callouts, symbols, blur, and more.

Different editing options in Snagit

Snagit also makes it easy to crop and change the size of your screenshot.

You can find more in-depth tutorials on editing and adding effects to Snagit screen captures here.

How to record your screen on Windows 10

Need to record a video of your screen instead of a still image in Windows? Snagit makes screen recording incredibly simple. It can even record audio and video at the same time!

📚 Recommended Reading: In-Depth Guide on How To Screen Record Windows

You can select either All-In-One or Video from the capture options. From there, follow the same steps as you would for screenshotting your screen.

When you need to take your screen recording to the next level, TechSmith Camtasia offers a lot more tools for annotation, picture-in-picture recording with your webcam, and more. Compare TechSmith screen capture and recording options here.

Read an in-depth tutorial on how to record your screen on a Windows machine.

How to share screenshots and screen recordings on Windows

With Snagit, it’s easy to share screen captures to any platform. You can easily copy and paste a link or file into a chat or email.

To save or share a screenshot to your computer, a network drive, or a hosting platform, simply click the Share button in the top right corner of the Snagit editor. Then, select where you’d like to share your captures to.

Or, click the Share Link button and watch as a unique link is copied to your clipboard. Paste it in any messaging application to easily share!

Share options with Snagit

To copy and paste your screen capture, right-click on your finished image and select copy. From there, you can paste your screenshot wherever you want!

Still, you can drag and drop your screenshot into several applications including Google Docs, Microsoft Word, Microsoft PowerPoint, and more.

How to store and organize your screenshots

There’s no need to clutter your desktop with screenshots or create a bunch of folders. Any captures taken with Snagit are automatically saved to the Snagit library!

Image of the Snagit Library and all of its features.

Screenshots can be organized in the Snagit Library by capture type, date, applications, windows, and more. You can even create custom tags to organize your screen captures.

It’s that easy! You’ll be a screen capture pro in no time.

Get ready to amaze your coworkers and friends with your clear, easy-to-follow screenshots and annotations. You now can communicate information anytime, anywhere!

For a great video walkthrough of the instructions in this post, check out this video:

Ready to get started with screenshots? Download a free trial of Snagit!

Simple Windows Screen Capture with Snagit!

Download a free trial of Snagit today to easily create and share screen captures.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Where are screenshots saved on Windows 10?

With Snagit, all screenshots will go directly to the Snagit library for easy access and organization.

Can you record audio and video at the same time on Windows?

Yes, you can! Both Snagit and Camtasia allow you to record your screen and your audio at the same time.

Can I crop captured videos and screenshots on Windows?

Yes! Capture or record your screen with Snagit. This will automatically open the editor, and then you can click and drag the borders of your image or video to crop it.

Clémence Daniere

Content Marketing Specialist Contractor at TechSmith where I write, edit, and create content that informs and entertains. I also read too many books.

How to Send a Video Through Email

Image of a video being sent via email.

Picture this:

You’re trying to send a demo video to your team, but it’s too large of a file to fit in an email. Now, you can’t send the email and are left with a video no one can watch.

Sound familiar? We thought so. 

Email platforms like Outlook and Gmail set strict size rules on their emails, making it impossible to send out files over the limit. 

Luckily, there are a few options for you. Let’s go through how to send a video that is too large for standard email.

Why can’t I send a video through email?

It seems like a mystery. But don’t worry, we can solve it for you. Typically, there are two main reasons you can’t send your video through email:

Size limits for different platforms

Different platforms have different limits. For example, Gmail caps your email size off at 25MB. After that, your videos automatically turn into a Google Drive link for users to access.

Yahoo and AOL also max out at 25MB but do not offer alternatives for users.

The default maximum attachment size for Outlook is 20MB. Beyond that, you need to look at alternative options too.

Risks of sending videos through email

Unfortunately, there are also risks associated with sending videos through email. 

Email overload happens when your inbox gets bulky, which makes finding the content you need difficult. 

Plus, large files come with a higher rate of file corruption. During the email transfer process, corrupt files become unusable.

Record and send videos with Snagit Connect

Create video messages that get your team the information they need without another meeting.

Learn More
Illustration of a video embedded in an email with snagit and screencast

The best methods for sending large video files through email

There is more than one solution to send a large video in email. To avoid the risks and difficulties associated with sending large video files through email, there are several alternative methods you can use.

Let’s dive in.

The shrinking option: file compression

If your file is too large, the answer seems easy. Make it smaller!

File compression is exactly that. By using file compression software, you can reduce the size of your video. Only then will it be able to be sent over email.

However, it’s important to note that the recipient also needs to use that software to restore the file to its original size. This extra step can make it more difficult for people to watch your video.

Unfortunately, file compression, if not done carefully, can significantly reduce the quality of the video as well.

The simple option: Snagit and Screencast

Video messages are a huge part of workplace communication and Snagit knows that. 

With Snagit, you can create, and edit your videos, and then share with Screencast, TechSmith’s cloud-hosting service. 

When you click Share Link in the Snagit Editor, a unique Screencast link is copied to your clipboard that you can paste into an email.

GIF of Screencast's Share Link option embedded with Snagit.

The recipient will then be able to open the link. No email attachment needed and they don’t have to set up an account to watch your video.

As a bonus, Screencast also allows you to have conversations with the recipient right on the video. You can use comments and reactions to chat about your video message at any time! 

It’s super simple and convenient for you and your recipients. Data shareouts, analytic reports, and more are now super easy to discuss with your team. 

 

It’ll bring your team together in an easy-to-navigate space that fosters conversation and innovation. 

What else could you ask for?

The bulky option: cloud storage

As mentioned earlier, when you send a large attachment through your Gmail account, it will automatically transform into a Google Drive file. 

Google does this automatically, but it doesn’t work for everyone. One simple reason for that is people might question a random Google Drive attachment. 

Plus, if the recipient does not have a @gmail.com email, then they will need to create an account to view the file. Talk about a headache!

Other options include using Dropbox and other cloud storage services that store and share files within your team. All of your team’s files can be uploaded and stored there for easy access.

This is convenient when you need to send large files consistently.

However, if everyone isn’t on the same service, it can easily become confusing to maneuver. Every user needs their own account to view the files, and keeping track of passwords can be a pain.

The limited option: file transfer

If you google a solution to emailing a large attachment over email, you will probably get various file transfer services advertised to you. 

Egnyte, ShareFile, and Zapier are all examples of quick file transfer services.

These services allow you to download your file and send it to someone, usually as a link. 

That makes it super convenient and is reminiscent of Snagit’s Screencast we mentioned earlier.

Although these services can be great for occasional use, they usually contain download and length limits. 

That means your large file might not be compatible with their service. 

So, even though file transfer is quick and convenient once in a long while, it isn’t a stand-out solution in the long run.

The public option: video sharing platforms

Another way of sharing large video files with your team is to upload them to video-streaming platforms. With or without an account, your team members will be able to view your video. 

Think of platforms like YouTube and Vimeo.

This is a nice solution, but only if you are sharing non-sensitive information. 

The reason for that is because it is all public. You can set your videos to private, but then your team won’t be able to view them. Which makes your upload obsolete.

Now, you just have to weigh the pros and cons of public uploads. If you are not sharing anything remotely sensitive, this is absolutely an option for you. 

But any kind of sensitive information should be kept for internal communication only. 

Tips for sending large video files through email

Here are some dos and don’ts that will help you understand which option might be best for you.

Graphic of the three tips for sending large video files through email.

Check the file size limit. This may seem obvious, but you never know. Large email services have high limits, so your video might be able to fit as an attachment to your email after all. 

Sometimes the issue may be something else.

Use a secure method. Some of the solutions, like Snagit, offer a secure passphrase-protected link. 

This means that you can send your video link to the wrong person and not have to worry about them accessing your content. They’ll need the password from you too!

Plus, Snagit’s sharing options include highly secure destinations like Panopto.

Notify the recipient. Before you send any large video attachment, no matter the method, notify the recipient. 

This ensures that they know a file is coming in a different format. Plus, they can give you feedback on the video-sharing process so you can find the perfect solution in the long run.

As you can see, there are many options for sending a large video file through email. Whether you compress the file yourself or use a sharing platform of your choice, there is a solution for everyone. 

We recommend Screencast because of its ease of use, sharing features, and security measures. Keep your videos private and share them with anyone–even if they don’t have an account–with Snagit + Screencast. 

Record and send videos with Snagit Connect

Create video messages that get your team the information they need without another meeting.

Learn More
Illustration of a video embedded in an email with snagit and screencast

Don’t let email restrictions slow down your workplace communication

Clémence Daniere

Content Marketing Specialist Contractor at TechSmith where I write, edit, and create content that informs and entertains. I also read too many books.

How to Make a GIF: A Simple and Fun Guide

Image of an mp4 file turned into a GIF.

Animated GIFs are a popular form of visual communication for a reason: they’re fun and informative! 

Plus, they can capture and convey emotions and processes that are harder to explain using words alone. The power of visual communication is truly unmatched. 

Have you ever found yourself wanting to create unique GIFs? In this comprehensive guide, we’ll walk you through the step-by-step process. 

GIFs are easy to make (we promise) and will add a dynamic touch to your everyday communication.

Let’s see how it’s done.

What is a GIF?

A GIF, short for Graphics Interchange Format, is a dynamic compressed video file. 

Think of it as a sped-up slideshow of a bunch of compressed images. However, you can create them with image or video files. 

The main difference between GIFs and other video and image formats is that it is compressed and easy to share. The smaller file format allows you to send it over messaging channels that otherwise wouldn’t support large file types. 

In short, GIFs are convenient file types that are easy to learn from, create, and share.

Make Your GIFs Fun With Snagit

Try Snagit for free today and step up your communication.

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GIFs will transform your communication (in a good way)

People love GIFs. They’re fun, cute, and relatable. But is a GIF appropriate to use in corporate or professional settings?

Short answer? Yes, you should be using GIFs at work. Life is too short not to laugh.

Let’s have fun!

Did your team hit that end-of-year goal a month early? Nothing like a good celebration to genuinely express your gratitude to your coworkers. 

And you know what makes it extra fun? Sending a funny GIF and meme to capture the height of the emotions you all are feeling.

Something like a high five with some confetti! Or Dwight Shrute and Michael Scott pumping the air. We don’t judge.

Or, is your project lead sick on the day of an important presentation? Send them a cute “get well soon” GIF to make them laugh. Nothing cures like a good laugh from the people who care about you. 

And even if nothing is going on, GIFs are fun to sprinkle throughout your communication.

Let GIFs provide context for your projects

Another way to use GIFs in your day-to-day life is by using them as support for your projects. 

You don’t need to ask your viewers to click a link to a YouTube Video or other platform. Instead, insert a GIF that highlights your work. 

Another incredibly useful way to use GIFs is as visual support for your step-by-step instructions. Show your viewers how to complete the step. It’ll save you time from writing out instructions with too many confusing details. 

For example, here is a GIF of how to use Screen Draw with Snagit!

GIF of Screen Draw feature used with Snagit.

Last (but not least), you can use GIFs to point out important details in your project. By creating a short looping video, you can draw viewers’ attention to the crucial information. 

This makes your projects more skimmable. Call that a win-win.

Now that you know exactly what a GIF is and does, let’s learn how to make them using different tools. 

How to make a GIF from a video

The best tool to create a GIF from a video is Snagit. All you need is a screen recording or video of your choice. 

It’s super easy to create a GIF using Snagit.

Image of Snagit's easy-to-use UI in which the cursor is hovering over the "Save video or selection as an animated GIF" button.

Open your video in the Snagit Editor

First, you’ll need to open your video with Snagit. Creating a screen recording with Snagit is super easy and a great way to create a GIF or you can drag and drop an existing file right into the Snagit editor.

Trim the video and create your GIF

With Snagit, you can create a GIF from any length of video. Just trim the clip to your desired length using the green and red markers. 

You won’t make any permanent changes to your original video either! It’ll simply create a temporary selection.

Once you have your video clip selected, click the button that will save your video or selection as an animated GIF. 

Optimize for your needs

In the pop-up menu, select “Use Selection” or “Use Whole Video” based on what you want to do. 

Then, choose between the following options

Screen Video (Default)– Use this option if your GIF is a screen recording.

High Motion Video– Use this option if your GIF contains real-world videos or games.

Reduced File Size– Optimize your file size with this option. Snagit scaled the dimensions down to have a max width and height of 200 pixels.

Custom– If you really want to get fancy, use this option and customize for the following:

  • Frame rate
  • Dimensions (unit)
  • Dimensions (width and height)
  • Lock Aspect Ratio
  • Enable Dithering
  • Looping
  • Dynamic Colors (Mac)
  • Fade to Black

And that’s it! Watch your GIF video render and then save it to your desktop. Share with your coworkers, friends, and everyone else!

How to make a GIF with Photoshop

Photoshop is a popular way to make GIFs. You can use video frames, animation frames, or still images for this process.

Image of Adobe Photoshop GIF process using frames and layers.

Let’s go through the steps to create your GIF:

Upload two or more images as separate layers in Photoshop. 

These images need to create a flow of movement. This ensures that your GIF renders into a seamless video-like animation.

Create a frame animation in the timeline panel

Access the Timeline Panel with the window option open. In your Timeline Panel, you will see your layers. Select the Frame Animation option. 

Then, select individual layers and separate them into frames. Do this in the Timeline Panel.

Adjust timing and set the animation to loop.

Frame by frame, you can set the time for individual images. With this, you can decide how long each frame will be in your finished product.

Set your animation to loop by selecting the “Forever” option in the repeat menu. 

Export your new looping GIF, save it, and send it anywhere!

Export your final animated GIF by clicking File→ Export→ Save for Web. This will preview your GIF for you. 

Select GIF or PNG as the file format from the menu and save! Your GIF is now ready to send. 

You can now use Adobe Photoshop to create a looping GIF, perfect for any occasion. 

However, Photoshop does contain cumbersome limitations. There is a lot of preparation and conversion to create your GIF, and there are a lot of steps.

Keep in mind that this option is only available if you have paid access to Photoshop. Plus, you need to master the workflow. Let’s dive into other ways to make a GIF.

How to make a GIF using online tools

There are countless online tools that can help bring your GIF creation dreams to life! Let’s go through the more popular options. 

Giphy

Giphy is one of the most popular online tools for GIF creation. It’s accessible to anyone and super easy to use. You can create a GIF in just a few easy steps.

GIPHY's editor has a lot of options to turn still images into a fun GIF.
  1. Add content– Upload your files into the GIFMaker screen. Giphy only accepts videos under 15 seconds.
  1. Create layers– You can add captions and stickers to personalize each layer and let your GIF come to life!
  1. Edit layers– Trim each layer to start and stop when you want it to.
  1. Crop– Crop your video to fit different formats like portrait, landscape, and more.
  1. “Continue to Upload”– Hit this button once you’re done. A prompt will ask you to Add Tags and a Source URL for credit purposes.
  1. Done! –Don’t forget to set your GIF privacy preferences to Public so you can share it with anyone. 

It’s that simple to make a GIF with Giphy. 

Giphy is a reliable way to create GIFs, but there are unfortunate restrictions. The video length is cut to 15 seconds, which restricts the variety of GIFs you can make. 

Nonetheless, Giphy is a great option to make a GIF on a desktop.

Canva

Another popular GIF-creation platform is Canva. Known for its ease of use in digital media creation, Canva is a reliable option.

Image of Canva GIF maker with different frames to create movement.

Canva lets you use their extensive image library or use your own from your desktop. Let’s go through the steps.

  1. Select or upload your design– It’s easier to make a GIF with Canva if you focus it around one key element. Pick it and stick with it
  1. Add in some slides– To create movement in your GIF, you need to compress multiple images together. So, add the amount of slides you need to create your GIF.
  1. Animate your content and add effects– It’s time to have some fun! Add in fun animation and effects to make your GIF pop.
  1. And… that’s it– You’re done. Preview and download your GIF when you’re satisfied with the final product. Make sure you select the GIF option from the drop-down menu to save your creation correctly.

Canva also lets you use a video instead of images to create a GIF. 

  1. Import your video to Canva– Just drag and drop your video into the download window for a quicker process.
  1. Edit your video– Add text, effects, and animations to personalize your GIF. The sky is the limit here!
  1. Download and save– You know this one. Select GIF from the drop-down menu to ensure you have the right file format and save it to your desktop. 

That’s it. Canva’s two options make it easy to create a GIF!

iPhone

Alright, so let’s say you don’t have a desktop, just your iPhone. It’s possible (and easy) to make a GIF with an iPhone. 

The only precursor to this process is that your photo has to be a Live photo. If it is, you can turn it into a GIF easily. 

On iOS 15, tap on the Live button to open a drop-down menu. Then, just select “Loop” or “Bounce” to create your GIF. Save.

On iOS 14 or lower, swipe up on your screen to see the menu options. Then, follow the same instructions as iOS 15. 

Unfortunately, iPhones cannot create GIFs from videos just yet. But that’s what the platforms we’ve already outlined are here for. 

Tips for creating great animated GIFs

It’s important to keep in mind a few aspects of GIF creation.

Keep them short and simple. You don’t have your GIF to be long and uninteresting for your audience. By keeping it trim, you can ensure that more people watch it (and enjoy it!) Try to limit the length of your GIF to 10 seconds for entertainment purposes and 30 seconds for instructional.

Use high-quality content. We don’t want your GIFs to turn out blurry and confusing. Use high-quality videos and ensure that your GIF turns out clean and professional-looking.

Add text and captions for more clarity. Sometimes, adding a simple caption can take your GIF to the next level. Introduce the purpose of your GIF, make a funny comment, and more! The possibilities are endless.

Finally, try to experiment with tools and techniques. We’ve provided you with different tools that work for you. Try them out and see what works best. 

Your GIFs need to reflect the purpose you give them. 

There’s nothing quite like getting a funny video from your favorite coworker during a stressful day. Now, you can be that favorite coworker!

With Snagit, you can learn how to make a video a GIF easily. Whether it be from a screen recording or a video, it takes just one click of a button. We couldn’t make it more simple if we tried. 

Easily Make a GIF With Snagit!

Try out Snagit for free today

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So, go on and create!

Clémence Daniere

Content Marketing Specialist Contractor at TechSmith where I write, edit, and create content that informs and entertains. I also read too many books.