How to Make a YouTube Video (Beginner’s Guide)

How to Make a YouTube Video

When it comes to posting video content, YouTube is the ultimate destination.

In fact, at this point, YouTube is almost synonymous with internet video.

YouTube has over 1.9 billion monthly active users and they watch a billion hours of video every day. To put that in perspective, that’s over 114,000 years of video consumed EVERY DAY.

Top YouTube content creators can make hundreds — if not thousands — of dollars a day. But ironically, being successful and making money on YouTube has little to do with making videos.

So how DO you become successful on YouTube?

Today I’m going to share with you techniques from some of the top YouTubers that show exactly what you should (and shouldn’t) do for YouTube content creation.

Let’s go!

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Here’s everything, step-by-step, that you need to make a successful YouTube video:

Step 1. Create a YouTube Video Strategy

Choose the right topic (for the right audience)

Want to know the best-kept secret about being successful on YouTube (or any other content platform)?

It has very little with you as the creator.

You can be charismatic, funny, and intelligent, but your videos are useless if you don’t provide value. It’s not about you or what you can gain. You probably won’t be very successful if you show up on YouTube looking to get something out of it. You need to focus on your audience — not yourself.

Find your perfect audience for YouTube

Before working on your first script or storyboard, you must answer this question: “Who is your audience?”

Knowing your target audience will guide nearly every decision about your video. Knowing general information is helpful, but think about your specific audience. 

Computer screen and documents for marketing strategy.
  • What are their problems or interests?
  • What do they need to know?
  • What will they learn from your video?
  • How does your video benefit them?

You need to dig deeper if you can’t answer these fundamental questions. The answers to these questions will guide you as you plan and create your video.

Experts’ Take

As you start looking at what your audience wants and needs, there are some things you can do to help you narrow your focus.

Here’s advice from YouTube experts who have learned (from a lot of practice and work) what you need to define your audience.

YouTube Marketing Consultant Owen Video says, “The very first thing we do is run our clients through a questionnaire that helps them to get the biggest topics that the audience would be interested in.”

Jeremy Vest, Director of Marketing for vidIQ, suggests that listening is critical because “if you don’t listen to your audience then…you’re not going to serve them very well.” However, it’s not all about just seeking what the viewer wants.

Once you have a sense of your audience, you need to create content that matches your persona. It doesn’t matter if your video doesn’t work for other groups or other personas.

When you’re just starting out you want your audience to be as specific as possible.

Niche is good. Broad is bad.

Focus your content on helping the viewer achieve their goals. If you’re selling software, you need to make sure your video helps the viewer learn exactly what they need to be successful.

Fernando Silva, Account Executive for Wistia, emphasizes this need and suggests that we must “[get] a sense to what your audience is actually interested in and what they want to keep watching or maybe what doesn’t interest them. It … helps you make better content in the future.”

If you work hard to understand your audience but aren’t sure of what you should create for them, Tyler Lessard, Vice President of Marketing at Vidyard, stresses that you should, “focus more on the quality of the content and how you deliver it. Making sure it’s relevant to your audience, and I think that’s a simple way to start.”

Throw perfection out the window

Just start.

It’s really that simple.

I know it can be tempting to watch the big-name YouTubers and think you have to create videos just like that and engage a massive audience all at once, but all of those thoughts can be paralyzing.

“I personally believe that we’re all on the same plane, whether you’re a business or whether you’re an individual creator. Because we all start somewhere…”

Amy Landino, Co-founder of Aftermarq, and Best-Selling author of Vlog Like a Boss.

What should you do if you find yourself stuck on making it perfect?

Start by asking yourself a few questions:

  • Will my audience not clearly understand the purpose of the video if these changes aren’t made?
  • Will the video, as is, achieve your goal?
  • Does the video contain something incorrect that would seriously impact the viewer?
  • What is the worst that will happen if the current version is released as is?
  • Can the time that could be spent continuing to edit be put to better use on another project?

Once you answer these questions, give yourself permission to move on. If you focus too much on creating the perfect video you will limit yourself in the long run.

Step 2. Make sure your video is found on YouTube

A video can’t be successful if no one sees it! You must consider Search Engine Optimization (SEO) when you start creating your video.

There is a lot to learn and figure out, but mainly you want to get your content found by the people who are searching.

Two key ways to rank your YouTube videos:

  1. Make content that is good for the users
  2. Make content that is good for search engines

You want people to find your content. SEO can be complicated, but you don’t have to do everything simultaneously. YouTube Analytics is your best friend! It can help you uncover what’s working and what’s not, current trends, and how your audience responds to your content. The creators we talked with made a few easy suggestions.

Andrew Kan of TubeBuddy recommends you make content focused on a specific topic and niches, which will help your content be more searchable. It also helps ensure that the right audience is finding your content.

“Many people spend time on broad terms that have so much competition they’re never going to show up for [in search],” he said. “If you show up on the race day, and you’re [not] a runner, and you’ve practiced once, you can’t expect to win. So by practicing, by understanding that being more specific helps you be more discoverable, it helps you win.”

In addition to focusing your content on specific topics, Jeremy Vest recommends that you ensure your content is helpful and answers questions your potential audience is asking.

“Match that search intent with ‘how do I fix this blank,’ and you sell that blank,” he said. “Instead of just talking about how good your widget is, be the answer to questions being asked…and being the answer to those is…one of the easiest ways for brands to start doing well in this environment and then from there beat that expectation. Provide things they’re not expecting. Have guests they wouldn’t expect to be on your program. And, give more value than they can even believe.”

To make your content helpful and findable, consider your viewers’ questions and where they’re asking them. Then, you can create the right content and post it where they will find it.

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Why people stop watching your videos

Step 3. Find YouTube ideas and topics

Now that you know your audience, you may wonder, “What should I make a YouTube video about?” The good news is that there are many ways to find YouTube video ideas your audience is searching for.

Let’s say you run a home contracting business. You decide to target your channel toward current homeowners looking to spruce up their houses. Your initial video topics might include “How to Remove Popcorn Ceilings” or “How to Refinish Your Kitchen Cabinets.”

That’s a great start, but for even more ideas than your initial list, here are some tips from Gord Isman on the best places to get inspired and find highly relevant topics for your specific audience.

1. YouTube search

YouTube search is one of the best ways to find what people seek. When you develop a content idea, do a quick YouTube search and see what comes back. Then, look at the search results and decide if it’s a saturated area or if there’s room to create a unique, valuable version.

You want to choose topics you’re passionate about and relevant to your audience. When you have a primary topic idea, YouTube can help you narrow it down. Search YouTube by typing some keywords into the search bar. The auto-suggest/autocomplete feature will give you additional keywords that YouTube suggests.

Here’s an example where I typed “tutorial video” into the search bar, and a list of suggested topics appeared below.

You want to take those terms and write them down. After all your research, one video can cover many of the same topics, or you can create a series of videos. For a topic focusing on “video tutorials,” I would want to concentrate on editing, video ideas, and background music as a good starting point.

2. Comments section

The comments section of videos and articles can be an excellent resource for YouTube video topics. Viewers often suggest additional topics or ask questions about areas of interest for creating additional content. So start by examining a competitor’s YouTube channel and mining the comments.

YouTube comments section

3. Communities and groups

Whether it’s X (formerly Twitter), a Facebook group, or a membership group, find like-minded people who will inspire you and help you out along the way. Don’t discourage yourself by assuming you must go at it alone. Find a group that you can bounce ideas off of and ask questions. You might even come away with some different (and better) video topics.

4. Ask your audience

If you already have an audience (even a small one), it’s worth asking them what content they want to see. This is a surefire way to determine what your audience wants to know, learn, and watch.

Step 4. Understand YouTube equipment for beginners

It can be easy to get overwhelmed and feel like you don’t have the right tools to create your video. It’s fun to have high-end equipment and tech, and there is no question that better equipment can produce a better-quality video. Remember, too, that highly specialized equipment can be complex and requires considerable time and training. Especially as you’re starting, try not to worry too much about equipment.

First, learn to get good at creating the content and worry about leveling up your gear later.

>> Tip: Check out TechSmith Academy shooting, lighting, and audio courses for more information.

If you’re still worried about what gear you should use, Brian Fanzo of iSocialFanz has some advice. He suggests baby steps, “Start with your phone, and then move to a good web camera, then move to professional gear.”

You can do so much with screen recording software, a simple video editor, a smartphone, and creativity. These tools can help you learn the basics of video creation and help you practice good techniques that will be beneficial no matter what gear you use.

People create all kinds of videos on YouTube. The best video you can start with is an instructional video. According to a recent TechSmith study, 53% of people reported watching two or more instructional videos per week (up 152% compared to 2013).

A simple tutorial or how-to video is a great way to get your feet wet. A tutorial video simply answers a question someone asked. It could be “How to Freeze Panes in Excel” or “How to Change Your Oil.” Either way, you’re simply sharing your expert knowledge with others. These types of videos are all over YouTube, and with good reason.

According to a Pew research study that surveyed more than 4,500 Americans in 2018, 87% of users said that YouTube is essential for helping them figure out how to do things they haven’t done before. That means you have an excellent opportunity to create helpful and valuable instructional videos for your audience.

  • Do you have dog training tips to share? Gather a list of all the questions a dog owner might have and create a series of how-to videos to give them answers.
  • If you are an expert in Photoshop and want to help others get better, a tutorial video or training video would be a great place to start.
  • And if you’re a business or entrepreneur, there’s no better place to start than a product demo video, podcast episode, or explainer video.
  • Social media content creator? Creating YouTube Shorts — short video snippets similar to a TikTok video or Instagram Reel — might be up your alley. 

These videos will help potential customers see what your product or service does without reading much material. People look for video help every day. Learning and educational content alone drive over a billion views daily on YouTube.By the end of this guide, you’ll be able to make a high-quality YouTube video using screen-recorded content, just like this one from TubeBuddy.

Step 5. Learn the first YouTube video you should make.

People create all kinds of videos on YouTube. The best video you can start with is an instructional video. According to a recent TechSmith study, 53% of people reported watching two or more instructional videos per week (up 152% compared to 2013).

A simple tutorial or how-to video is a great way to get your feet wet. A tutorial video simply answers a question someone asked. It could be “How to Freeze Panes in Excel” or “How to Change Your Oil.” Either way, you’re simply sharing your expert knowledge with others. These types of videos are all over YouTube, and with good reason.

According to a Pew research study that surveyed more than 4,500 Americans in 2018, 87% of users said that YouTube is essential for helping them figure out how to do things they haven’t done before. That means you have an excellent opportunity to create helpful and valuable instructional videos for your audience.

  • Do you have dog training tips to share? Gather a list of all the questions a dog owner might have and create a series of how-to videos to give them answers.
  • If you are an expert in Photoshop and want to help others get better, a tutorial video or training video would be a great place to start.
  • And if you’re a business or entrepreneur, there’s no better place to start than a product demo video, podcast episode, or explainer video.
  • Social media content creator? Creating YouTube Shorts — short video snippets similar to a TikTok video or Instagram Reel — might be up your alley. 

These videos will help potential customers see what your product or service does without reading much material. People look for video help every day. Learning and educational content alone drive over a billion views daily on YouTube.

By the end of this guide, you’ll be able to make a high-quality YouTube video using screen-recorded content, just like this one from TubeBuddy.

Step 6. Set up your video recording

Now that you know your audience, plan your topics, and understand what video to make, it’s time to start creating your video.

Write a script or outline.

A script may seem pretty formal, but it’s a great tool to help you stay focused. Plan out the visuals (shots, angles, graphics, etc.) that accompany each line of dialogue. If you already have a blog post for a topic, I’d suggest you write a script based on the original post. It doesn’t have to be elaborate.

If a script seems like overkill, a simple outline will help you talk through your points, and it is better than hitting the record without a plan.

Clean up your desk (and desktop).

One of the top mistakes to avoid when you record yourself is too much clutter, both on and off the screen. If you’re shooting a video at your desk, business, or home, you want your environment to be clean and presentable.

Next, you’ll need to adjust your camera and video lighting (if you have them). 

Clean up your mess.

If you’re getting shots of yourself, make sure anything that can be seen on screen is clean and free from clutter. A blank, single-color wall is a great background, but if you don’t have access to that, just ensure your setting is as free from distractions as possible. You want your viewers focused on you, not the artwork on your wall.

If your video includes a screen capture or screen recording, clutter on your computer screen is just as distracting. And there’s nothing worse than fumbling through unnecessary apps and programs to get what you want to show in your video. Make sure to close any unneeded programs and windows before you record.

Avoid recording in front of windows.

If you record near a window, avoid recording in front of it. Position yourself next to the window or facing the window. This way, you won’t be washed out or become a silhouette. Pro tip: this is also a great way to enhance your lighting, though be careful, as it can be hard to control the amount of light.

Position your camera correctly.

Tilt your webcam or camera so that it’s at eye level and your viewers don’t have to look up at you. Stick to the Rule of Thirds or position yourself in the center of the frame.

Step 7. Record your desktop

Pick your favorite screen recorder and walk through your script as you record your desktop. Here at TechSmith, we use Camtasia for our YouTube videos. It’s perfect for anyone who needs to make instructional videos on YouTube, and we have many tutorial videos to get you started.

Your recording can be as simple or complex as you want. You can record on your webcam to give it some personality, create an intro, add music, or simply hit record and share it.

1. Record your screen.

To start a recording, click the Record button at the top of the tools panel. This opens the Camtasia recorder, which captures everything that happens on your screen by default.

2. Customize your settings.

First, you’ll want to record the entire screen or select a custom recording region.

Next, choose other inputs to record along with the screen. Options include webcam, microphone audio, and system audio. Select the down arrow or double arrows next to each to choose a specific microphone or webcam.

Finally, click “Start Recording” to begin.

3. Finish recording.

Windows:

When finished recording, click the Camtasia recorder icon in the taskbar, then the stop button. If you need to re-record, choose ‘delete’ to start over.

Quick Tip: Press “F10” to stop a recording or “F9” to pause/resume a recording.

Mac:

To finish the recording, click the Camtasia icon in the Apple menu bar, then click “Stop Recording.” Or, if you need to re-record, choose “Start Over.”

Quick Tip: Press “CMD+OPTION+2” to stop a recording, or “CMD+SHIFT+2” to pause/resume a recording.

Step 8. Edit your video

Editing your video can be the most fun and time-consuming process. And for a beginner, it can be the most overwhelming. Here are a few simple edits you can use to get started.

1. Trim mistakes.

Often, we record a little extra at the beginning and end of a recording. To remove the extra content, drag the end of the clip “in.” This is called trimming. If you trim too much, drag the video clip back to restore your video.

It’s good to note that any edits you make on the timeline, won’t affect your original recording in the media bin.

2. Use cuts

Drag the red or green handle on the playhead to select the area to remove, then click the cut button to remove the section. A stitched line appears, showing you where the cut was made.

If you make a selection and want to bring the playhead back together, double click the playhead.

3. Add titles, transitions, annotations, and more

Add a level of polish and professionalism to your videos with eye-catching titles, annotations, effects and more. Click and drag them from the tools panel to the timeline or canvas.

Video editing tips

Endless resources across the web can show you the intricate details of video editing. But you’ll need a few video editing tips to make a high-quality video without overcomplicating it. Let’s review other standard enhancements to make your video stand out.

Add a simple video intro.

A video intro leads your viewers into your content. Keep your intro simple and to the point. Viewers want to get to the meat of your content. They don’t care about anything besides what you promised to teach them. You can use an intro throughout all the videos on your YouTube channel, a playlist, or just a single video.

Create lower-thirds.

A lower third (also called a chyron) is placed on the screen’s lower third portion (usually to the right or left) and is a simple way to provide your audience with information. Usually, they display a name, place, or other helpful information. Learn more about lower thirds in our video, “What are Lower Thirds? (And How to Make Your Own).”

Click for sound.

These shouldn’t cover up your visual and are meant to complement your primary subject.

Add music.

Finally, you’ll want to add music to your new video. Choosing the music you like will probably take longer than adding it to your video. For most purposes, your best bet is to use music from a premium royalty-free music website. While the music won’t be free, it’s typically inexpensive, and you’ll have a broader range of high-quality music.

>> Where can you find music for videos? You can access a massive library of free and premium music tracks from TechSmith Assets.

Focus on good audio and voice overs.

Poor audio can sink your video. For recording voice overs, you can use Camtasia. However, for the most straightforward voiceover experience, I highly recommend TechSmith Audiate. Audiate transcribes your voiceover as you speak. You can then edit your audio just like editing text. No more searching through the waveform to find your mistakes. And, Audiate even lets you quickly find and delete your “ums,” “uhs,” and other mumbles and hesitations. 

If you have music in your video, ensure it doesn’t overpower you with your voice over. Don’t be afraid to add those phat beats, but remember that your audience is here to learn from what you’re saying. Pay special attention to your final edit by focusing on the sound. Close your eyes and just listen to your video. If it sounds off, you should adjust it, regardless of how unique your footage or screen content is.

“My editing style has always been to keep our content as concise as possible. I want people to get what they need from my videos as fast as possible. And to keep our videos on brand, we always use the same font, brand colors, and tone of music — which creates consistency and familiarity.”

Sunny Lenarduzzi, Founder of YouTube for Bosses

Create a compelling video outro.

A YouTube outro is where you can add specific calls to action to your video. This is also called the end screen, a.k.a. the last part of your video.

Four different content types are available for use on your end screens on YouTube called elements. These four elements are:

  • Video or Playlist: This allows you to link to a different individual video or a YouTube playlist of multiple videos.
  • Subscribe: This allows you to link to your YouTube channel, where a viewer can click to subscribe.
  • Channel: This allows you to link to a different YouTube channel.

Link to Approved Website: This allows you to link to a website outside of YouTube.

Step 9. Upload your video to YouTube

Uploading to YouTube is simple. If you use Camtasia to create your YouTube video, you can share it directly to YouTube from within the product. You’ll simply have to log into YouTube and connect your YouTube account to Camtasia. Or you can save your video to your hard drive and upload videos with the YouTube platform.

How to optimize your video for YouTube

As you start making your own video, you’ll want to focus on specific areas to ensure your video performs well on YouTube. By being strategic while you make your video, you’ll give yourself a better shot at ranking on YouTube.

Video Production Optimization

Target relevant keywords that list videos on Google.

Have you noticed more videos popping up in your search results? Google processes 3.5 billion searches per day, and many how-to-based searches now include YouTube videos directly in the Google search engine results.

These online videos show up for all sorts of searches. Simply type in “how to fix my fridge” or “how to change spark plugs,” and Google will give you the top YouTube videos based on your search.

Make longer videos.

Longer videos generally rank higher than shorter ones. Backlinko analyzed 1.3 Million YouTube Videos and found that the average length of a video on the first page of YouTube is 14 minutes and 50 seconds. YouTube will push longer videos higher in search results. This is because of two key ranking factors: Total Watch Time and Total Session Time.

YouTube will push videos higher in the ranking if they provide value and keep people on the site as long as possible. So, as you brainstorm and plan your videos, think about how you can expand them. Rather than just adding filler content, think about how to dive deeper into your topic to create an even more helpful video.

Make sure you speak your keyword in your video.

YouTube transcribes your content, so say your main keyword 1-2 times in the script.

Make a unique introduction.

Retention is everything on YouTube. Incentivize users to watch as long as possible in your first 10 seconds. Teach them what you will discuss and give them a reason to stay and watch your video.

Tell users to comment, like, and subscribe.

If you don’t tell your viewers to engage with your YouTube channel, they probably never will. And if you create supportive, helpful content, they will be more likely to interact with your YouTube channel.

YouTube Ranking Optimization

Now that you’ve created an optimized video, it’s time to optimize within the YouTube platform. You don’t want to overcomplicate this. It isn’t about stuffing keywords into places and trying to trick YouTube into ranking your video. You want to be strategic in what you do and, above all else, provide value to your audience.

Update your title, video description, and thumbnail.

Get your SEO keyword in the title and YouTube description, preferably at the front, but don’t forget to make it compelling and click-worthy. It’s less about trying to stuff keywords in and more about letting viewers know that your video will help solve what they are looking for.

Pro tip: Be honest in your title and description. People stop watching videos that don’t deliver on their promises.

According to YouTube, 90% of the best-performing videos on YouTube use a custom thumbnail. Try to make your YouTube thumbnail exciting and different than everything else in the search results. Make your video worthy of a click.

Leverage your current audience to build video velocity.

The first 48 hours your video goes live are critical. This is where leveraging your current audience plays a big part. You can create a more substantial buzz, and your views will begin to climb through your existing base. 

Owen Video likes to create video velocity by acquiring views before a video is public and rewarding his followers with exclusive content. As a result, YouTube sees the video as more valuable and is more likely to appear high in search results. Here is one of Owen Video’s most successful strategies for YouTube video promotion. Mirroring his strategy with your videos will help you improve their performance early on:

Owen Video’s video promotion strategy example:

  • The first day he publishes a video, he leaves it unlisted (the video can’t be searched or found by the public without a link).
  • The link to the unlisted video is distributed on social media platforms.
  • The link to the unlisted video is emailed to applicable mailing lists.
  • The audience gets early access to new content and feels rewarded for maintaining a relationship with Owen Video.
  • Then, he makes the video public. When the video goes live, there are already views, which helps build traction for the video.

This is video velocity; essentially, you’re getting a head start on YouTube.

“So what happens is, you create velocity with your video…people are watching it before it’s even public yet. Having that distribution or pre-promotion plan is going to set [you] apart from your competitors who are just figuring this stuff out.”

Owen Video

What’s next?

We’ve covered a lot in this step-by-step guide. Whether you’re just getting started or a video veteran, you’ve learned some critical tools and strategies to create successful YouTube videos.

We built Camtasia for anyone who needs to make any kind of video. We offer a ton of helpful tutorials to get you started. And, for the record, we produce 100% of our tutorials and other screencasts using Camtasia.

The Best Video Editor for Creators!

Download Camtasia to make your own YouTube videos quickly and easily.

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Camtasia user interface

Frequently asked questions

How do you make videos on YouTube?

To make your first YouTube video, start by getting a simple video editor like Camtasia and just try making a few videos on topics you’re an expert on. If you know much about a particular product or service, try putting together a quick tutorial. Many people are searching for help across YouTube, and you could be their answer.

What should I make a YouTube video about?

There are many ways to find YouTube video ideas your audience is searching for. Three of my favorites are YouTube searches, comment sections, and communities.

What type of YouTube video is most watched?

People create all kinds of videos on YouTube. Over half of the most common videos marketers invest in are instructional videos. That gives you a lot of good videos to start with.

What do YouTubers use to edit their videos?

YouTubers use different programs to edit their videos, but at TechSmith, Camtasia is the perfect video editing software for beginners. To learn more about Camtasia and its simple video editing functionality, check out this quick video from Tim Schmoyer of Video Creators.

How to make a YouTube video without a camera?

Recording your screen is a great way to make a YouTube video without a camera. When you choose screen recording software, pick a tool with built-in recording, editing, and sharing features. It will save you time and let you do all your work in one tool.

What equipment do you need for YouTube?

It can be easy to get overwhelmed and feel like you don’t have the right tools to create your video. Start with your phone or screen recorder and a simple video editor. Then, move to professional gear.

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in May 2019 and has been updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.

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.

What is a Screenshot? Screenshot 101 Basics

Digital illustration of a laptop with a screenshot editing interface on the screen, set against a gradient background. A cursor icon implies user interaction for editing or annotating a screenshot.

A screenshot, sometimes referred to as a screencap or screengrab, is an image that shows the contents of a computer screen. These captures let you capture exactly what you see on your screen and are often shared with others or used as a reference point later on. But what is a screenshot, and how do you take one?

Taking, saving, and sharing screenshots can be extremely helpful. Some insist that it is one of their most powerful tools. But how can a simple picture of your screen be so vital? Well, they often act as an artifact. They serve as a way to prove to others that you are seeing the crazy stuff you’re seeing.

 

Not only do they help you share visuals, but they also help you archive the past. For example, they can help you capture what a website looked like before the latest brand refresh, that weird error message you got a couple of months ago, or even a juicy gossip article you don’t want to forget.

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!
Example of taking a screenshot on mac with Snagit

What are screenshots used for?

There’s really no limit to the number of ways screenshots can be useful. For example, you could use them to break up long Word Docs and add context to PowerPoint presentations.

If we were to list every way you can use these captures in your day-to-day, this article would be much, much longer. No matter how long a web page is, with the advanced screenshotting tools of TechSmith’s Snagit, you can capture a page as long as your arm with just one scrolling screenshot

However, they are more than just handy tools. They provide a revolutionary way to get more work done faster. A picture is worth a thousand words, after all!

3 ways screenshots can help you get more work done faster

1. Collaborate with others

Does your coworker want your thoughts on a new webpage they’ve created? Or do they need you to look over a brochure they’re having printed? Instead of writing a lengthy email detailing your edits, you can take a screenshot to provide efficient feedback.

With Snagit’s easy-to-use features, you can leave feedback on virtually anything. Use Callouts, Stamps, and other features to share your thoughts! This makes it easy for anyone to illustrate their ideas.

Image of feedback on a website design using screenshots.

Editing a screenshot to mark up design concepts onscreen is faster and more effective than writing a wordy email

2. Demonstrate how to perform a function

Why tell someone how to do something when you can show them? 

You can easily demonstrate a process with screenshots. Since they are a more accurate way to show exactly what you mean, there’s less chance you’ll be misunderstood. Less confusion means less time wasted explaining, and more time for you to focus on what’s important.

Let’s say you want to show a new employee how to log into a platform. You could schedule a Zoom call to walk them through the process, but a quick screengrab will save everyone some time.

Once you’ve taken your capture, use annotations and other editing techniques to help the other person understand what they’re looking at. Snagit’s Step Tool makes it super simple to indicate the steps of a process. 

Image of a log in portal with step by step instructions clearly marked on the screenshot.

A screenshot with numbered steps is quick to make and easy to understand

For lengthier or more complex processes, you can use Snagit to turn several screenshots into a helpful video. Or, simply record your screen and camera as you go through the steps.

Using screenshots or recordings to demonstrate a process is incredibly efficient. Do you get the same question a lot or are the go-to for a specific function? You can send the same screen capture multiple times instead of repeating it yourself.

GIF of a video made from images using a screenshot.

Plus, people can refer back to the content if they forget something instead of asking you again. 

3. Show exactly what’s happening

If you’ve ever contacted your IT or Web Support Team to report a bug, you’ve likely been asked to provide a screenshot. That’s because not everyone’s computer is the same. 

Depending on your machine, the operating system, and the browser you use, the way something looks for you could be completely different for someone else.

Providing a visual example of what you’re looking at helps others see exactly what’s going on and, in this case, identify what could be going wrong.

Image of an error message.

A screenshot of an error message helps avoid confusion by showing someone exactly what you’re seeing

With a screen capture tool like Snagit, you can even automatically add capture information to your screenshots, like the date, URL, application name, or operating system.

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 Free Trial
Illustration of a how-to guide made with snagit

What is a screenshot, the FAQs

Do you say “a” screenshot or “an” screenshot?

You should say: “A screenshot.” The use of “a” or “an” before a noun (at least in English) depends on the sound that follows. The fact that the word “Screenshot” starts with a consonant means that “a” is the right article to use.

What is the definition of a screenshot?

The definition of a screenshot — also known as a screen grab or screen capture — is an image that captures the current display on a computer, phone, or any other digital device. Despite the different terminology, they all refer to a snapshot of the exact visual information shown on the screen at a specific time.

Screengrab vs screenshot, what’s the difference?

There isn’t one! Despite what they’re called, screengrabs and screenshots are essentially the same thing: an image that captures the screen of your computer, phone, or digital device at any given moment.

What are screenshots used for?

Screenshots have lots of different uses. They can be used to capture and share error messages for troubleshooting, save memorable moments from a video or game, provide step-by-step guides or tutorials, or document important information that can’t be easily saved in other ways.
Essentially, what screenshots are used for is to capture a visual record of the contents on a screen at a specific moment.

What happens when you take a screenshot?

When you take a screenshot on a phone, tablet, or computer, your device captures a static image of whatever is currently showing on your screen. This image is then saved to your device, usually in a folder dedicated to screenshots. Once it’s saved, it can be viewed, shared, or edited — just like any other photo or image. This is what happens when you take a screenshot on most computers, phones, or other digital devices.

Is a screenshot the same as a photo?

Not exactly.
While a screenshot can function similarly to a photo (in that it captures an image), it’s not the same thing. A photo is an image taken with a camera, capturing things in the real world. A screenshot, on the other hand, is an image of the content displayed on a screen.

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 Edit a Video

How to edit a video (step-by-step)

Learning how to edit a video used to require a ton of skills. In fact, it wasn’t that long ago that you really needed professional equipment and training to create great videos.

Luckily, that’s no longer the case!

Today it’s possible to create professional-quality videos with no video experience at all.

I’ll show you how!  

Whether you’re looking to make videos for education, for platforms like YouTube, or your business, learning how to edit videos helps you connect with your audience better than ever.

Ready to elevate your video projects?

Edit Your Own Videos like a Pro

Camtasia is the best screen recorder and video editor on the market. Create content your viewers actually watch.

Download Camtasia for Free!
Camtasia user interface

Before you start editing

There’s more to editing video content than meets the eye! As with many creative projects, success comes from effective planning and preparation. Let’s take a look at some of the early steps you need to take before jumping into the editing suite.

Import or record your footage

If you have footage shot on your phone, the first thing you’ll need to do is import it to your computer. For Mac users, we highly recommend airdropping to your device. If you’re on Windows, OneDrive is a great option. 

Once your footage is on your computer, it’s best to back up your media in two or three places, including cloud storage and physical hard drives. This might sound over-the-top, but should anything happen to your computer, hard drive, or internet connection, you’ll be glad you were extra careful.

Next, create a new project and save it as a standalone project file. This makes it super-easy to keep your footage and media assets organized because they’re being saved to the same project file. 

Start by saving your new project

Then, import your files to your editing software. In Camtasia, adding footage is as easy as dragging and dropping it into the media bin. You can also open the media bin and choose Import to select your files.

Even at this early stage, you should see the benefit of taking the time to organize your footage before editing, with each shot clearly labeled. 

But if you need to record footage, look no further than Camtasia Rev. Rev makes it easy to record your webcam, screen, and voice. Plus, it makes editing your video faster with a variety of automatic features like size, layout, background, effects, and filters. Check out our Rev editing workflow video to see it in action!

 

Pro tip: As you populate your Media Bin, save the file frequently by going to ‘File’ and clicking ‘Save’. Alternatively in Camtasia, you can use the keyboard shortcut by pushing Control (Ctrl) + S on Windows or Command (Cmd) + S on Mac. Learn about shortcuts in Camtasia.

How to edit a video in Camtasia

Most video editors offer a number of the same tools and similar workflows, but not all video editors are created equal. Here’s a quick walkthrough aimed at equipping you with everything you need to know about video editing tools.

Before we get into the walkthrough, let’s discover the key features of video editing software!

Key features of video editors

They might be named differently in your editor, but most video editing software has many of the following features:

Media bin: We think of this as the kitchen, which contains all the ingredients (video clips, music, narration) for the video you’re making right now. 

Media library: If the media bin is your kitchen, the media library is your pantry, which contains many basic assets like intros and outros, video clips, and music that you can use in any video.

Assets: Building on our food analogy ー assets are like your personal supermarket. Thousands of B-roll videos, motion backgrounds, soundbytes, music scores, and more are available whenever you need them with Camtasia assets.

Annotations: Whether it’s adding readable text on screen to underline your message, or using arrow pointers to highlight elements, the annotation tool ensures your viewers never miss the important parts of your video. Annotations are an important part of accessibility! Here’s how to add them in Camtasia.

Visual effects: Visual effects can make your background disappear or apply a cinematic blur to focus on the main subject. How about enhancing colors to make your footage pop? Good news! Professional-grade effects are just a few clicks away, enabling you to craft stunning videos that stand out. 

Filters: Enhancing the look of your video is fast and easy with filters. Filters adjust the mood and tone of your footage using color enhancement, sometimes called look up tables (LUTs). Select one of many presets or create a custom one that contributes to your video’s overall impact.

Transitions: Easily transition between scenes with fades and transitions. Smooth fades gently guide your audience from one scene to the next, while dynamic wipes add energy and movement to your transition. The transition tool helps you maintain flow and keep your viewers engaged. 

Animations: Animations add motion to your static images, creating an immersive experience that captivates your audience. They can be used to achieve effects like: 

  • Webcam recordings transitioning or trading places with a screen recording.
  • Images that enter the video from the left and pause before moving off the canvas.
  • Callouts that animate in various ways on the canvas to draw attention to an area in the video.

Behaviors: With behaviors, you can automate animation sequences on image or text, making them grow, shrink, slide, or pop without needing keyframe adjustments. These tools are designed to add polish to your projects, making your video not just seen, but remembered.

Edit video with useful effects

Cursor effects: With cursor effects, you can highlight or magnify your mouse pointer, making it easy for viewers to follow along with your tutorials or presentations. Edit the cursor.

Audio effects: Audio effects ensure your sound is as clear and impactful as your visuals. From removing background noise to enhancing voice clarity, our audio tools are here to make sure your message is heard loud and clear. Add audio effects.

Regardless of the tools and effects you decide to use, be sure to use them somewhat sparingly. Too many transitions or effects might make your video feel chaotic and look amateurish. When using transitions, it’s best to only use them at the beginning and end of a video, or when there’s a significant change in the video’s content.

Edit Your Own Videos like a Pro

Camtasia is the best screen recorder and video editor on the market. Create content your viewers actually watch.

Download Camtasia for Free!
Camtasia user interface

Practical editing techniques

Once you’ve explored the key features of your video editor, it’s time to strap in and start editing your clips. But what should you do to effectively edit your video? Let’s explore some ideas..

Techniques for cutting and stitching video sections

When you add your footage to the timeline, a good practice is to make any large cuts to the footage. If you know that the first two minutes of a clip needs to be cut, do it now!

Learn how to quickly trim videos. 

Effective editing often involves removing parts of your video to keep the content concise and engaging. If you’d like to experiment with more advanced editing techniques, you could even try adding some L-cuts and J-cuts to your video. Stepping outside of your comfort zone and playing around with different creative processes can be a great way to hone your skills.

If you simply delete a video section and move the clips together, you might find gaps in your timeline. The cutting tool seamlessly joins clips together, reminding you where the cut was made and smoothly joining the clips. Camtasia’s cutting tools allow you to easily remove unwanted sections. Simply hit CTRL+X on Windows or Command+X on Mac.

 

Expert tip: Boost your editing efficiency in Camtasia by using Shift + Click to precisely drag sections from the playhead. Then, hit the spacebar for quick playback of selected sections

Using Zoom-n-Pan and custom animations for dynamic content.

Master the timeline

Mastering the timeline is crucial for efficient video editing. A handy feature in Camtasia is the use of red and green tabs on the media playhead. These allow you to effortlessly adjust the start and end points of your clips. 

This means you can quickly move elements back and forth on the timeline, ensuring precise timing and seamless transitions between segments. Check out this step in action:

Video of this step

No matter what software you’re using, play around with the timeline until you feel comfortable. You’ll be using the timeline a lot, so it’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with it!

Shrink and grow footage

Animation can dramatically increase the engagement and understanding of your content. With Camtasia, adding animations like ‘Grow’ and ‘Shrink’ is straightforward, enabling you to highlight specific parts of your video or make transitions more dynamic. 

This technique is perfect for creating Picture-in-Picture (PiP) effects, enhancing tutorials, or presentations with a more interactive feel.

 

How to apply transitions

Drag and drop transitions are a great way to give your video a polished look, and they’re easy to use in Camtasia! You may want to apply a simple fade to your scenes or use a more complex transition like ripple or dissolve, if that’s fitting for your video. 

But did you know that transitions aren’t only useful between scenes? You can also use transitions with annotations or other images shown on-screen to provide a more focused and polished look. Here’s how easy it is to add transitions with Camtasia!

Drag-and-drop transitions in Camtasia

How to add animations 

Animating your videos is a powerful way to captivate your audience, and Camtasia makes it intuitive, whether you’re on Windows or Mac. Like transitions, it’s important to use animations intentionally. You don’t want to distract your viewers!

Windows users have a fantastic tool at their disposal—the ‘Scale to Fit’ feature, which works hand-in-hand with Zoom and Pan. This feature allows you to focus on specific content or create a dynamic flow throughout your video. To use it, simply select the clip you want to animate, navigate to the ‘Animations’ tab, and choose ‘Zoom-n-Pan.’ From there, you can adjust the scale of your clip to fit the screen as needed, providing a smooth, animated transition that keeps your viewers engaged.

 

Mac users aren’t left behind when it comes to animation. The ‘Restore’ feature in Camtasia for Mac leverages custom animation, allowing for a high degree of personalization and creativity. To animate a clip, head to the ‘Animations’ tab and select ‘Custom Animation.’ Drag the animation to your timeline, and then tweak the scale, position, and rotation as desired. This method gives you the flexibility to create unique animations that can emphasize points, guide your audience’s attention, or simply add a touch of flair to your videos.

 

Enhance the cursor in your video

Camtasia’s suite of tools makes it easy to manage cursor movements, ensuring your viewers can follow along without missing a beat. Plus, adding cursor effects can help emphasize key points or give your audience a moment to absorb the information. Whether it’s highlighting clicks or smoothing cursor paths, these tips will polish your screen recordings to perfection.

 

Brand your video with custom assets

Your brand tells your story, and consistency is key to making that story resonate. With Camtasia, incorporating branded elements into your videos is a breeze. Use customizable animated titles to introduce your content with flair and align with your brand’s colors and fonts. This cohesive approach not only strengthens your brand identity but also elevates the professionalism of your videos.

Add music to your video

According to our research on Video Viewer Habits, Trends, And Statistics you Need to Know, nearly half of the videos we identified as “great” featured background music. This underscores the importance of adding music to your videos, as it can truly elevate the viewing experience.

Whether you’re aiming to set the tone, build excitement, or underscore key moments, the right soundtrack can transform your content. Here’s how to seamlessly integrate music into your video projects with Camtasia: 

 

Audio effects and balancing

The right balance between music and narration is essential for engaging videos. Whether you’re looking to emphasize your narration or create the perfect ambient mood, effects like emphasize or fade-in and fade-out allow you to fine-tune your audio for an immersive listening experience.

Camtasia’s audio effects offer you the control to ensure your background music complements, rather than competes with, your voice. 

 

Get started creating videos!

This may seem like a lot, but remember you can always start small and add more techniques and skills as you go. In fact, one of the greatest things about Camtasia is that it’s easy enough for beginners, but powerful enough to be your video editor for life.

If you want even more content on making your first video, our full five-part course is available for free on the TechSmith Academy.

It features multiple video experts, including Owen Video (Thevideospot.net), Buddy Scalera (Content Strategist), Jason Valade, Master Trainer (TechSmith), and Amanda Robinson (Social Savvy Society).

Embark on your video editing journey, and discover the endless possibilities that await. With Camtasia, every video project is an opportunity to captivate, educate, and inspire. Ready to elevate your video projects to unprecedented heights?

Download Camtasia today and unlock your creative potential. Let’s make something amazing together.

Edit Your Own Videos like a Pro

Camtasia is the best screen recorder and video editor on the market. Create content your viewers actually watch.

Download Camtasia for Free!
Camtasia user interface

How to edit videos on iPhone?

To edit videos on iPhone, you can use the built-in iMovie app. Simply import your footage, select the clips you want to use, and then use the editing tools to trim, adjust, and add effects to your video. Once you’re happy with your video, you can export it in a variety of formats and share it with others.

How to edit TikTok videos?

To edit TikTok videos, you can use the built-in editing tools in the TikTok app or Camtasia video editing software. Simply select the clip you want to edit, and then use the editing tools to trim, adjust, and add effects, text, music, or filters. Once you’re happy with your video, you can post it to your TikTok account for others to see.

How to edit Youtube videos?

To edit YouTube videos, you can use the Camtasia video editing software. All you need to do is import your footage, select the clips you want to use, and then use the editing tools to trim, adjust, and add effects, transitions, text, or music to your video. Once you’re happy with your edits, you can export your video directly to YouTube, or export it locally before manually uploading it.

How to edit videos on Windows?

On Windows, you can use video editing software such as Camtasia, which offers a simple interface with powerful editing tools. First, import your footage, select the clips you want to use, and then use the editing tools to trim, adjust, and add effects, transitions, text, or music to your video. Once you’re happy with your edits, export your video in a variety of formats and share it with your colleagues, friends, and family.

How to edit video on mac?

The Camtasia editing suite offers a range of powerful and intuitive features to help you create professional-quality videos on Mac and Windows. To start editing, simply import your footage and use the editing tools to trim, adjust, and add effects, transitions, text, or music to your video. Once you’re satisfied with your edits, you can export your video in a range of formats and quickly share it with your audience.

Robert Trudeau

I'm a content marketing specialist contractor for Techsmith. In plain language, I write blogs, social posts, video scripts and more to help support the marketing team's efforts. Organic growth gets me excited, both in the tech space and in my in garden.

How to Add Music to a Video

How to add music to a video

You could be wondering how you add music to a video for a variety of reasons. Maybe it’s to add some spark to your narration, to create an emotionally engaging sequence, or simply because you want to add music to your video!

But did you know that audio is actually more important than great visuals when it comes to viewer engagement? More on that soon.

Background music can add more interest to your videos, making them even more engaging and entertaining. Also, good news! Adding music to videos is simple. Ready to get started? Open your video editor of choice and let’s go!

Let’s jump in!

Camtasia makes it easy to add music to a video!

Not only is it easy to add music to videos in Camtasia, finding the right track is simple with our huge.

Get started free!
Camtasia user interface

When to add music to a video

First, let’s address a fact: not all videos need music. Quick videos that demonstrate how to log into your new HR software or how to access archived emails probably don’t need a soundtrack.

But if you plan to publish on a platform like YouTube, a little music can help make the video a whole lot more engaging. Even if you just add music to your intro and outro, it helps make your video more exciting for your viewers.

Nearly 50% of the videos identified in our Video Viewer research study as being “great” had background music. And that was before the rise of TikTok and “Trending Sounds.”

It’s a pretty strong indicator that music adds something special to your video!

Five steps to add music to a video

For now, we’ll assume you already have the music file you want to use, but later in this article we’ll share tips on where to find music for your videos. Adding music to your video is as easy as:

1: Open your video
2: Import your soundtrack
3: Add audio to the timeline
4: Adjust to fit
5: Add descriptive captions

Step 1: Open your video

In your preferred video editor, open the video project to which you want to add music.

Step 2: Import your soundtrack

In most video editors including Camtasia, there are several ways to import video and audio files into your Media Bin. 

To import your media, select Media from the menu, right-click in the bin, and select Import Media from the menu. 

Or, you can choose File > Import > Media from the menu.

Pro tip: If you’re into shortcuts and hotkeys, you can choose CMD+I on Mac or CTRL+I on Windows to quickly import footage.

You can also click the plus button in the bottom left to import footage from Google Drive!

No matter which method you choose, navigate to the file you want to import, select it, and choose Import.

Note: You can also find music from TechSmith Assets for Camtasia in the Libraries folder. More about that later!

Step 3: Add your audio to the timeline

Next, find your audio file in the media bin, and drag and drop it to the timeline. You can either add it to a new track or an existing track depending on your needs.

Pro tip: If no empty track is available, Camtasia automatically creates a new track when you drag your file to the open area above the timeline.

Step 4: Adjust the audio to fit your needs

For this example, let’s assume that we want to have the audio run throughout the entire video. Since this video has narration, we want to make sure the music isn’t so loud that the narration becomes difficult to hear.

When you select the audio track in the timeline, a horizontal line with shading will appear. To adjust the volume, you can click on the line and drag it up or down to the desired level. The waveform in the track grows and shrinks as you adjust the volume up and down. This lets you know that the volume is being adjusted.

In the Audio Effects menu, there are additional options for adjusting audio. For example, adding a Fade Out at the end of your video clip can help avoid an abrupt ending.

Step 5: Add descriptive captions

Remember that not all your viewers will hear your audio the same. People who have trouble hearing — or who may choose to watch your video with low or no sound — also need a way to understand your message.

So, be sure to include captions with all your videos. And, if your video includes a music track, your captions should include any lyrics if possible.

Beyond standard closed captions for dialogue, include descriptions of the music (e.g., [uplifting music] or [tense music fades in]) to convey the mood or tone it adds to the scene. This helps those who are deaf or hard of hearing experience the emotional impact of your video.

Now that you know how to add music to a video, try playing around with it the next time you create a video. These steps were designed to get you started, but there are many other ways to edit audio that fits your needs.

How to choose the right music for a video?

There’s a noticeable difference between adding a random track and finding the right music. Before you choose your audio track, think about what type of video you’re creating. For a video showing software or product features, you’ll probably want something upbeat and positive. You want your viewers to feel good when they’re seeing your product!

For videos with informative intent, like tutorial videos or instructional content, you don’t want to distract your viewers. In this case, subtle atmospheric music would better fit the tone of your video.

Imagine if the Super Bowl theme song was replaced with ragtime piano. Something might feel a bit off, right?

Finding the right music enhances the experience for your viewers, while the wrong music can send the wrong message entirely.

Where to find music for a video?

Finding music for a video can be challenging. You might be thinking, I have 70 GB of music on my iPhone right now. I’ll just use some of that music.

Wouldn’t it be nice if it were that easy?

Unfortunately, most of the music on your phone, even music you “own”, is effectively off-limits for your video. 

That music is under copyright and, if you use it, you owe the owner money (called “royalties”) every time someone views your video. 

Key points to understand fair use

Fair use is a legal doctrine that allows the use of copyrighted material without permission under certain conditions, such as for commentary, news reporting, education, and parody.

Purpose and character: Your use must be for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, or research. Transformative use (changing the material to create new meaning) is more likely considered fair use.

Nature of the copyrighted work: Using copyrighted works that are factual or educational leans more towards fair use than using purely creative works like music and art.

Amount and substance: The less you use, the more likely it could be considered fair use. However, even a small portion can be too much if it’s considered the ‘heart’ of the work.

Effect on the market: If your use of the music could replace the original work or harm its market value, it’s less likely to be considered fair use.

While fair use can provide a legal avenue for using music in videos, it’s a complex approach that requires careful consideration. For most video creators, using royalty-free music or obtaining licenses is a more straightforward and safer way to enhance your videos with music.

So where do you find the music you can use? Well, unless you want to compose your own music, the easiest answer lies in royalty-free music.

TechSmith Assets for Camtasia

There are a number of places to find royalty-free music, but your best bet could be to start right in your video editor with TechSmith Assets for Camtasia.

Camtasia assets media library, sorted by customizable assets, video, audio, photo, and free assets.

If you use Camtasia as your video editor, using Assets to find music is a no-brainer. You can get a few options for free, or pay a yearly subscription to get full access to the library.

Camtasia makes it easy to add music to a video!

Not only is it easy to add music to videos in Camtasia, finding the right track is simple with our huge.

Get started free!
Camtasia user interface

Once you head over to the music section, you’ll see a wide variety of tracks to choose from. You can sort by mood and by genre.

Best of all, it lets you directly open your song in Camtasia or download it to your machine.

screenshot of a song download from TechSmith Assets

Free music options

Some royalty-free music is truly free. There are a number of sites that offer music you can simply download and use as you wish (though often for non-commercial purposes, so be sure to read the user agreement).

Free music sites are a good place to start if you have trouble finding exactly what you’re looking for, but the music may not be the quality you prefer.

That said, I use free music on when there is no other option, and am happy with the results.

Is adding music to a video easy?

Yes! With Camtasia adding music to a video can be as easy as a few steps. Just drag and drop and you’re ready to go!

Where can I find music to add to my video?

There are a number of good options for finding royalty-free music to add to your videos. TechSmith Assets for Camtasia has a number of options that are totally free to use for Camtasia users. Additionally, the free music library on YouTube, or paid services such as Premium Beats are best bets.

Why should I add music to my video?

Music, even if only used at the beginning and end of your videos, can add another degree of interest and provide a more engaging experience for your viewers.

How do I choose music for my video?

Know your audience and their expectations, as well as the type of video you’re producing. An instructional video intended for senior citizens will likely have different music than a rad skateboard video.

Want to add music to a video?

Download a free trial of Camtasia to add any music track into your video.

Download a free trial

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in October 2017 and has since been updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.

Robert Trudeau

I'm a content marketing specialist contractor for Techsmith. In plain language, I write blogs, social posts, video scripts and more to help support the marketing team's efforts. Organic growth gets me excited, both in the tech space and in my in garden.

How to Screen Record on Mac (for Free!)

Vector illustration of a Mac computer screen with the Apple logo displayed, accompanied by a webcam icon outlined on the right, indicating a tutorial for screen recording on a Mac. A widget with control buttons lies to the left of the screen, suggesting user interface elements for recording software. The entire image set against a gradient blue background with abstract design elements, ideal for content related to tech tutorials, digital recording, and Mac operating system instructions.

Trying to figure out how to screen record on Mac? Look no further!

In this guide, we’ll dive into how to create basic screen recordings using built-in tools like the QuickTime player. But, we’ll also show you how to record a video on Mac using third-party options.

For Windows users, we’ve also got a guide on how to screen record on a Windows PC.

Easily record your screen with Snagit!

Snagit is the ultimate tool for recording presentations, creating video tutorials, or sharing quick updates.

Download Free Trial
illustration of snagit's screen recording interface

Recording on Mac with built-in tools

When screen recording on your Mac, Apple’s built-in tools offer straightforward solutions that are good enough for basic recording needs.

In this section, we’ll show you how to record your Mac screen with Apple’s built-in tools and discuss some of the pros and cons of each. 

With the Screenshot toolbar

If your Apple computer is running the macOS Mojave (or later) then you can use the Screenshot Toolbar for screen recording on a Mac. 

  • First off, push the following buttons on your keyboard, at the same time: Shift + Command + 5. This will open the Screenshot Toolbar.
  • With the Screenshot Toolbar open, you’ll see several icons, which you can hover over for information about each one. 

For now, just focus on the icons that are on the left of the toolbar. One will let you record your entire screen while the other will let you record a specific part of it. 

  • For a partial screen recording, just drag and choose your area, and hit Record. 
  • Click the Stop icon in your menu bar when finished.

This tool has editing features, like cutting and trimming the screen recording, but they are limited compared to third-party options like Snagit.

The built-in QuickTime Player

For computers running an OS earlier than Mojave, you can create a screen recording on a Mac with QuickTime player.

  • Start by opening QuickTime Player. Navigate to File in the Menu Bar and click New Screen Recording.
  • Next to the Record button, there’s an arrow. Click it to select your audio input source. Hit the Record button to start recording.
  • To record your entire screen, just click anywhere. If you only want to capture a part of it, drag your cursor to define the area and click Start Recording.
  • To stop, you can click the Stop button in the Menu Bar, or press the Command + Control + Escape keys simultaneously.

The only real difference between QuickTime Player and the Screenshot Toolbar is that QuickTime is compatible with older macOS versions. 

Recording on Mac with Dedicated Software

With Snagit – For easy screen recording 

 

If you’re looking for a dedicated screen recorder, Snagit stands out as a user-friendly option. It creates clear, informative, and informal screen recordings that still have a polished look.

Snagit combines the ease of screen capturing with the most essential editing tools, including basic trimming and cutting. This is ideal for quick tutorials or walk-throughs where speed and clarity are key, but excessive editing isn’t required.

Step 1: Choose what you want to record

First, open Snagit, and select the video tab from the Capture Window. Make sure that Region is selected from the Selection drop-down menu.

How to select a region to record in Snagit

Next, hit the Capture icon. This will make Snagit’s crosshairs appear on your screen, which you can use to select the part of your screen that you want to record. 

The selection will automatically snap to the windows you have open. To manually select a region, just click anywhere on the screen and drag the crosshairs.

Step 2: Choose audio to record

Additionally, let’s cover how to screen record on Mac with audio. Snagit will let you further enhance your videos by letting you record a microphone, as well as your screen. 

If you’re looking to add a personal touch by recording a voiceover, simply select the Record Microphone option.

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

How to select what audio is recorded in Snagit

Step 3: Annotate and animate while recording

To add even more detail to your screen recordings, you can use Snagit’s Screen Draw feature, which allows you to annotate and animate directly on your screen while recording. This tool is perfect for highlighting areas or demonstrating steps in real-time, making your content more engaging and easier to understand. 

To use the Screen Draw feature, first ensure the Screen Draw option is enabled. Then, when you start recording, select your desired tool from the Draw Toolbar and draw arrows or shapes by clicking and dragging your mouse.

You can also highlight your cursor and add click animations to your videos to draw attention clearly. 

Step 4: Start your screen recording

  • When you’re ready, click the Record button and Snagit will give you a three-second countdown before filming. After that, anything that shows in the chosen recording area will be captured.
  • For your viewers to see your face while you’re recording, click the webcam icon on the Recording toolbar to turn webcam recording on or off. 
  • To stop recording, click the Stop button and Snagit will open the recording in the Snagit Editor, where you can edit and share your video.
screenshot of mac Snagit toolbar

Step 5: Trim your video

Once you’ve completed your recording, your video will open in the Snagit Editor, ready for reviewing, editing, and sharing. You don’t have to wait for your footage to render either, as your video will be ready immediately.

If you find mistakes or parts you want to remove, make a selection with the playhead, and click cut.

Snagit’s simplicity and efficiency make it perfect for Mac users wanting to record their screen, especially when you need a quick, polished result without a steep learning curve.

Step 6: Save or share

When you’re finished with your video, click Share, and choose the destination that’s best for you. If you’re not sure what to choose, we recommend Screencast.

Share options for Snagit screen recordings.

Screencast gives you an easily shareable link that you can paste into an email, Slack channel, or any other communication platform. Plus, it’s free — and the person you’re sending it to doesn’t need to have Snagit to watch your video! 

Easily record your screen with Snagit!

Snagit is the ultimate tool for recording presentations, creating video tutorials, or sharing quick updates.

Download Free Trial
illustration of snagit's screen recording interface

With Camtasia – for professional recordings

When your project calls for high-quality, professionally edited screen recordings on Mac, Camtasia should be one of your top choices.

Whether you’re recording a live stream, or creating a video presentation, Camtasia has hundreds of editing features to give your videos a more polished look and feel. But don’t worry, despite being full of advanced editing tools, Camtasia’s intuitive interface has been designed with beginners in mind.

That means the more complex features are there when you need them, without making the interface more complicated than it needs to be. In fact, most actions are a simple drag-and-drop away, making it accessible to everyone!

Now let’s look at how to record your screen on a Mac with Camtasia.

Step 1: Choose your recording options

To start, open Camtasia and click the Record button in the Tools Panel. This will open the Camtasia Recorder. This is essentially the control center for your screen and audio recordings and will be automatically set to capture everything that happens on your screen. 

Image of Camtasia's recording options.

Step 2: Select what you want to record

Start by selecting the part of your screen that you want to record.

In some cases, it might make sense to record your entire desktop, in others you might want to capture a specific window, or even a small portion of it.

Image of Camtasia's recording options/

Remember, if you’re doing a full-screen recording you might want to clean up your desktop and turn off your notifications to make sure nothing is distracting or unwanted in your video.

Step 3: Record your audio

Camtasia is the perfect choice when you need to know how to record screen and audio on Mac at the same time.

If you plan to narrate your recording, writing a script (or at least some talking points) is a good way to make sure you stay on track and cover all the essential information. 

Image of Camtasia's microphone options.

When you’re ready to record, select which microphone you want to record from and decide whether you to record your Mac’s system audio at the same time

Step 4: Edit your video

Camtasia comes with a built-in video editor, and it only takes a few short steps and little editing know-how to get a professional and polished look for your video. 

Image of Camtasia's timeline.

To start, cut out mistakes by selecting them with the Playhead, and clicking Cut. To trim extra footage from the ends of your recording, simply drag the end of the clip in.

Once you’ve got your footage all sorted, you can work on adding additional effects.

Your all-in-one screen recorder and video editor

Camtasia’s intuitive interface and drag-and-drop features help anyone create professional-quality video.

Download Free Trial
Camtasia icon

Step 5: Produce and share

The final step is to export and share your video to the hosting platform of your choice. With Camtasia, you can easily share your video to a platform like YouTube, Vimeo, or Screencast, or save the video file locally on your Mac. 

Image of Camtasia's sharing options.

Learning how to screen record on Mac is easy, and now you have comprehensive options to choose from!

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 Crop a Screenshot on Mac

How to crop a screenshot on mac

Taking a screenshot on your Mac is a simple and useful way to capture and save information. However, sometimes you may want to crop the screenshot to focus on a specific area or remove unnecessary parts. 

In this article, we will guide you through the steps on how to screenshot on Mac and crop it to your liking!

Crop your screenshots with Snagit!

It’s super easy to crop your screenshot with Snagit’s intuitive features.

Download Free Trial
Example of taking a screenshot on mac with Snagit

Why crop a screenshot on Mac?

Cropping a screenshot on Mac can be useful in many situations. For example, to share a specific part of a webpage or document with someone, you can crop the screenshot only to show that part of the screen. This can also be helpful when creating engaging presentations or tutorials, as you can focus on the important information without any distractions

How to take a screenshot on Mac

Before we learn how to crop a screenshot on Mac, let’s first go through the steps of taking a screenshot and some keyboard shortcuts that can help.

To screenshot, press the “Command + Shift + 3” keys on your keyboard.

To take a screenshot of a specific area, press “Command + Shift + 4” keys. Your cursor will turn into a crosshair, and you can click and drag to select the area you want to capture.

To take a screenshot of a specific window, press “Command + Shift + 4” keys, then press the spacebar. Your cursor will turn into a camera icon, and you can click on the window you want to capture.

Built-in screenshot tools for cropping a capture on Mac

Conveniently, Mac computers already have a cropping tool included. We’ll go through two ways to crop your screenshot.

How to crop a screenshot with Mac’s editor

Open your screenshot by double-clicking it and then access the Markup Toolbar.

Click on the “Crop” button.

Click and drag the corners of the crop box to select the area you want to keep. You can also adjust the size and position of the crop box by clicking and dragging the edges.

Image of the crop tool in Mac's editor.

Once you are satisfied with the selection, click on the “Done” button in the bottom right corner of the window.

Your screenshot is now cropped, and you can save it by clicking on “File” in the menu bar and selecting “Save” or by pressing “Command + S” on your keyboard.

How to crop a screenshot on Mac using Preview

Open your screenshot in Preview and access the Markup Toolbar.

Click on the “Selection” tool.

Click and drag to select the area you want to keep. You can also adjust the size and position of the selection by clicking and dragging the edges.

Image of the selection tool in preview.

Once you are satisfied with the selection, click on “Tools” in the menu bar and select “Crop” or press “Command + K” on your keyboard.

You can save your cropped screenshot by clicking on “File” in the menu bar and selecting “Save” or by pressing “Command + S” on your keyboard.

Crop your screenshot with Snagit!

It’s super quick to crop your screenshots with Snagit’s easy-to-use features.

Download Free Trial
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.

Crop your screenshot using Snagit

Third-party apps are available and can help you crop your screenshots on Mac like Snagit. This app offers more advanced features and customization options for cropping your screenshots.

How to take a screenshot using Snagit

The most common way to take a screenshot with Snagit is to open the Snagit Capture window and select what type of capture you need. Whether a specific region, scrolling screenshot, full screen, or other, Snagit can take the perfect capture for you!

Snagit's capture selection options.

Then, press on the Capture button. 

How to crop your screenshot using Snagit

Take a screenshot using Snagit, or upload a screenshot you’ve already taken. It’ll open in the Snagit Editor, which is where you need it, either way.

From there, drag and adjust the anchors alongside the screenshot to your desired fit, and use the arrow keys on your keyboard to move the edges one pixel at a time. This will ensure a highly precise crop.

GIF of a user cropping their screenshot using anchors.

Then, save your cropped screenshot as an MP4 download or directly share it with anyone using Screencast

Transform your screenshot with Snagit’s features

If you need to take it a step further, Snagit can help you make quick edits to your screenshots too!

Use the Spotlight feature to highlight the most important part of your screenshot or even magnify it to show off the important details. 

Image of the Spotlight Tool and Magnify Tool used to point out Portfolio information.

Snagit also has a Selection Tool that removes selected areas from your screenshot. For example, if you wanted to share a news article, you could remove the distracting ads so your viewers are focused on the important information. Plus, you can either leave the space transparent, or Snagit can autofill the area to best match the rest of the screenshot!

GIF of Selection Tool used to delete parts of a screenshot.

We recommend using Snagit due to the ease of use and additional features that will make your screenshot stand out. Crop your screenshot, then save it for yourself or share it with anyone – it’s up to you!

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.

Why People Stop Watching Videos

Why people stop watching your videos

Picture this. You crafted your video, uploaded it, and now the views are rolling in. But when you check the viewer stats, you notice something concerning. Why did people stop watching your videos?

The engagement stats consistently show people stop watching your video before it ends. Some stay for a few seconds, others a few minutes. But, despite the fact that there is important information throughout, almost no one makes it all the way through.

Why?

There are a lot of reasons people stop watching a video. A few of them are out of your control, but there are a lot of things you can do to ensure that most people who find your video will stick around until the end.

Fast, easy video editing

No matter what type of video you need to create, Camtasia makes it easy with drag-and-drop editing, effects, transitions, and more!

Try Camtasia Free!
Camtasia icon
Graph showing the number of viewers who watch two or more instructional videos per week rising from 21% is 2016 to 53% in 2018.

That’s more than double the 21% who reported the same thing in 2016.

So, if you’re making videos that show someone how to do something, there’s almost certainly an audience who wants to watch.

But just because they show up and click play, doesn’t mean they stick around. So why do people stop watching?

To understand that, let’s look at why they started watching in the first place.

Keep your promises

Most people start watching a video because they are interested in the topic or need the information it contains. In other words, they were intrigued by the content the video claimed to provide. And, the most common way they figure out what your video is about is by reading the title and description.

graph showing why viewers choose a video

This is incredibly important. The number-one reason people start watching a video is an interesting topic, the top reason they stop watching videos is they didn’t get what they wanted. See the problem? Users express this problem in their own words, too. In fact, 42% of people said they stopped watching a video because they were not getting the information they expected, or it didn’t cover the right topic.

Graph showing top reasons people stop watching a video. The most common reason was that they weren't getting the information they expected.

It’s simple —if you want to keep people watching, your video’s title and description must match the content the video provides. 

This may seem obvious, but in this era of clickbait headlines and misplaced emphasis on “going viral,” it’s tempting to maximize your click rates with outrageous claims about your content.

If all you care about is clicks, that’s fine. But if you really want to engage viewers with content that will help them learn something new, make sure you deliver what you promise.

Write a clear headline, use your description to accurately depict the content, and people will know what to expect — and, they’ll be more likely to keep watching until the end.

People stop watching videos that aren’t interesting

Is your video entertaining and engaging? Nearly 25% of respondents to our research said that a boring video made them stop watching, making it the second most common reason viewers dropped off.

But what if it’s just a boring topic? 

Let’s face it, not every instructional or educational video topic will have your audience on the edge of its seats. Some topics are simply (relatively) boring.

But that doesn’t mean your content has to be uninteresting. Even the most mundane topic can be made engaging. Here are a few techniques you can use to keep your viewers engaged:

9 ways to make your videos more interesting

1. Tell a story and make it relevant to your audience’s real lives. 

2. Use an engaging speaker or voiceover to present the topic with passion and excitement.

3. Show your (or someone else’s) face! A visible speaker offers an authentic expert voice in your video. Whether it’s you or someone else, a face can help your viewers relate better to you.

4. Include practical, real-life examples that your viewers can easily apply to their own lives.

5. Use effective visuals, like images and icons to illustrate your concepts.

6. Be mindful of when you repeat information, or when you slow down your explanations. Both can be effective, but can also make your video feel plodding.

7. Use humor where appropriate.

8. Use plain language and avoid overly formal expressions or jargon. Explain technical terms in ways that people can easily understand.

9. Encourage viewers to actively follow along and interact. Post thought-provoking questions and/or ask for comments, feedback, and other engagement.

Tips, tricks, and special discounts. Oh my!

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Camtasia user interface

Right-size your video

The common wisdom for video length is that shorter is better. For the most part, that’s a good rule to follow. But I really like to think of it as right-sizing your video — that is, making sure the video is the right length to cover the topic in the most efficient and effective way. 

Graph showing preferred video length. 37% of people prefer videos between one and four minutes in length. 22% of people prefer videos of 10 to 19 minutes.

Our study showed that 37% of people preferred videos between one and four minutes. That’s not surprising. But what did surprise us was that 22% of people showed a preference for videos between 10 and 19 minutes in length. That’s the same percentage of people who prefer videos between three and four minutes. 

So, it’s not just that people want short videos. People won’t stop watching a video just because it’s long. It just has to be engaging, entertaining, and provide the information they need in a way that’s understandable and relevant. 

Three ways to make sure your videos are the right length. Text is the same as the paragraph below.

Here are a few tips to ensure your video is the right length:

1. Know your audience, as well as their needs and expectations.

2. Don’t try to do too much (or too little).

3. Have a goal and create content that meets that goal.

Audio, the biggest reason people stop watching videos

As part of our research, we analyzed nearly 100 videos submitted to us by survey participants as examples of great videos.  Roughly 75% of the videos submitted that were deemed “great videos,” clear audio was the most common element. 

Graph showing common elements of videos analyzed by TechSmith for our research. The common quality was good audio and/or the narrator was easy to understand.

But that’s not all. Videos that received a four or five-star rating for “how accurately did the video achieve its goal” and “how did you personally rate the video” had even higher percentages of clear audio at 89%. So, while people may not stop watching a video because the audio is bad, good audio appears to keep people watching.

Make sure your audience can clearly hear and properly understand anyone speaking in your video. If you have music in your video, keep it far enough in the background that it doesn’t drown out your speaker.  

Luckily, you don’t need a professional recording studio to achieve good voice-over audio. A low-cost microphone and a quiet place to record can make a huge difference.

Video quality, the surprise not-so-important element

Probably the biggest surprise to come out of our study of video viewer habits was that video quality wasn’t a huge reason that people stopped watching videos. In fact, just 5% of respondents reported they stopped watching a video because the quality was poor. 

What does that mean for you? It means you don’t need super-fancy gear to make effective videos that people will watch. 

We used to focus solely on posting videos made by our in-house video professionals. 

Snagit YouTube homepage.

But recently, with more of our folks working from home, we’ve started making videos right from the comfort of our own houses. 

TechSmit's Matt Pierce's recording a video in his home studio.

And as a result, our channel is actually growing!

channel analytics for TechSmith youtube

You don’t need perfect video lighting and fancy equipment. You just need to get started. 

If you have a smartphone, screen recording software, a decent microphone, and a good video editor like Camtasia, you can make highly effective, engaging, and informative videos.

Fast, easy video editing.

No matter what type of video you need to create, Camtasia makes it easy with drag-and-drop editing, effects, transitions, and more!

Try Camtasia Free!
Camtasia user interface

Keep ‘em watching your videos

You have information to exchange, things to teach, and knowledge to share, but if people stop watching your videos before the end, they may miss out on what you’re trying to show. 

There are a lot of reasons people will stop watching a video. You can’t control them all, but by following the tips in this article, you can make sure that you’re doing everything in your power to meet your audience’s expectations with a video that keeps their attention and gives them the information they need in the most efficient and effective manner.

To learn more about how to make the best informational and instructional videos, download the full guide to Video Viewer Habits, Trends, And Statistics You Need to Know.

Robert Trudeau

I'm a content marketing specialist contractor for Techsmith. In plain language, I write blogs, social posts, video scripts and more to help support the marketing team's efforts. Organic growth gets me excited, both in the tech space and in my in garden.

How to Create a Video Link

Create Video Link

In a world where every second counts, sharing your software tutorials or product demos with large file transfers is a hassle. Wouldn’t it be nice if you could simply create and share a video link?

Well, that’s why you’re here.

In this blog, we’ll explain how to create a video link using different options so you can pick the one that’s best for you!

Welcome to the future of video sharing.

The struggles of sharing videos

We all know the struggle of attaching a video to an email only for an error message to pop up, “The video file is too large to be supported.” Great.

Different email platforms have different size limitations, making them difficult to keep up with.

Plus, downloading videos to your computer means it has a chance to get lost in the bottomless pit that is a downloads folder. Keeping your files organized is a whole other problem that you do not need to deal with during your already busy schedule.

There are better ways to share a video with your team. 

Let’s dive in.

Techsmith’s Snagit and Screencast are the perfect duo for professionals who need to share videos quickly and easily while keeping files private. 

With Snagit, you can upload or record the video you’d like to send. Plus, it doubles as a simple video editing software. Trim your videos or combine multiple together with Snagit.

If you choose to screen record with Snagit, you can use fun options in the video editor like Screen Draw to add emphasis to your video while you record! Add informative arrows, numbered steps, and more.

GIF of Screen Draw

Once you’ve got your perfect high-quality recording, click the Share Link button and get a unique link automatically copied to your clipboard. This link is unique to your video, so you can always come back to it at a later date. 

Paste the link anywhere and you’re done! 

GIF of the Share Link button

Your recipients will be able to access your video by clicking the link in their email, which will take them to Screencast. No personal login is required. If you do need an extra layer of protection though, Screencast lets you set passphrase access too.

While viewing the video, your viewers can even leave comments and reactions to facilitate team communication.

With Screencast, all videos will be saved in a private folder, but Screencast also allows you to create collections to share with your collaborators. Simply compile your videos in a collection and send shareable links over to your team!

It’s almost too easy to send your videos to your team.

Download Now!
Illustration of a video embedded in an email with snagit and screencast

Social media sharing platforms

Social media platforms are the way to go to share online videos. It is very important to note however that these are NOT private. By sharing your video online, you will allow access to everyone’s eyes.

Upload your video to your YouTube Channel and tap the Share button under the video. Select Copy Link and paste into your messaging app. Or you can copy the video URL directly from the search bar.

Image of the Copy link button in YouTube

Upload your video to TikTok and tap the Share button. Select Copy Link and paste it wherever you’d like.

Image of the Copy Link button in TikTok

Click on the paper airplane icon when viewing the video. Scroll on the options bar until you see the Copy Link option. Click and paste the link. 

Image of the copy link button in Instagram

Next to the video, click the blue Share button. Then, tap the Share Link button to share the video with anyone.

Image of the Copy Link button in Facebook

When you send a large attachment through your Gmail account, it will 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. 

Another cloud-sharing service option is Dropbox. 

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.

It’s almost too easy to send your videos to your team.

Download Free Trial
Illustration of a video embedded in an email with snagit and screencast

In the end, there are many ways to share a video with a simple link. Whether you use Snagit, social media platforms, or cloud-sharing services, we hope we helped get your video to its destination. Happy sharing!

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.

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!
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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.

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. 

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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.

Get your message across faster with images and video

Snagit makes it easy to capture your screen, add context, and share anywhere.

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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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illustration of snagit's screen recording interface

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.

Get your message across faster with Snagit

Effortlessly capture your screen, add context, and share with a link.

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

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.

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.

Record Your Screen Today! (For Free!)

Download Snagit (on Windows or Mac) to quickly and easily record your computer screen.

Download Now!
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?”

Record Your Screen Today! (For Free!)

Download a Camtasia trial (on Windows or Mac) to quickly and easily record your computer 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

Download Free Trial
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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.

Learn More
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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.