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How to Record Your Screen

How to record screen video

Whether you want to document a process or answer a quick question, it's simple to record screen videos and share them with anyone.
TechSmith Snagit is the perfect screen recording software for short, yet high quality recordings of your screen.

Video capture records the action on the screen and audio (from a microphone or system audio) as a MPEG-4 video file.

Whether you're just getting started with video, or are a seasoned pro, there are lots of great reasons to record your screen. You can use Snagit videos to: 

  • Walk someone through a process or issue

  • Record a video call

  • Make a software or product demo

  • Give audio and visual feedback

  • Record a live streaming video

Step 1: Select the Video Recording Area

To capture videos, it's a good idea to set your recording window dimensions before you start the video recording. Make sure to keep in mind the appropriate dimensions for where you plan to host or share the video with your audience. 

Snagit gives you the flexibility to record specific dimensions, a 4:3 or 16:9 aspect ratio, the entire screen, a region, or a window. Start by selecting a recording area that only includes the relevant screen content you want to record.

  1. Open or set up what you want to capture on your screen.

  2. In the Capture window, select the All-in-One tab.
    All-in-One Video Capture button

  3. Click the Capture button.
    Video capture record button

  4. The orange crosshairs appear. Complete one of the following to select an area to capture:

    • Fullscreen: Click and drag to select the area to record on the screen or click the Fullscreen button to select the entire screen. 

    • Window: Drag the cursor over the window. When an orange border appears around the window, click to capture.

    • Region: Click and drag to select the desired area. Use the magnifier for pixel perfect accuracy.
      Click to record window

Record Video at Standard Video Dimensions

If you plan to share your video to a location that requires specific video dimensions, it is recommended to record at these dimensions or at the same aspect ratio as the recommended dimensions.

Snagit has video guides that show the standard or recommended dimensions for common video sharing destinations such as YouTube and mobile devices.

  1. When selecting an area to record, press G to toggle the video guides on or off.

    • Click and drag to select an area on the screen. Hold CTRL to lock the selection to a 16:9 aspect ratio.

    • Click and drag to select an area on the screen. Hold CTRL+SHIFT to lock the selection to a 4:3 aspect ratio.

  2. Click and drag to select the recording area. As you drag your cursor near one of the standard dimensions, the guide dimly appears.

  3. Continue to drag the cursor until the border highlights to match the guide.
    Drag to match video guides

Step 2: Record Your Computer Screen with Audio

After selecting the area to record, the screen recorder toolbar appears under the selected area. You can select to record microphone audio or system audio with a video recording.

Record Microphone Audio

Snagit can record audio from your computer's microphone or a USB microphone.

  1. On the Video Recording toolbar, click the Microphone Audio button. Microphone audio recording is enabled when the button is green.
    Microphone audio button

  2. To make sure the selected device is on and connected properly, speak as you would during recording. The audio meter (the bar to the right of the microphone button) should move as you speak.
    Audio input source dropdown

Record System Audio

System audio is the sound from your computer such as application alerts, audio playing from your speakers, etc.

To record system audio, click the System Audio button on the Video Recording toolbar. System audio recording is enabled when the button is green.
Record system audio button

Record Webcam

You can also record live video of your webcam. Screen video is not recorded when the webcam option is enabled, but you can toggle between webcam and screen recording during a video to add a personal touch. 

Snagit works with your built-in or standard USB webcam.

Webcam recording is enabled when the button is green.
Record webcam video button

Step 3: Start, Pause, or Stop the Video Recording

Record your screen toolbar

  • Start
    Click the Record button or press SHIFT+F9. The recording countdown starts.

  • Pause
    Click the Pause button or press SHIFT+F9. Click this button again to resume the recording.

  • Stop
    Click the Stop button or press SHIFT+F10.

The video is recorded as a MPEG-4 and is saved in the AutoSave folder. You can preview, trim, and share the video within Snagit Editor.

What's Next?

TechSmith offers a full suite of screen capture and screen recording apps and software.

If you haven't already, you can test out Snagit with a free screen recording trial. Snagit lets you capture Windows recordings as well as Mac.

Start Here

We cover the essentials in these getting started tutorials.

All Tutorials

Take your Snagit skills to the next level with tutorials that cover advanced capture, editing tools, and more!

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