I am in need of a screen capturing tool that will highlight my mouse and then let me edit what i produce and maintain the quality of the recording. I am looking to do quick system demos with voice overs.

I have used Captivate and Atlantic Link in the past but was looking for something that would do what i needed in one package. Camtasia seems like a good option but i have never used it.


Is there anyone with experience of the software or something similar that will do what i need?






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Hi Jon, I find for fairly straightforward and quick screen demos (under 5 minutes), that Camtasia's little brother Jing seems to do the job. It doesn't have the editing or optimization capacities of Camtasia, but it's also free. If you want mouse highlighting, you can just run a separate free tool like MouseShade.

Captivate should be able to do all of what you want, it will show mouse movements, allow voiceovers and all can be edited easily. I am using Captivate 3 at the moment.


Hi Jon,

I have evaluated all of these and I have had great success with UPK.
E.g, it can publish (auto create) 10 versions of what you did on the screen after just 1 recording.
5 are different types of playback
and 5 are MS Word versions (with screen shots).
All are fully editable.

The userinterface during playback is not that intuitive when compared to captivate but I got my ROI from the speed of creating the content. It's usage tracker saves a lot of admin of training records too.

Hope this helps.

Camtasia has been my main screen recording tool for about 3 years now. It makes high quality captures and has some really nice features in the editing suite, like zoom and pan. It will output to any type of video you can think of (minus ogg-vorbis) and it has a ton of features you didn't know you needed until you see them in action.

Camtasia also has a fairly low learning curve. I can confidently put a new user in front of Camtasia and they will just "get it" in about 15 minutes or so. As with any type of of content creating software you will get more out of it the more time you spend with it.

Editing is as simple or as deep as you want to get. If you've used Windows Movie Maker or any other consumer video editing program you will get good results from Camtasia.

Captivate tends to skew towards the interaction side of software demoing. I do use it on occasion, but I can often get better results with a mix of Camtasia and Flash. Editing with Captivate is often less forgiving and the software tends to try to over think your actions while recording. I can only speak up to version 3 since I haven't felt the need to upgrade.
You could also try SoftSim - (www.omniplex.co.uk) which will do what you want. A bit of cranky user interface but it is quite powerful (simulations can branch and have wildcard input). It also allows you to record things like right mouse clicks which packages that output only to Flash cant do.

As a simple free alternative, you could try screenr (www.screenr.com) - a web-based freebie from Articulate. Ignore the fact that says it is designed for twitter - it will produce a video recording with voice over which you can output to flash or video and include in a course. You can't edit the output but it is ideal for quick "show me"s and can even be used for user support.

Hi Jon,

I am a heavy user of both Captivate and Camtasia. From what you're asking (mouse movement, editing freedom and voice over) I would suggest sticking with Captivate. This is because Captivate captures screenshots as you know. You can add extra recordings and also edit the screenshots as they are, so blanking out names or changing something is fine.

Camtasia is a great product for recording quick system demos but if you get it wrong, if you shudder the mouse or something, that is recorded too. So it takes a lot of planning and thinking and, when you're starting out, a high ish number of retakes. The reason for all this is that Camtasia records a video, not slide by slide. So everything that happens on the screen is recorded.

Hope this helps

Hi Jon,

I too use Camtasia on a regular basis to produce weekly MS Office screencasts.

Camtasia is very easy to use and I find it much more intuitive than Captivate.

I think Captivate is a better tool if you want to include interactive elements, it seems to do that slightly better, but if you're going for straight forward demos then I'd go for Camtasia.

As for planning and preparation, I use PowerPoint to storyboard all of my screencasts, adding a screenshot to the slide and a 'script' to the notes pane, it makes it much easier to share and get feedback before I commit to recording.

You can also download a 30-day trial of Camtasia, so your best option is to just give it a go :-)


I have used Camtasia and Captivate quite heavily for a long time and I can concur with everyones positive feedback regarding Camtaisa.

I must also algree with Phil that I really started to produce quality products once I had storyboarded and obtained sign off of the script before comitting to recording.

Hi Jon.

I have been working with Captivate since it was RoboDemo, and now do a great deal of work with Camtasia Studio (6 & 7). The short answer is that if your demos need to include user interaction ('now you try') then use Captivate. If not, use Camtasia. In my experience the vast majority of requirements are best met by the latter.

In practice a Captivate project may take a week or two to work on, whilst a comparable camtasia project only a day or two.

There are issues with Captivate projects: they are fiddly to edit, the capture is always a little buggy, it doesn't do high framerates well, and ideally you need to hand-craft them in flash. In addition, the swf output scales very poorly and when embedding in other flash 'containers' there are issues with _root references on navigation.

Camtasia produces videos rather than swfs (although it can do swfs). Typically we use flv or wmv output formats. The compression is brilliant (so large file sizes are not generally a problem) and the videos easily resized on export without great degradation. It's an easy tool to use - typically we capture the audio script, then someone listens to this as we capture the walkthrough, then the two are brought together in Camtasia.

Hope this helps.

Hi Jon
I use all of this software and I would suggest you download Capture Point which allows you to capture the screen and also highlights the mouse clicks, it also lets you edit within the pack.
This can then be brought into Atlantic Link as it is part of the same software.

Hi Jon,

As a user of both Captivate & Camtasia....I would suggest you stick with Captivate....it's flexible, more intuitive and you get exactly what you want...
I've used Camtasia.....the amount of work required to get it just right is not worth it....whereas with Cativate, you can easily edit your captures....

Since experiencing the flexibility & ease of Captivate, I've ditched Camtasia altogether....

Hi Jon

I much prefer Captivate to Camtasia as it inputs the speech bubbles describing what the mouse is doing automatically, and it is then simple to go back and edit them where necessary. The version of Camtasia I used a couple of years ago had to be annotated from scratch but perhaps they have upgraded that software since then....

Adele Cushing
E-Learning Manager
Barnet College



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