Free Screen Recorders and Screen Capture Tools

Make a Screenshot or Video Recording of the Screen

Free Screen Video Recorders and Screen Capture Software

There are two types of tools listed on this page. Screen capture utilities allow you to take a screenshot of the screen, or portions of the screen such as a window or the like. Screen recording software allow you to create a video from activity that is shown on the screen. The latter is useful if you want to make a screencast (video of screen activity), video tutorial of how to do something with a particular piece of software, or even capture a video that is playing on the screen. The screen recorders usually also allow you to record sound, so that you can give an audio narration of the activity on the screen. An example of a screencast can be found in's video tutorial on How to Add a Feedback Form to Your Website (Video Tutorial).

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Free Screen Recording Software

CamStudio - Free Screen Recording Software (Windows)

This screen recording software is able to record screen and audio activity and create either AVI files or SWF files (although version 2.0 currently has issues with Flash files). The 2.5 beta version also allows you to record a specific window only, add system time stamps to the video, add captions and watermarks.

Freez Screen Video Capture (Windows 9x/XP)

This software lets you record events occuring in any region of your screen as a video file. If you are creating a video tutorial or the like, you can also record the things you say in a microphone with the program. The words on the site, "Free to use and register", suggest that you may have to register (whatever that means) with the author before you can use it. (Note: the picture and/or text immediately below the word "Introduction" on their site is an advertisement, and is not actually the software I'm talking about here. You'll have to scroll down their page to get at the real software.) This program runs on Windows 9x/ME and NT/2000/XP.

Wink (Windows, Linux)

Wink sees itself as a tutorial and presentation creation software. It allows you to make screen captures, add explanation boxes, buttons, titles, etc, to create a tutorial. It also allows you record audio, use image files (BMP, JPG, PNG, TIFF, and GIF), add navigation buttons to your presentation (such as "Next" and "Previous" buttons), create callouts and custom shapes for your text explanations, add control bars, background images, etc. It is able to generate SWF (Flash), PDF, HTML (web page), and EXE files. Supported systems include Windows and Linux.

TAKSI - Video Capture / Screen Capture for 3D Graphics (Windows)

Taksi allows you capture video, screenshots of your games and other 3D graphics applications. It is able to use any VFW video codec installed on your system including XVid, DivX, Microsoft MPEG4, etc, to compress your video. You can set the frame rate and weight of each source frame.

Debut Video Capture Software (Windows)

Debut is a video recorder that can capture video files from your screen, webcam / video camera, video capture device, and many other things that can be displayed on your computer screen. It records both the audio (optional) and video. You can adjust the frame rate of the video as well as its resolution. The software also allows you to record for specified durations, send video by email, transmit the video files over the internet (by FTP), etc. It saves to a variety of video file formats, including AVI, WMV, ASF, MPG, 3gp, MP4, MOV, etc.

VidShot Capturer (Windows)

VidShot Capturer allows you to capture anything you see on your desktop and record it to video. It is able to record/capture from the entire screen, from a window, or from a region of the screen. You can also control the frame rate of the capture. The program requires Windows 2000, XP or 2003. To download the file, click the "Download" link directly under the title in the main portion of the page (the website is not very usable, and the "download" link on the left panel goes nowhere).

Free Screen Capture Software

7capture (Windows)

Besides being able to capture a screenshot of a window, the whole desktop, or just the current monitor (if you have a multi-monitor setup). It specially handles windows with rounded corners as well as the transparency features of Windows Vista and Windows 7 window title bars and borders.

MWSnap (Windows)

This screen capture program is able to capture the whole desktop, a window, an active menu, a control or some other rectangular part of the screen. Included among its features are some graphical tools like a zoom, a ruler, a colour picker (or "color picker" if you use US English), a window spy, a fast picture viewer, multiple undos and redos, the ability to copy/paste to/from the clipboard, support for BMP, TIFF, JPG, PNG and GIF, auto-start, auto-printing, auto-saving, etc.

Screenshot Captor (Windows)

Screenshot Captor allows you to take screenshots, embed text into your files, add special effects, etc. It can capture from multiple monitors, windows, regions and window objects/controls. You have to register to get a free licence key every 6 months for the first year.

PicPick (Windows)

PicPick is a screen capture utility, image editor, colour picker, colour palette, etc. It allows you to make a full screen capture or capture from the active window, a Window control, region (including freehand regions), web page, etc. According to the website, the program is "free for personal use".

Windows' Snipping Tool (Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8)

Some versions of Windows have a built in "Snipping Tool" that allows you to perform a free-form snip (or capture) of the screen, a rectangular snip, a window snip or a full screen snip. To invoke it, just click the Start menu (the menu button that on the bottom left of your screen), and type "Snipping Tool", and hit ENTER. You can select the type of snipping you want from the "New" menu, and configure other aspects of the tool from the "Options" menu. (Note: if you have Vista Home Basic, this tool is not available, in which case, just get one of the freeware versions listed on this page.)

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