If there’s anything better than telling employees what to do, it’s showing them.
Screen recording software makes it easier than ever to create professional tutorials with minimal effort. With the right tool, you can describe problems, deliver instructions, and share knowledge—all at the click of a button.
But not every screen recording tool is equal. Keep reading to find my top five picks that tick all the right boxes, from a user-friendly interface to advanced features and premium effects.The Top 5 Best Screen Recording Software
- OBS Studio — Best Free Screen Recording Software
- Loom — Best for Online Sharing
- Scribe — Best for Making Automated Step-by-Step Tutorials
- Camtasia — Best for Creating Professional-Level Screen Videos
- Screencast-O-Matic — Best for Mobile Screen Recording
Don’t worry; I’ll tell you exactly why they make it on my list.OBS Studio — Best Free Screen Recording Software
- Free open-source platform
- HD-quality recording and streaming
- Complete broadcasting tool
- Intuitive audio mixer
OBS Studio comes packed with several advanced features and offers HD-quality recording and streaming with no limits on video length—all without charging you a single penny. While this may sound too good to be true, it isn’t.
It’s an open-source platform that lets you record your screen, save it, and come back to it later. You can also encode your footage in FLV format and save it locally. The fact that OBS Studio is a complete tool for broadcasting means you can add as many displays and cameras as your computer can handle.OBS Studio comes packed with several advanced features and offers HD-quality recording and streaming.
Easily create scenes with images, text, browser windows, window captures, and more, and switch seamlessly between them through custom transitions. Sizing and positioning elements within each studio require just a click and drag, and you can control them during a recording session using a hotkey.
OBS Studio’s intuitive audio mixer and extra components like noise suppression and VST plugin support ensure your audio delivery is nothing short of excellent. Use the Streamlined Setting tools to give your recordings the final polishing touch.
My only issue is the steep learning curve. The complicated interface is loaded with way too many advanced features that feel overwhelming initially, but once you get a hang of it, it’ll be a smooth ride from there.Pricing
OBS Studio is a free screen recording software.Loom — Best for Online Sharing
- Easy sharing and collaboration
- Multiple screen recording options
- Mobile-optimized library
- Decent editing tools
Loom is the easiest way to quickly record something—process, workflow, or tutorial—and share it with your team.
Choose whether you want to record your screen, screen with webcam video, or just webcam, and go about your process. Once you’re done, your video will automatically be uploaded to the Loom platform. Add the final finishing touches to add more context to your video, using the platform’s basic editing tools.
When you’re happy with the end product, simply copy the link to the video and share it with your team. All your Looms are then stored in a mobile-optimized library, allowing you to access your videos even when you’re not in front of your computer.Loom is the easiest way to quickly record something—process, workflow, or tutorial—and share it with your team.
Loom is designed for easy collaboration. Viewers can interact with you through timestamp comments and emojis. You’ll also be notified every time there is any activity on your account, so you never miss anything important.
Having said that, Loom isn’t perfect. Its editing functionality is significantly limited compared to other screen recording software and you cannot censor sensitive information. While the desktop app works smoothly, its mobile app is slightly confusing. For instance, you cannot combine video with screencasting.
Nevertheless, Loom still gets the job done without any hassle—and gets done well.Pricing
Loom currently offers three plans:
- Starter — Free
- Business — $8 per creator, per month
- Enterprise — Request a customized quote
- Create visual step-by-step guides
- Innovative Pages feature
- Custom editing and branding
- Effortless video sharing
Scribe is one of the few screen recording software tools that strike the right balance between functionality and aesthetics.
It’s a browser extension or desktop app that lets you create automated, visually-appealing step-by-step guides with just one click. Simply hit the Record button to start capturing your process prices, and when you’re done, select Stop.
Scribe will then automatically generate a step-by-step guide, complete with relevant screenshots and text.Scribe lets you create automated, visually-appealing step-by-step guides with just one click.
What’s more, you can edit and update your screen recordings to customize them into visual SOPs, training manuals, and other types of documents. Add custom branding, annotations, and blur to bring more depth and detail where needed.
Its Pages features let you combine multiple Scribes to create an even more comprehensive document. Once your custom Scribe is ready, share it instantly with your team as a PDF document or a URL link—or embed it in wikis or your knowledge base.Pricing
Scribe currently offers three plans:
- Basic — Free
- Pro — $29 per user, per month
- Enterprise — Request a customized quote
Nonprofits are eligible for a 50% discount, plus you can get a pilot for the Enterprise plan before making any commitment.Camtasia — Best for Creating Professional-Level Screen Videos
- Creates professional-looking videos
- Click-and-drag editing
- Good stock images
- Interactive features
Developed by TechSmith, Camtasia makes it simple to record and make professional-looking videos on your desktop.
Record both video and audio from your Mac or Windows device, as well as capture your webcam for voiceovers to guide viewers. Its built-in video editor comes with an exhaustive list of editing options giving you all the necessary tools at your fingertips.Camtasia makes it easy for even beginners to create professional-looking videos on your desktop.
There’s also a decent selection of stock images with click-and-drag effects to customize screen captures however you like. Insert zoom out, zoom in, and pan animations into footage—or use transitions between slides and scenes to improve the flow of your videos.
Camtasia makes it surprisingly easy to create professional intro and outro segments, so even beginners can use the tool. Experiment with interactive features that let you add quizzes or clickable buttons to your videos.
While configuring these elements doesn’t take much time, previewing and exporting the final video certainly becomes more complicated than when handling non-interactive videos.Pricing
Camtasia currently offers the following four plans:
- Individual — $299 per user
- Business — $299.99 per user
- Education — $212.99 per user (This is the discounted rate)
- Government and non-profit — $268.99 per user
- Mobile-optimized tool
- Multiple screen recording options
- Built-in stock library
- Editing capabilities
Screencast-O-Matic is another excellent screen recording software that can be installed on all different devices, including PCs, tablets, laptops, and mobile phones—and it offers a great experience on each one.
The software works particularly well on mobile apps, offering more features than its competitors. The iPhone and iPad apps allow you to record your screen and overlay a separate recording of your face onto the same screen recording. You can then edit the video directly on your mobile device.Screencast-O-Matic is an excellent screen recording software that works particularly well on mobile apps.
This doesn’t mean Screencast-O-Matic’s desktop app isn’t just as good.
Record your desktop’s entire screen or just a specific area and optionally add a webcam with your face. While the free version lets you crop and adds music, the paid version comes with more editing tools to customize your recordings.
Overall, Screencast-O-Matic is fairly easy to use and comes with a video editor to make your recordings more engaging. Other features include a built-in stock library full of videos, images, and music tracks, scripted recordings, drawings and annotations, and text-to-speech caption generation.
Save your screen recordings directly to your device or upload them to Screencast-O-Matic, Google Drive, on YouTube. You can also add them to your Dropbox or Vimeo account, but you’ll need the paid plan for this.Pricing
Screencast-O-Matic offers two categories of pricing:
Individuals and Business
- Solo Deluxe — $3 per month paid annually
- Solo Premiere — $6 per month paid annually
- Solo Max — $10 per month paid annually
- Team Business — $8 per month, per user, paid annually
- Solo Deluxe — $2 per month paid annually
- Solo Premiere — $4 per month paid annually
- Solo Max — $6 per month paid annually
- Team Business — $2 per month, per user, paid annually
Monthly plans are available, but only for Screencast-O-Matic’s Business plans.How to Find the Best Screen Recording Software for You
Ideally, you want to consider the following factors when choosing a screen recording software tool:Screen Recording Capabilities
As mentioned, all screen recording software tools are not equal. While some record your whole screen, others focus on a specific area. Naturally, it’s better to choose tools that offer both.
Alongside finding out how the software records, you should also note its audio recording options. Does the tool even record audio? If yes, does it record from my microphone or use system audio recording?
I recommend using tools that let you superimpose a webcam feed over your screen capture. This is extremely important to record commentary over your recorded material and to add a face to the voice. Also, check the recording quality to ensure the recording is in high definition.User-Friendly Interface
Consider your prospective software’s interface. Is it user-friendly and designed with the inexperienced user in mind? Or does it have a steep learning curve, requiring prior knowledge?
Understand your and your team members’ technical capabilities when deciding on screen recording software. This is extremely important as users are unlikely to use software they find too complicated or tedious.Sharing Options
Sharing is another crucial factor when choosing a screen recording software.
Once a recording is done, see whether you can save it and in what video file format (MP3, GIF). Find out whether you can upload the screen recording to the cloud and platforms like YouTube, Dropbox, and Google Drive in real time and get a sharing URL link for it.
Having options to embed them in wikis and knowledge bases is also desirable.Summary
The best screen recording software is OBS Studio and Loom which combine a user-friendly interface with advanced features and convenient sharing options. However, your individual requirements can always differ, so ensure to choose a tool that works best for you.
The majority of my recommendations come with free plans and trials, so you can always test-drive different software before committing and pick the most suitable option for your needs.
* This article was originally published here