(Last Updated: November 9, 2017)

There are a larger number of screen recording tools (also called screencasting tools) out there. Basically, the simplest screen recorders just capture what’s happening on the screen, and allow you to save recorded videos in the common formats like MP4. Besides, there are also a few screencasting tools having some basic video editing options but watermarks added to the output videos.

However, when technology advances and user demands are on the rise, an application with just the facility for recording screen seems to be not enough. You may need a full-featured application which supports the capabilities to record screen, change the volume, adjust the speed, and insert background music into recorded videos, etc.

Then, here is the solution to meet all your requirements: ActivePresenter. This is a screen recording, video editing, and eLearning authoring tool with a large variety of powerful features, helping you to capture screen and edit captured videos in a matter of minutes. More importantly, ActivePresenter free version provides full access to all video editing features, and you can edit videos without time limit, watermarks, and pop-up ads.


Still not convinced? So, let’s take a closer look at how you can both record screen and edit recorded videos just using ActivePresenter.

How To Record Screen with ActivePresenter

Featured in Hongkiat as one of the top free screen recording applications for Windows and now, for Mac as well, ActivePresenter is undoubtedly all you need to create professional video demonstrations and interactive software simulations.

Here are the steps to record anything on your screen with ActivePresenter:

Step 1: Download ActivePresenter

ActivePresenter is now available for both Windows and MacOS. You can access the Download page to choose your desired setup package, click Download, and then install it on your device.


Keep in mind that ActivePresenter currently offers three editions: Free, Standard, and Professional. They share a set of basic features, including advanced recording features, video editing tools, multiple audio/video layers, rich, automatic smart annotation, and many video export formats (MP4, FLV, AVI, WMV, WebM, MKV). However, you will experience more powerful features in the Standard and Professional editions which serve all your needs (see Comparing three ActivePresenter editions).

The current ActivePresenter version is 6. But the new version, named ActivePresenter 7, has been being developed and planned for release in this fall. You can join User Community to learn more information about this big release or subscribe to have ActivePresenter updates and discounts delivered directly to your Email inbox.

For users who want to become an affiliate, ActivePresenter also introduces a reliable affiliate program. You can promote our products and earn 30% commission on each valid sale.

Step 2: Choose a Capture Profile

Capture profile is a set of options used during a capture session. The primary option in a capture profile is the capture type, and ActivePresenter supports two capture types, namely Full Motion Recording (FMR) and Smart Capture. For more information about these, refer to Using Smart Capture with ActivePresenter.

There are 4 capture profiles in ActivePresenter 6: Record Software Demonstration, Record Movie/Streaming Video, Smart Capture, and Smart Capture with Auto FMR. Each of them has some significant differences mainly relating to the output type, output quality, frame rate, and recorded file size.

To guide your way, we’ve also created these in-depth tutorials as below:

Step 3: Set Up Your Capture

A good preparation is a cornerstone of a well-recorded video. For this reason, you need to consider customizing the capture area and audio/video input before hitting the capture button.

Once clicking any capture profile, ActivePresenter displays the Capture New Project dialog box. From here, you can select Full Screen or specify a region on screen to capture in the Capture Area section and adjust the audio device in the Audio Input section.


If all the changes satisfy you, just click the Start Capture button to the left of this dialog box. Then, ActivePresenter will record everything inside the selected area.

How To Edit Recorded Videos with ActivePresenter

Once finishing the capture phase, ActivePresenter will automatically transfer your recording to the edit mode for editing further. As mentioned above, depending on the capture type, the result you will receive is either a video or a series of slides.

Below are three ways to edit videos in ActivePresenter. You can make use of them to create impressive and professional recorded videos.

1. Edit Videos in the Timeline Pane

ActivePresenter provides the Timeline pane with a wide variety of video editing options like Cut, Crop, Copy Range, Split, and Blur effect. All of these options also apply to videos imported from your file system.


The Timeline pane shows the slide against time axis as you can see in the picture above. All the objects on the selected slide will be listed in the Timeline, including images, audio, video, shapes, etc.

To learn more about editing videos, refer to these tutorials:

2. Edit Recorded Videos on the Canvas

ActivePresenter also allows you to edit objects inserted into videos directly on the Canvas. For example, you can edit text for smart shapes and order or align them to make them look more appealing in the video output.


3. Edit Videos from the Properties Pane

The Properties pane is where you can edit all physical and behavioral properties of selected objects. (You can select objects either on the Canvas or in the Timeline pane.)

To edit a video from the Properties pane, do any of the following:

  • Insert an audio or replace a video with a new one. You can select an audio/video clip from the library or your file system. Another way to do that is by using corresponding buttons on the Tabbed Toolbar. Refer to Inserting an Audio and Inserting a Video for more details.
  • Add animation effects and change styles for objects which you’ve inserted into the video. These options are very useful, especially when you are creating an interactive software simulation.
  • Adjust slide transition effects and slide duration (see Slide Transition Effects & Timing).

Note: When recording an interactive software simulation, ActivePresenter will save your recording as a slide-based project, and you can edit it like any other slide project in ActivePresenter. This means that you have a complete control over the contents of each slide, from adding and customizing objects to removing whatever you don’t want. Later, you can export the project to a video format and easily share it with others.

Final Words

It is inconvenient and a bit time-consuming if you record screen with an application, and then edit it with another one. However, with ActivePresenter – a 2-in-1 app having facilities to record screen and edit video, you can save yourself a lot of time and effort when editing video. We hope you feel inspired to get started.

Let’s download ActivePresenter, and it will surprise you for sure.

Start creating video tutorials with ActivePresenter now!

ActivePresenter Free

Personal & non-commercial only

ActivePresenter Standard