ActivePresenter is a professional e-learning authoring software which is very popular in the educational industry nowadays. The program includes a powerful screen recorder, an easy-to-use video editor plus dozen of annotation tools for creating engaging screencast videos, how-to tutorials, online training courses in video formats or HTML5.
In this article, we’ll cover everything you need to know about this program, including its free edition, license price, usability, key features and major pros and cons of the tool. I hope this piece of information can help you decide to use it or not.
This video is an example of how you can use ActivePresenter to create an online training video on YouTube.
1. Free and affordable license price
ActivePresenter free edition allows you to record video from your computer’s screen with webcam, audio and system sound; edit video with professional features like cut, trim, crop, merge, split videos, and add annotations to videos and so on. All these features are free to use. Your recording will not be watermarked or time limit. You can export the video into MP4, AVI, MKV, WebM for uploading to YouTube, Vimeo or Facebook. There are minor limitations in this edition which is the HTML5 output will be watermarked and you are not able to use your project for commercial purposes. If you usually create how-to tutorials for your YouTube channel, they offer ActivePresenter Standard Edition at $199 lifetime. There is no difference between free and standard edition except the purpose of use, stated in their license terms and conditions.
For commercial use like creating complete e-learning courses, you’ll need to use ActivePresenter Professional Edition which is $399 per lifetime license. This license can be used for all purposes, no watermark, lifetime free update and 1 year upgrade guarantee.
From what we’ve reviewed, there are many scenarios you can use ActivePresenter such as creating instructional online training courses, making perfect software simulations or producing video content for your social channel and so on. We’ll keep these stuff in the next paragraph of this post.
ActivePresenter is designed mainly for creating e-learning courses instead of just a simple screen recorder or video editor. As an all-in-one program, ActivePresenter has slightly different user interface compare to other simple screen recorders or video editors you can find on the market now. If you don’t have prior experience using ActivePresenter, you will find it hard to use for the first time as there are too many extra features that you don’t even know what it can be used for. That’s exactly the same feeling when I tried ActivePresenter few years ago.
To getting started with ActivePresenter, there are different options you can use. For example, if you need to record video on the screen, choose Record Screen. If you want to make a step-by-step software review video, choose Record software simulation instead. If you need to create a fully responsive elearning course, head on Responsive Project. There are also pre-built templates/ themes which can help you save your time when making a presentation or slideshow too. Choosing which options to use depends very much on the content you’re going to produce.
3. Key features of ActivePresenter
With a bunch of free and powerful features in ActivePresenter we’ve tested. This is no doubt one of the most wonderful freeware in the industry now. Most of similar professional tools let you try the program in 30 days as trial or free with a watermark on the output.
Though ActivePresenter offers a full array of powerful features for elearning professionals, here are the most important one you need to know about this program.
- High quality screen recorder to record your screen in full screen, fixed area, a locked application with your narration and webcam.
- Professional video editor with dozen of annotation tools to polish your recording. You can cut, trim, crop, split, merge videos, add animated texts to video, add transitions, spotlight and highlight effects to video, add closed captions, blur moving object, zoom and pan, picture in picture, Text-to-speech and so on.
- Various type of interactivity and quizzes for tracking learner progress.
- Preview and export project into HTML5. It supports SCORM and xAPI Tin Can.
4. ActivePresenter Pros
Great Technical Support & Online Tutorials
Out of amazing powerful features, technical support and online tutorials are also a great point of ActivePresenter.
- First off, ActivePresenter is completely free and safe to use without any limitation. The seller does not commit to provide any technical support to free users. However, what we’ve seen on their support community, it’s not exactly true. Every technical issue you send to the community get replied within an hour or two. Most answers are direct to the point. You can get your problems solved without struggling.
- They do have a YouTube channel with plethora of tutorials to teach you how to use the product correctly. If you don’t know about any feature, just go to YouTube and do a quick search. It’s always there. ActivePresenter’s blog is also a place where you can read hundreds of valuable posts about screencasting tips, elearning or video editing tutorials. Most of their posts are related to their product only. There are many great articles that you can follow up. For example, this post: Learn how to record screen in Windows 10.
Keep Fixing Bugs and Updating New Features
- When using a software, especially such feature-rich program, bugs are the issues you face with very often. No one in the world can commit that their software will not meet crash or not responding issue as there are thousands of potential unknown reasons. ActivePresenter has the same story in this case. Luckily, they are very active in fixing bugs and updating new features to the programs. When using the program, you should always check for the update every week in the Help tab.
Okay, that’s the good. And here is the bad of ActivePresenter.
4. ActivePresenter Cons
There are some minors disadvantages in ActivePresenter we’ve found during my 3 years time continuously using it. See my below notices.
- Screen Recorder: ActivePresenter is powerful enough to record everything on your computer screen to create how-to videos, product demos or software simulation except all kind of high frame rate games like Minecraft, PUPG, Age of Empire (some popular games we used to test it). If you are a gamer, we highly suggest you try other professional game recorder like Mirillis Action or OBS Studio instead of this program.
- Video Editor: ActivePresenter built-in video editor is powerful but lack of color grading tools and pre-made video effects.
- E-learning software: ActivePresenter has everything you need to create fully responsive e-learning courses except the lack of built-in character library which is very common in popular e-learning software you can find on the market now.
5. Do We Recommend This Software?
Yes, why not? ActivePresenter free edition is freaking awesome. You can’t see any similar programs anywhere else. For those of you who are YouTubers, online trainers and elearning content providers, ActivePresenter is no doubt one of the best options to go. It has everything you need from screen recording tools, video editing suite to elearning authoring tool.
New users can download ActivePresenter directly at their home page. Remember to check system compatibility before you go. ActivePresenter 7.5 is the latest version of this program. It’s available for Windows 64 bit and macOS X. Click here to download ActivePresenter.
Editor notice: We’ve seen a lot of feature updates in this program in 2018. So we’ve modified this article to provide you with the updated information about it. Updated in August 17th 2018.
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