Review of ActivePresenter: The best free screen recorder, screencast software and eLearning authoring tool for Windows and Mac OS.
If you need an all-in-one program which has capabilities to record video/audio from your computer’s screen or webcam; cut, trim, crop, merge, split and add annotations to recorded videos, then ActivePresenter is the right choice for you.
Compared to its long history rival, Camtasia Studio 9 of TechSmith, $249 perlicense, 30 days trial, ActivePresenter is $59 cheaper and has more unique features. I am mentioning about premium version of both programs.
ActivePresenter is not only a simple screen recorder but also a professional instructional screencast video creator. Besides a clear and intuitive interface with two main colors: blue and white, its features are logically organized to be navigated easily. It’s very hard to write down here all of the features of this software in this short review. But, some of its main features you can expect are: A high quality screen recorder – A professional slide-based video editor – A rapid elearning authoring tool. It works on Windows 7, Windows 8x, Windows 10 and macOS X. It’s a pity that you can’t use it if you have a Linux computer. We will get you through its features as many as we can.
PROS/ This software meets all basic and advanced needs of a screen recorder & screencast video editor and rapid e-learning authoring tool. Anyone can learn to use ActivePresenter quickly, even with the novices.
CONS/ Noticeable disadvantages in ActivePresenter is that you have to learn a new way of editing video (in slide-based style)
∑Our Conclusion: Although many features still have to be updated, its intuitive and easy to use interface along with a fantastic Free Version for personal use.
After it is downloaded and installed on your computer, a shortcut will be created and appear on your desktop with the logo like variant of a red a. When starting the program, the interface will appear like you see in this picture.
ActivePresenter allows user to create new video and audio recording when click NEW CAPTURE, an interactive capture profile window will appear with various set up choices
In new capture profile, you are able to rename your profile and choose storage area on you computer. ActivePresenter provide 4 recording modes which are automatically optimized for each type of recording. Capturing window is logically arranged with necessary function buttons where you can customize regional area, screen resolution, locked application and audio device input as well as system audio check. On the right down corner, you can access your pre-recording settings (some users may forget this button). You can set up capture mode, audio & video, Cursor, annotation and customized hotkeys here.
According to our test on ActivePresenter capturing tools, it gives great quality results.
Video editing features
Once you have finished recording, the software will guide you through an editing window where you have plentiful features for making screencast videos. Your recorded video is defined as a “slide” where you can manipulate it easily. Timeline tool bar allows you to cut, split, copy, delete, crop, join audio and video, adjust video speed..etc while Properties Pane offers various options for each object in the slide. Detail editing features will be described in the next part which we generated from Atomi’s website to gather with a tutorial video.
ActivePresenter is one of the most famous elearning authoring tools that can be compared fairly with Captivate 9 or Storyline 360. It is a great alternative to the above mentioned tool when you are looking for a cost-effective authoring tool. If you take a look closer look at the tool bar, you will easily find out related features to elearning such as Annotation, Quizzes, interactivity, export to HTML5…And so on.
There are rumors that Atomi is going to update ActivePresenter professional version (for e-learning) into ActivePresenter 7 with plenty of breakthrough changes which made us extremely excited to witness. Some advanced featured like Chroma key, recording webcam, built-in template library and so on.
Technical support & Tutorial
We are very impressed by Atomi quickly reply in our test technical support questions in both Q&A community and email request. Not to mentioned plenty of tutorial videos available on YouTube where you can access easily.
ActivePresenter’s blog is a place where you can read hundred of valuable posts about screencasting tips, elearning or video editing tutorial. Most of their posts are related to their product. However, there are also some great articles that you can follow up. For example, this post: Learn how to record screen in Windows 10.
ActivePresenter introduction video
Surprisingly, ActivePresenter is totally free to use for personal without any limitation which means that you can download and try it to use you are satisfied about this software and want to buy it.
What if you need to use it for commercial purposes? You can choose Standard Version – $149 lifetime license or Professional version – $299 lifetime license. While Standard version is suitable for creating video tutorial, product demonstration or making marketing videos, the Professional version will be a great choice for creating elearning content with exporting to HTML5 capability.
ActivePresenter 7 is now available. It has lots of improvements in comparison with ActivePresenter 6. Read this release notice of ActivePresenter 7 to find out more. Some advanced features in this version are:
- New intuitive user inferface.
- Record screen and webcam simultaneously.
- Smart annotations.
- Advanced video editing tools: picture-in-picture, blur, green screen, noise removal, audio fade, etc.
- 9 Types of Question [Enhanced]
- Responsive Design [New]
- Theme and Template, Slide Master, Multiple-State Object [New]
- Project export: Faster with new technology.
Like ActivePresenter 6, this version is completely free to download and use without any restriction.
The best way you can understand everything about this program is to look at below user’s manual of its latest version in PDF.
ActivePresenter maybe not an elegant video editing software geared toward professionals but it is absolutely one of the most amazing screencast software and rapid elearning authoring tool in the world now.
You may want to read:
Product features – From Atomi Systems
Screen Recording features
- Smart Capture : Capture screen when mouse clicked or key pressed. Each action is captured as a slide which explains in details what the viewer/learner should follow to master the lesson.
- Full Motion Recording : Record screen as a full motion video and embedded in a slide for further editing with annotations, voice-over, zoom-n-pan, closed captions and animation effects.
- Microphone & Speakers Recording: Record system audio and audio from microphone simutaneously while recording screen.
- Smart Annotation: Automatically generate the description from the action and target application and insert to slide properly. This makes the content almost ready to publish for a quick tutorial.
- Lossless Quality: The video is recorded with the lossless codec to ensure the highest quality (100%) in the overall editing process. H264, MPEG-1,2 lossy codecs are also available.
- Configurable Hotkeys: Some target applications already registered the common hotkeys. In that case, configurable hotkeys are vital to make a complete recording session.
Video Editing Features
- Audio & Video Editing: Edit audio and video instantly without quality loss. Supported operations includes: cut, delete, crop, join, split, blur, change volume, insert freeze frame.
- Shapes: There are dozens of shapes to choose from. Changing the form and hotspot of a shape just by dragging mouse.
- Style (Color & Effect): Create polished and high quality screencast videos and training simulations with various line/fill/text styles and shadow effects.
- Interactivity: The flexible event-action mechanism with rich event and action types allows defining different learning scenarios based on viewers’ responses at each step.
- Quizzes: Create virtually any kind of assessments or surveys by using 9 quiz types.
- Slide Pool & Randomization: Create professional random quizzes with slide pools & random slides to avoid viewers from remembering and predicting answers.
- Multiple Media Layers: Insert multiple videos, audios onto a slide.
- Blur: Hide the sensitive information in video or image with Blur effect
- Text To Speech: Convert text in any shape/object or closed captions to speech using installed SAPI 5 Text To Speech engines on Windows. Add more voices to make attractive tutorials.
- Zoom-n-Pan: Guide the viewer to different parts of the screen by using Zoom-n-Pan. This makes a smoother transition when changing focused area.
- Cursor Path: Emulate the cursor movement with flexible cursor path. Add more visual to cursor path with highlight and click sound.
- Closed Caption: Provide more information, make audio transcriptions, support for people with disabilities with Closed Caption.
- Spotlight: Draw viewer/learner attention to a specific region with Spotlight. It is possible to apply shape and style to a Spotlight.
- Image Editing: Built-in image editor with transparency support allows modifying any image quickly and easily.
- Transitions & Animations: Attract viewer/learner by applying effects to slides and objects. There are several transition effects to choose from: Fade, Fly, Wipe, and Peak.
- Backup: Prevent losing data when the power failed or system crashed with backup capabilities.
- Protection: Protect the project in the shared environment with a secure password.
- Spell Checker: Ensure the quality of content by using spell checking feature. It is very necessary when working with text.
Output Exporting Features
- Video Export: Export content to popular video formats including AVI, FLV, WMV, WebM, MP4. Balance between output size and video quality with frame rate, key frame, and quality options.
- HTML5 Export: Export content to HTML5 Simulation which can run on any modern web browser and device (desktop, tablet, smartphone).
- SCORM & xAPI: Support SCORM and xAPI, two most popular eLearning specifications which are widely supported by many Learning Management System.
- Player Skin: There are several templates (player skins) to choose from and each also has more options to customize.
- Report & Tracking: Even without using LMS, the learner result can be tracked by using HTTP method. The report data is in form of well-known standards such as XML, JSON, CVS,..
- Document Export: Export to most popular document formats. Further editing with Microsoft Office. Custom layout with Microsoft Word.
That’s all about ActivePresenter 6 of Atomi System INC. I hope you enjoy my review and don’t forget to follow us to receive more valuable post notifications in the future.