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.
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. Here are ActivePresenter Pros and Cons and where to download it.
Great Technical Support & Online Tutorials
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.
Powerful Features For Free
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. With ActivePresenter, all below listed features are in the free package:
- 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.
To give you better view of the program, take a look at this introduction video of ActivePresenter 7, latest version of ActivePresenter until 2018.
Okay, that’s the good. And here is the bad of ActivePresenter.
Affordable License Price
Beside ActivePresenter free edition, if you consider to purchase the program for commercial use, we can say that this is the most cost-effective and affordable program on the market now. With the same amount of money, you can’t purchase any other similar all-in-one program like this for sure. In E-learning world, the closest tool we’ve reviewed, iSpring Suite cost $740 per license.
Added to that, ActivePresenter license price is perpetual license. You only need to pay 1 time and use for life. It’s very much different with yearly subscription plan.
- ActivePresenter Standard Edition: $199/ lifetime.
- ActivePresenter Professional Edition: $399/ lifetime.
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. 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 distracted 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.
Smart But Time Consuming Workflow
The program offer only 1 workflow to follow: Start recording – Go to the editor – Export your video. This workflow can be useful for those of you who want to do more with the recording but will be a time consuming procedure when you to create a screen recording quickly without editing needs.
Lack of Some Important Features
- 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 effects which are crucial features for video content creators.
- 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.
Do We Recommend This Software?
The answer is YES. This is one of the best options we found on the market. It has everything you need from screen recording tools, video editing suite to authoring tools.
2018 Update: 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 interface.
- 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.
Editor notice: We’ve seen a lot of feature updates in this program in 2018. So we’ve rewrite this article to provide you with the updated information about it. Updated in August 17th 2018.