Best Tools to Add Annotations to Videos and Images

3 best tools to add annotations to videos and images. Check out the best free annotation tools for Windows and Mac here.

Annotations are in various forms such as Arrows, Lines, Shapes, Circles and Frames. It is very common to create a how-to video and add annotations on it. By adding annotations on videos and images, you can explain your ideas more clearly. There are some great tools for adding annotations to video and images.

Whether you want to add annotations to your existing video or record a new video from your computer’s screen and add annotations, these tools can meet your requirements.

Best tools to add annotations to videos and images

1. ActivePresenter – Best free tool for Windows and Mac

ActivePresenter is one of the most simple-to-use tools that you can use to add annotations to videos and images with minimum effort. Whether you want to add annotations to your existing file or record a new one from your computer’s screen, ActivePresenter can help. In ActivePresenter, there are various kinds of annotations you can choose such as shapes, arrows, circles, highlights, spotlights, texts, closed captions and many more. Read our full review about ActivePresenter here!

ActivePresenter 7 Interface
ActivePresenter – The best free tool to add annotation to videos and images

Main features of ActivePresenter

  • Records full screen or part of the screen in full hd quality with audio and system sound.
  • Records webcam or locked application.
  • Adds annotations to videos and images such as texts, shapes, arrows, callouts, spotlights, highlights, quizzes and so on.
  • Allows to cut, crop, trim, blur and merge video and export video into AVI, MP4, MKV and WebM.
  • No watermark, no time limit.

Please be mentioned that ActivePresenter is completely free to use for personal and non-commercial purposes without any limitation. If you want to use it for business, you should consider to buy its commercial version at $149 per license/ lifetime.

Download it free here

2. Snagit 2018 – $49.95 – Free trial in 15 days

The 2nd tool for adding annotations to videos and images I would like to recommend you to use is Snagit 2018. Though it is not a free tool like ActivePresenter, its unique features in capturing screenshot, recording video and edit video make Snagit 2018 one of the best tools for adding annotations. Snagit lets you take screenshots of windows, regions, entire screen or a scrolling page and record a video from your monitor easily. When you finish recording or taking screenshot, the tool will drive you through its intuitive editor that lets you add lots of ready-made annotations to your videos and images. For better understanding about Snagit, please read our full review of this software here.

Snagit-13-Capturing Window
Snagit Interface

Main features of Snagit

  • Takes screenshot in full screen, region or a scrolling page.
  • Records video with audio and webcam.
  • Edit recorded videos, captured images.
  • Adds annotations to videos and images.
  • Adds effects to video and images.
  • Exports video or share directly on YouTube, Google Drive or Dropbox.

Try Snagit 15 days Now

3. Apowersoft – Best free online annotation tool

Another simple way to add annotations to videos and images are adding them directly to the video while you are recording your desktop. Apowersoft is a free and online tool for such kind of action. It does not require you to download and install on your computer. You can use it as long as you have an internet connection. The annotation tools are not as many as ActivePresenter or Snagit. But they are enough to use if you only need Lines, Arrows, Circles or Texts. Here is our full review about Apowersoft.

apowersoft free screen recorder interface
Apowersoft free screen recorder interface

Main features of Apowersoft

  • Records video in full screen or customized regions.
  • Records webcam and take screenshot.
  • Annotates video while recording: shape, lines, arrows, frames, and numbers and so on.
  • Edit and export recorded videos into various formats and share directly online.

What Shall You Use?

For adding annotations to make tutorial videos, product demos or software simulation, take a look at ActivePresenter. This is the most powerful and professional tool you can use completely free.

If you often take screenshots rather than recording video, try Snagit 2018. You can save tons of time with its built-in annotations.

Don’t want to download a program, Apowersoft is the best option.

Bottom line

I know that there are some other great tools for adding annotations to videos and images on the market now. However, most of them have feature limitations or lack of necessary tools to make professional how-to videos. That’s why there are only 3 tools in my list. If you know any other great tools, please share with me.

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Good luck!






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