Top 5 Must-have Software For Creating User Manuals

Effective programs for creating user manuals whether you are on Windows or Mac. 

Best software for making user manuals

Creating a user manual is the best way to let your customers understand about your products and services. It’s a hard work and need lots of time. If you want to get trusted by your customers, don’t bother to create user manuals in both documents and videos. You don’t need to create a complete user manual before launching the products. But, you must do it as soon as possible. No body want to buy a product without any instruction on how to use it and without know what it can/ can’t do whether it is household item or a software product. If I am the buyer, I will, definitely, never buy a product without reading reviews about the product and knowing how to use it.

A good user manual doesn’t have to be complicated. It can be a A4 paper, putting in the box with clear instruction on how to assemble the parts or a small book with detail feature description or just a DVD/USB containing a demo video to teach your customer how to use your product. No matter what kind of user manual you want to create, you’ll need a software for creating it. That’s what I come in today.

Top 5 Must-have Software For Creating User Manuals

1. ActivePresenter – The best free software for creating user manuals for Windows and Mac

When it comes to creating user manuals, you may need a software that can import the content you wrote on MS Word, Excel or PowerPoint, take screenshot from the screen, add your explanations (or annotations) on the pictures and insert it to MS Word content to make your content easier to understand. Especially when you are creating a user manual on how to use a software or playing a game, that’s what ActivePresenter comes in. This is one of the most powerful and free software you can use for making user manual whether your products is a complicate mechanical machine or a multiple functionality computer program. Learn more about ActivePresenter here!

Free elearning authoring software with no trial
ActivePresenter provides intuitive and simple to use interface for creating elearning courses faster!

Advantages of ActivePresenter

  • Completely free to use.
  • Built-in free templates.
  • Import MS Word, Excel, PowerPoint, PDF and various video file formats.
  • Recording screen and taking screenshot on your computer.
  • Professional video editing tools can be used for free.
  • Excellent project control.
  • Export project into various formats: PDF, Images, Videos or HTML5 content.

Download it free here

2. Snagit – Best budget software for creating user manuals

If you want to create a user manuals with lots of screenshots and you are capable of purchasing a license for this work, Snagit is the right choice for you. Snagit is one of the most powerful screen capture software for making tutorials for years. It has unique features that professionals may love to use like grab text, panorama capture, scrolling page capture and many more. Read our review of Snagit 2018 here to know more about it.

Snagit-13-Capturing Window
Snagit 13 Capturing options

Advantages of Snagit

  • Simple to use with lots of built-in tools for making user manual.
  • Easy to take screenshot, annotate it and send to MS Word.
  • Capturing scrolling web page and edit captured texts.
  • Create GIF file quickly.

Though Snagit is simple yet intuitive software for making user manuals, you may need to consider its license price at $49.95 perpetual after 15 days trial. View Snagit Pricing Plan here!

3. Camtasia Studio – Best professional software for creating user manuals in Videos

Camtasia Studio is another great program from TechSmith which includes a screen recorder, a video editor and a professional feature rich annotations tool for making user manual in videos. It’s one of the most powerful training video programs we’ve tried so far. Like Snagit, Camtasia Studio doesn’t have a free license yet. You can only try this program in 30 days before making your purchasing decision. Learn more about Camtasia Studio here!

Camtasia Studio 9 Interface
Camtasia Studio 9 Interface

Advantages of Camtasia Studio

  • High quality screen recorder and professional video editor.
  • Intuitive interface and easy to use even if you are a beginner.
  • Lots of built-in callouts, annotations for making better user manuals.

Get Camtasia Studio Free Trial now

4. Apowersoft – Best free online tool for making user manuals

Apowersoft free online screen recorder was one of my favorite online tool for creating user manuals for years. It lets me record the screen and make real-time drawing on the video, taking screenshot, add annotations to the screenshot and save it into various formats. This is a really helpful tool if you don’t have enough space to install an offline software on your computer. Learn more about Apowersoft here!

apowersoft save output file
Apowersoft file convert option

Advantages of Apowersoft Free online software

  • No download is required.
  • Record screen and capture screenshot from your computer.
  • Edit and save video into various formats, GIF and upload to Google Drive, Dropbox, YouTube or Vimeo.

5. Snipping Tool

Finally, don’t forget the Snipping Tool. This is a Windows built-in screen capture program. When creating user manuals for software, if you only need to take screenshot without annotations, Snipping Tool is the only program you need. It’s very simple to use with some of the basic features for making instructional manuals.

Snipping tool option
Snipping tool interface and options

Advantages of Snipping Tool

  • No download, no installation is required.
  • Free and simple to use.
  • Has all the basic tools for capturing screenshots.

Bottom line

In order to create professional user manuals, you’ll need to spend a lots of time to write and arrange your content. With a powerful software for making manuals like ActivePresenter, Snagit or Camtasia, you can save tons of time for sure. If you have any question about these programs, don’t hesitate to leave your question at the comment box. We always want to hear from you. If you like our post, please share it. Remember to follow us to receive more valuable post notifications in the future.


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